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The Killing God: The Great God's War


The Killing God: The Great God's War

It all started with a different title that was rejected. Then an illness that caused the author to miss the deadline. Then a first revision. Then a completed book that was not even read before being tagged as too big and needing 100,000 words removed. Which led to the book being pulled from the publication schedule. Enter the major editorial phase, and the author extracted 59,000 words and adjusted the work accordingly before resending it. And waiting. Now, at long last, it has arrived.

The Great God’s War officially has an ending here in the pages of THE KILLING GOD. Stephen R. Donaldson once again continues to impress with a heroic work that is sure to satisfy all who have come on the journey so far.

"THE KILLING GOD is without question the greatest installment of the series, and it is a scintillating ending to yet another compelling Donaldson adventure."

The once-warring nations of Belleger and Amika are united thanks to King Bifalt and Queen Estie. Together they are working to protect the Last Repository, an immense secret library teeming with a trove of knowledge, from an assault by the Great God Rile.

Bifalt has a hatred of sorcery, and when he learns that his new wife has the power within her to become a Magister, his heart is torn. Estie seeks the Last Repository to learn about what power she has and how she can use it while Bifalt prepares their kingdoms for war. To say they’ve parted on poor terms is an understatement. Although Estie ultimately wishes to reconcile with her partner, she is driven to know the depths of her power and, more importantly, to learn just what the cost is for using it.

Donaldson’s work on THE KILLING GOD is powerful --- long and steadily paced, but powerful. There is a reason he should be considered amongst the highest tier of fantasy icons, and this concluding volume of his trilogy drives home that point. His epic fantasy elements are beautifully laid out, with tremendous magic, an epic quest that rides a knife-edge between success and failure, compelling characters who bear heavy burdens and are not always easily defined heroes or villains, and genuine concern about the fate of the world.

The battles on display are exemplary, with a great change-up in the confrontation design by having the far-lookers involved in relaying the events of a battle to Estie instead of being in the battle itself. It is a decision that heightens the trepidation of the moment as it unfolds.

THE KILLING GOD is without question the greatest installment of the series, and it is a scintillating ending to yet another compelling Donaldson adventure. It is full of what readers know and love about fantasy epics, but steeped in personal philosophical ordeals as well. From the combat to the interpersonal relationships to the uncertainty of success of the mission throughout, Donaldson’s web of craft ensnares you and leaves you more than fulfilled when the last page is turned.

Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on December 17, 2022

The Killing God: The Great God's War
by Stephen R. Donaldson

  • Publication Date: November 15, 2022
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • ISBN-10: 0399586199
  • ISBN-13: 9780399586194