“Ended up reading this book in two halves as I travelled abroad halfway through and couldn't fit it in my minimal baggage! Picked up right where I left off on my return home, and it's testament to the strength of the characters and narrative that it was a seamless return to the story.The general feel is of a fantasy hybrid of Vikings and ancient Japan. Lots of action, but a very unusual supernatural thread running through it.Very enjoyable!” - Jim Johns
“I'm not really sure how to even begin to describe the genres this fits into. There's a real mix that I think most folk will find something to like about it!I struggled to get into it, there’s a lot of world building and a massive cast of characters to get to know, however once you are a bit more familiar with them the pace picks up and the story flows well. There's some truly sad moments throughout. There's also humour, warmth, and joy.I particularly loved the relationship between Skane and Rigpa. They had a beautiful connection.There are still questions at the end, but it's concluded enough to allow the reader to examine their own thoughts on what's next for everyone involved.”I really enjoyed this book.” - Bianca Duthie
“Loved this book. I am also glad to get involved with this world before a sequel is released. I very much look forward to the next instalment! An epic and emotional ride, well written and humorous at times. The waring armies are clearly based on Viking and Samurai culture, which creates an interesting and well-balanced and engaging encounter, the battle scenes are well crafted and there is a momentum to the story that builds throughout the book culminating in a highly original finale!!If I were to compare this to any other writers of fantasy fiction, I would say R F Quang (Poppy Wars) meets Michael Moorcock (Elric saga) , regimented and dark fantasy respectively with chaos gods at the very core and heart of all that is mischievous. Don't keep us waiting too long for the next one!!” - Rhodri Dawe
“This book made me cry and laugh out loud. It encapsulates all of humanity with love, understanding and total acceptance. Every character is so vivid and personable, loved them all. Can't wait to meet up with them again soon.” - Ceri
“The Grief Of Godless Games is a strong opening contender for a prime position at the top tier of its Genre . From Shield Maidens and Dragons to Time Shifting and War, there isn't much this book doesn't try to do to your imagination. The Author has lovingly crafted this gorgeously exquisite world from the ground up, with a beautifully paced rich story that encapsulates the fear and loss of loved ones and a family bond that will move mountains.Blending the Vikings struggle to find a better life from the cold hard winters to a Japanese strength in defiance of losing more territory to the invading savages. Throw a few unwonted gods in the mix and all this comes together in a story that not only takes you away to a creative world but a place you don't want to leave. As this is Audsleys Maiden Voyage into Fantasy writing I would be booking (no pun intended) my 1st class seat to get the best view and experience of what yet is to come on this wonderfully crafted adventure.” – C.J.
“This novel explores the topic of colonialism in an East Asian inspired country. What’s really interesting is how masterfully J. T. Audsley subverts the traditional concept of the Hero, almost erasing it entirely; there is no clear picture of who is right and who is wrong.It’s important to note that this is an easy read; the storytelling, the humour, and the strong character voices all work together to capture you from the start. The world building is strong but subtle; you’re not left confused or bored which can happen with some fantasy novels!It’s rare to find diverse characters in fantasy and this book does it so well. There’s no ambiguity with race or sexuality that is “left open to interpretation” - it’s direct, which I really appreciated.Honestly, this reignited my love for fantasy and I’m so happy that this will be a sequel!Major shout out to the guy with the ferret.” - Kathryn
“This book is an absolutely incredible read from start to finish - it delivers on all of its promises and more. I loved all of the characters, the engaging story, and the wonderful world building that Audsley perfected.Akkael's journey had me hooked for the entirety. His grief and his rage that fueled his desire for revenge was a great driving force for the story, and as a reader, I couldn't bring myself to put the book down once the going got tough. Without spoiling anything, his emotions were so beautifully written that I felt his wins and losses as my own all the way up until the end.I especially loved the relationships the characters had with one another - Skane and Rigpa's meaningful conversations about the chakras will always be one of my favorite parts of the story, as I'm sure many readers would agree. I could clearly see the character growth as they swapped between being mentor and mentee, teaching each other in unexpected ways about magic and the soul. Hideo made for an excellent villain as the kind that you could sympathize with. Audsley depicted him with such raw torment and desperation to be acknowledged, for his terrible actions to have meaning, that you couldn't ignore the human side of him that made some small part of you wished he could have a happy end too. Villains like Hideo are rare - I can confidently say that he is also another good reason to pick up this book as soon as possible. The story of Hideo is beautiful as it is tragic, mirroring the story of the main character Akkael's masterfully.I would rate this book a 10 out of 5 if I could. If you're looking for a truly unique, original fantasy book with lovable characters and an unforgettable story of time travel and revenge, then this book needs to be yours.” - J. Lee
“I am currently halfway through and literally cannot put this book down. The characters and storyline are amazing, such imagination.” - Karen Olden.
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