Published by Five Fathoms Press on April 1st 2021
Also by this author: Nectar for the God (Mennik Thorn, #2), Strange Cargo
It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favour to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit.
So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people, supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he’s guilty?
Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive.
But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…
Congratulations to Patrick Samphire on getting seventh place with Shadow of a Dead God in the BBNYA 2021 finals! This review is part of the blog tour award to the author, the book provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
Patrick Samphire isn’t a new author to me but Shadow of a Dead God was the first adult fantasy story I read by him. I’m glad he decided to make the decision to write this book even though it wasn’t his usual genre. Man, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where Mennik Thorn was only an afterthought.
I’ll be upfront about it, I love Shadow of a Dead God, I love Mennik (Nik to friends) Thorn. I love how the world hates him, how trouble follows him, how his own foolish decisions only lead him to become covered in all kinds of stinkiness again. I think the time he spends not smelling like crap can be counted on one hand. So I feel bad for him? A little. But if everything went right, if he was powerful enough to be an archmage, then the story wouldn’t be as interesting, right?
We meet him crawling through a pantry looking for a ghost that isn’t there, the only company being mice who get to eat more food than he on average. It goes downhill from there. His friend, buddy, brother, Benny needs help with a ‘job’. Benny should know better than to ask Nik to help but both are stubborn in their own ways. When you think things couldn’t get worse, they will, and that’s why it was so hard to put the book down.
It’s not your usual fantasy story as Nik doesn’t take himself too seriously. There’s a layer of humour in there that might not be for everyone but it was exactly what I was looking for in a book. And I didn’t even know. Patrick’s writing is excellent, the world he built, with nearly endless gods, is fascinating, and I’m sure that we’ll get to explore the city of Agatos and the rest of the world in other books.
I give Shadow of a Dead God five stars. Fast-paced fantasy with humour and an extensive world ready to be explored. I highly recommend this book for fantasy who want something different. I can’t wait to read more in this series.
Patrick has graciously given me a copy of the second book, Nectar for the God to review as well. Read my five-star review here.