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Book Review: The Thirteenth Hour

Table of Contents

When the saints fail, the sinners step up.

Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.

Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.

To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.

For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.”

Title: The Thirteenth Hour

Series: The Cruel Gods #1

Author: Trudie Skies

Page Count: 535

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: March 18th, 2023

The Thirteenth Hour made it onto my radar in 2022 due to it’s inclusion into the SPFBO 8. I wasn’t sure when I’d get to it but then luck would have it, I was given an opportunity to read it for the Indie Ink Awards as we near the close of this event. I am so glad that I got to this one. I thought my mood of reading this one might suffer as I just wrapped another amazing read but this one had me engaged from the start and I just kept picking it up and continuing whenever I had a moment!
 
The worldbuilding was great within The Thirteenth Hour. I truly love the world that Trudie Skies has put together in this one. It kind of has a feel of mortals living within a realm similar to purgatory but not quite. We definitely have different planes of worldly existence in this story with various gods and races having their own worlds and also one where there all kind of mingle together. Even within the city of Chime there are layers with the Undercity as well.
 
The pacing was very consistent for me throughout book one here. We definitely have plenty of action moments but as quickly as I got through this one, I never really felt like there were any really slow parts to push through to get to the next exciting moment.
 
The character development definitely shines here as well. We have a lot of players and twists in this story. However, I felt they were all nicely done. It’s very easy to become attached to these characters. Though it always pains me when we come across authors not afraid to kill off characters we may grow attached to, I will say it only makes the feelings toward the story and characters that much stronger if done right. And Trudie knocked it out of the park for me here. There are just so many layers to several of these characters that you begin to see as the story progresses.
 
All in all, this was a great read for me. As mentioned previously I knew following up my previously read book was going to be a hard act to follow but The Thirteenth Hour stood tall and was simply another enjoyable read for me.
 
I’d recommend this book to any readers who enjoy fantasy, especially if you’re looking for something a little different. This has some creative aspects to it that I don’t find in my usual fantasy reads which are more sword and sorcery or high fantasy Arthurian type tales. There is some technology in this one but it isn’t heavy or high tech if that tends to steer you away from some fantasy reads. I’d still say give it a try!

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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