AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://somethingstickythiswaycomes.blogspot.com/
SERIES: Amra Thetys
PUBLISHED: November 5, 2017 (Self-published)
GENRE: Dark fantasy
From the author of the Amra Thetys series comes a new novelette set in the same world, featuring the world’s grumpiest old man:
Sage Lhiewyn, high priest of the god of knowledge, would like nothing better than to spend his remaining days getting his naps in and collecting offerings from what few faithful remain. Unfortunately, he’s going on a pair of adventures instead. With his less-than faithful acolyte at his side, Lhiewyn will have to face down a rampaging sewer demon and outwit the beautiful, wily priestess of a foreign god bent on unearthing his greatest, most terrible secret. Looks like his nap will have to wait….
ALSO REVIEWED AT: Goodreads
I gave Jessep a sidewise glance. “You have a nasty, sneaky, reckless turn of mind, lad. I find myself forced to approve of it.”
While I’ve known about Michael McClung’s Amra Thetys series for quite some time, I’ve only recently took the plunge into the world he has created – and I can’t seem to get enough of it. The Last God is a hilarious novelette set in the same universe, but focuses on Sage Lhiewyn det Sardeth, high priest of the god of knowledge, and his smarmy acolyte Jessep, rather than our beloved Amra and Holgren. The book is divided into three parts, each a smaller separate story that subtly threads with the others as you continue on, with a huge payoff towards the end. No prior knowledge of the series is necessary to read this, but I highly recommend you read the other books, simply because they’re amazing. Lately, I’ve read quite a few heavy, serious tomes, and this book was such a breath of fresh air, and exactly what I needed.
Our narrator Lhiewyn is definitely the most snarky, crotchety, sweary, “get off my lawn” character I’ve ever encountered, and I adore him more than I could possibly express. He’s a true treasure. The dynamics between him and his acolyte Jessep are just golden – the two so different, but so alike in many ways, and each is always first to lend a hand when the other falters. Theirs is a true testament to the idea of a seemingly love-hate relationship, and it’s a pleasure to watch this unfold throughout. In addition to the two, Lord Morno and Commander Kluge, both of whom we’ve been introduced to in The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids, have their moments in the spotlight, as well. These city officials know exactly what’s awaiting them as they traverse the Street of the Gods, and ascend the stairs to the dusty Temple of Lagna. Unfortunately for all parties involved, Lhiewyn is essential to the many ongoings of the city, which he surely voices his discontent for, leading to all sorts of incredibly funny banter.
“All valid points. But you missed one crucial fact.”
“Yes. It made me miss my nap.”
As mentioned, there are three parts to this story; whether we’re tagging along for the ride to battle a shit demon (you read that correctly), get kidnapped by an attractive priestess from a far-away land, or become embroiled in a godly sibling conflict, there’s no shortage of action and snort laughs along the way. On the surface it may seem the intent of these stories of unfortunate events is to have some wildly fun romps through the districts of Lucernis, but the more insight into Lhiewyn’s true character, the more grand it becomes. Little hints are dropped throughout and the final story hits you with a huge ‘ah ha!’ moment, leaving you both wanting and needing more. I’m really hoping this isn’t the last we see of these weirdly lovable characters.
This novelette packs quite a punch, and, as expected, I loved it to pieces. I’ve always been a fan of small glimpses into worlds that build upon the stories I’ve become acquainted with, and this definitely sits towards the top of my favorites list. If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read, populated by amazing characters, and some pretty stunning mysticism, The Last God checks all these boxes. I can’t wait to see where McClung takes us next.