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I loved this book Although the protagonist is theoretically young Terin, a slave with a deathwish who is cursed to do as his master bids by spelled gold, it s the ages old priest, Blaise, who steals the show from the moment he waltzes onto the pages Blain starts out with a literal cliffhanger, and never lets the action stop Each moment leads to the next tension, and Blain is not afraid to hurt these characters Nothing infuriates methan writers who hold their characters above harm and c I loved this book Although the protagonist is theoretically young Terin, a slave with a deathwish who is cursed to do as his master bids by spelled gold, it s the ages old priest, Blaise, who steals the show from the moment he waltzes onto the pages Blain starts out with a literal cliffhanger, and never lets the action stop Each moment leads to the next tension, and Blain is not afraid to hurt these characters Nothing infuriates methan writers who hold their characters above harm and consequences She has no trouble hurting them at all The characters are well developed, with complex backstories you learn about over the course of the book Terin remains an enigma to the end, beyond his need to survive and desire to die, but what we learn about Blaise is breathtaking, and hints at a vast world we ve only scratched the surface on Conspiracy and betrayal, magic and gods, this is a fantasy book that isn t your standard sword and sorcery No thinly veiled Catholic allegory here this fantastic religion is very primal and dangerous to the core Pick this book up now, and you won t regret it Notes of Interest I got this book several years ago I honestly don t remember the details of how or why It has been in my To Be Read list far too long I m ashamed to say , so I recently decided it was time to dust it off However, when I started reading, I soon had to put it down to finish some other books on loan by deadline When I picked it up again, I was lost Normally, I can remember the major details with the plot and characters by simply continuing where I left off, as long as the Notes of Interest I got this book several years ago I honestly don t remember the details of how or why It has been in my To Be Read list far too long I m ashamed to say , so I recently decided it was time to dust it off However, when I started reading, I soon had to put it down to finish some other books on loan by deadline When I picked it up again, I was lost Normally, I can remember the major details with the plot and characters by simply continuing where I left off, as long as the break isn tthan a couple of months.As I drafted this review, I looked up a few other reviews in hopes of clarifying a few questions Like what, exactly, is Blaise supposed to be Other reviewers apparently had trouble with this question, too, because while some referred to him as an angel, his true form is red, and he used to have a tail not your usual angelic description I thought he was a demon or fallen angel, until I was confronted with a reference to his beak Did that mean he was a dragon A griffin Some beast unique to this fictional world Other reviewers resorted to calling him an otherworldly creature , so perhaps that is the best label, but it frustrated me that I couldn t get a grip on his species by name.So, I have come to the conclusion that my break from reading is not what made this story hard to follow at some points But I am noting the break in case I did miss something obvious as a result of my own inconsistency.What could have made it better for me I ve already mentioned the main thing that frustrated me lack of clarity It s not just with Blaise s true form It s in the world building of the religion and empire, as well as with the artifacts being sought It s not bad I just felt it could have been better because the story left me withquestions than answers questions about foundation elementsthan what happens next.Who is God Is this the Judeo Christian God, but in an alternate reality Or are we talking about a different divine immortal We are told what the artifacts are and a story about the spirits possessing them, but I m still left wondering how they came to be what they are They re important, obviously, so I felt a littleprecision on describing them and where they came from and what they can do was in order Who is Blaise s woman friend in the shop She and her old language are notably different from everyone else, but with no solid explanation why Is God s garden a literal garden in this world, like how ancient Greek s imagined Mount Olympus Or is it a metaphysical place were roses are souls, unlike the roses of this world Tarin was able to enter and steal an artifact, but he s mortal and alive The world s physics feel undefined Questions like this made me wish the author had spent a littletime on world building and descriptions.Aside from clarity issues, there were a number of technical errors that pulled me out of the story And with the exception of Blaise, the characters felt flat Tarin is supposed to be the chosen one of the series, but Blaise s complexity as a reluctant immortal pretending to be mortal isinteresting We follow Tarin s escape and mistreatment among his captors until he escapes again but he is suicidal, and his agency is diminished by thedominant characters around him.What I liked about it In spite of the lack of clarity, the ideas in this story have potential I like stories that involve conspiracies against religions and governments, and that is the core of what s brewing here If the conspiracy becomes the center focus, there is potential for intrigue and some good plot twists because that is the nature of conspiracies.Quest stories are usually adventurous, so the search for the artifact thief makes up the bulk of the action in this book, and there is potential for the protagonist to haveagency in the follow up books as the artifacts becomeimportant to solving the problem of the conspiracy.But perhaps my favourite device in this story is the use of the Scripture as a tool for magic Because the plot encompasses an organized religion, adherents of the faith can literally recite a passage of Scripture to produce magic in the same manner one would vocalize casting a spell The power that a mortal has to Speak the Word of God would obviously depend on how well they know the Scriptures by heart, and perhaps the strength of their faith Immortals, like Blaise, havepower This may seem like nothing new if you re familiar with any of the literal based branches of Judeo Christian faiths, but on a fictional level this is unique because of how these sacred scriptures are literally grimoires full of very powerful, tangible magic I love how this concept seems so obvious in the real world, and yet we hardly ever see it handled quite like this in secular fiction I thought it was well done throughout.Recommendation This is a tough book for me to reach a conclusion about I view it the same way I view abstract art I can appreciate it as something unique, based on colors and mood alone But if I stare at it long enough, I see things that may or may not exist, because my brain defaults to needing asolid picture in order to make sense of it I see the potential in the world, the characters, and what s going on with the artifacts, but I don t enjoy rereading passages when I feel like I missed something important The reader who prefers to know exactly what the author envisioned might have adifficult time following this book than the reader who prefers to fill in some of the details himself This review is for the Kindle edition ebook.Disclosure I was given my copy of this book by the author for a donation made through www.indiegogo.com projects website.An angel, the church, a bit of magic and fantasy all mixed together to create a good story.The angel, Blaise, must prevent the most powerful artifacts in the world from being combined If he allows the artifacts to combine, the power could destroy the world This story follows a timeline similar to the Roman Empire, with slaves and This review is for the Kindle edition ebook.Disclosure I was given my copy of this book by the author for a donation made through www.indiegogo.com projects website.An angel, the church, a bit of magic and fantasy all mixed together to create a good story.The angel, Blaise, must prevent the most powerful artifacts in the world from being combined If he allows the artifacts to combine, the power could destroy the world This story follows a timeline similar to the Roman Empire, with slaves and masters I did enjoy this story It is a different spin on what could be a drab repeat of magic and fantasy While this book stands on own very well, I was left with some questions What happens with Blaise and Terin Who is the mystery woman that proves so helpful to them Unfortunately, there were several grammar errors that caused me to sometimes lose the flow of the story The reader should not have to work hard reading a book This book flows very well, and is very entertaining to read I found it allowed me to dwell on the story when I wanted to, but it written well enough that I did not have to strain to find enjoyment reading it Even with the few grammatical errors, it is fun to read.Having read this book, I would recommend fantasy readers grab it quickly I am looking forward to the sequel, to get answers to some of the questions I was left with I enjoyed this book The world RJ Blain creates is so unusual It was a little hard to follow at first for me, but I think that was because the characters and the world was so very different As I read on, it all became clearer to me, and I really began wondering which direction it would go next Disclaimer I received this as an ARC and read it as such I am looking forward to reading the final published book. I struggled a bit at the start with the style of the writing, I had to back track a couple of times and re read some bits I found a bit heavy on descriptions By the time I reached the half way mark I was engrossed in the two main characters and eager to see what would happen to them.By the end I was ready to start the next instalment, because at the end I did feel it was just a beginning not a whole story, as I still had questions and things I wanted to know about the world RJ Blain had created I struggled a bit at the start with the style of the writing, I had to back track a couple of times and re read some bits I found a bit heavy on descriptions By the time I reached the half way mark I was engrossed in the two main characters and eager to see what would happen to them.By the end I was ready to start the next instalment, because at the end I did feel it was just a beginning not a whole story, as I still had questions and things I wanted to know about the world RJ Blain had created.I did find a few typos and some bits which read a bit clunky, but it only slowed me down a touch when I had to re read those passages But I still enjoyed the story and wanted to knowabout the characters and hopefully in the next instalment we will meet some of the others which were only hinted at I wanted to like the book, but I just could not get interested enough about the characters I managed to read to the end, but still neither really spoke to me Blaise wasinteresting, but Terin I did not care at all about I found it very hard to keep interested in the story either Too much religion and gods in my opinion I like RJ Blain as an author, but this particular series is not for me. Disclaimer I received an ARC of this book, but I read the final version I received as part of my contribution to the IndieGogo campaign.Terin is a suicidal slave who gets abducted during a to the death arena battle.Blaise is a thousand year old otherworldly creature disguised as an allergy ridden human He serves as a Bishop in a religion built around several magical artifacts, namely the Eye, Hand, and Heart of God.The two of them are pawns in an evil emperor s thirst for power a desire to Disclaimer I received an ARC of this book, but I read the final version I received as part of my contribution to the IndieGogo campaign.Terin is a suicidal slave who gets abducted during a to the death arena battle.Blaise is a thousand year old otherworldly creature disguised as an allergy ridden human He serves as a Bishop in a religion built around several magical artifacts, namely the Eye, Hand, and Heart of God.The two of them are pawns in an evil emperor s thirst for power a desire to have all three artifacts and the people who serve as vessels for the artifacts.It s hard to decide how to rate this one The premise was great and several parts of the world building and magic were highly interesting The use of Speech to control various elements was cool, although the power wasn t fully flushed out and I sometimes wondered why the people who could use it didn t use it all the time.The religion was an interesting blend of world religions, with references to various belief systems and mythical stories thrown in I thought it was handled well.Things that made this book lose stars There are a lot of mistakes in this book, mostly of the grammatical variety Dropped words and added words litter sentences every few pages Often times, I d have to stop and reread a sentence several times over in order to understand what was wrong with it and figure out what words were missing I didn t notice many misspellings, but I did notice several cases of errors that wouldn t be picked up by spell check Noun forms of words were used as verbs Past tense verbs showed up where a present tense verb ought to be This made the reading less than enjoyable, although others with less tendencies toward grammar nazism might enjoy it just fine.The treatment of women and children in this book bothered me The arena scene near the beginning includes several brutal killings of children as young as 5 or 6 This may disturb somesensitive readers It disturbed methan I thought it might, and didn t seem to serve much purpose in the story beyond showing that things sucked for slave kids.There is only one woman who has a name in this book, and she plays such a minor role and talks in such a terrible accent that she s hardly a person The other female characters are all pleasure slaves or children, owned by men for the use of men At one point, Blaise tortures a nameless woman, cutting her and licking up her blood, but decides at the last minute not to kill her I don t consider myself a huge feminist, but I was somewhat appalled that there wasn t a single woman in this book who was treated as a capable human being One was saved, butout of guilt than because she was a person that anyone actually cared about and we never learned her name.It s a lot of war, death, and political power struggles This isn t really my cup of tea, but someone else might really enjoy this story It gets three stars, based on how I rate other similar books `READ PDF ☇ The Eye of God ⇕ Blaise tries to act like a good human, but someone always manages to ruin things for him When the Emperor s most powerful weapon is stolen and its human vessel is kidnapped from the Arena, Blaise must choose between meddling in the affairs of mortals or remaining true to his dutyTo make matters worse, the Archbishop has betrayed the church and God by giving the Emperor the second piece of the Triad, the Heart of God Should Blaise stand idle and leave the mortals to their own devices, the people of Erelith won t just lose their lives Their souls will be destroyed by a power that was never meant to fall into mortal handsIf Blaise can find the Eye of God, he might be able to save the humans from themselves Unfortunately, his only hope for success lies in the hands of a slave who wants nothing than to die If Blaise can t save Terin and enlist his help, the Erelith Empire will fall