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Book Review: The Last Fang of God

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“When gods refuse to die, it’s humans that suffer.

Safely hidden deep within the endless fields of his late wife’s people, Kalen’s only dream is to live the rest of his days in peace. He paid for his dream in blood, but neither his sword nor service are demanded any longer.

Chaos erupts when his daughter, Sascha, is called by Kalen’s old master. Father and daughter have no choice but to leave the home they’ve created for the land of Kalen’s birth.

But the sins of the past cast long shadows. After years of a tenuous peace, gods and humans alike resume their quest for dominance. Kalen and Sascha find themselves in the midst of a struggle that will reshape the boundaries of their world.

The warrior who wants nothing but peace will be forced to draw his sword once again.

Will it be enough to protect his daughter from the whims of the gods?”

Title: The Last Fang of God

Series: Standalone

Author: Ryan Kirk

Page Count: 252

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: December 8th, 2023

Our buddy read group selection for December was The Last Fang of God by Ryan Kirk as busy as this time of year has been I was happy to end up with a shorter read this month. I also noticed after the fact this was an SPFBO-9 entry and Finalist. So this becomes my 31st SPFBO-9 read. I know this one had some mixed feedback within our group by I enjoyed it. I have had several reads under 300 pages in 2023 and have ended up having fun with the majority of them. I think this may have helped temper my expectations going into this one. It seemed like some of the feedback was leaning toward either things were progressing too fast, or just didn’t seem to have much depth. I’ll touch on these shortly.
The pacing was on the quicker side as mentioned. I think having shorter books this has to happen on some level just to try and tell your story within fewer pages than many other books. I would even agree that there didn’t seem to be a lot of depth in the first half of the book but I thought the second half finished very strong. This was certainly a light and easy read without much trouble from names or other verbiage used so I’m very thankful for that as well.
The world building was very interesting to me. Having a world with gods present is almost always going to be intriguing if they are engaging with the characters. Between that aspect, the magic and martial skills along with the different cultures from the different tribes provided plenty to sink my teeth into in such a short read. I found the magical trip with the sanctuaries very interesting!
The character development took some time but I felt it came together by the end. I will just say if you’re getting a bit bored or frustrated with the relationship between our father and daughter protagonists, try to stick it out as things to come around.  Beyond that constant theme there are some really good relationships between the father and side characters from his past as well as some new relationships his daughter is forging along this journey.
All in all I did enjoy this read and would certainly be interested in reading more from this magical and brutal world. I don’t believe this was a series currently but who knows what the future holds. I’ll be checking out other works from Ryan Kirk in the near future. I know he has a lot of titles under his belt.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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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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