God of Broken Things

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Pub Date 11 Jun 2019 | Archive Date 01 May 2019

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An outcast magician must risk his body and mind to save the world from horrifying demons in this “kick-in-the-nuts, edgy, and dark” epic fantasy adventure (New York Journal of Books)

Tyrant magus Edrin Walker destroyed the monster sent by the Skallgrim, but not before it laid waste to Setharis, and infested their magical elite with mind-controlling parasites. Edrin’s own Gift to seize the minds of others was cracked by the strain of battle, and he barely survives the interrogation of a captured magus.
There’s no time for recovery though: a Skallgrim army is marching on the mountain passes of the Clanhold. Edrin and a coterie of villains race to stop them, but the mountains are filled with gods, daemons, magic, and his hideous past. Walker must stop at nothing to win, even if that means losing his mind. Or worse.
An outcast magician must risk his body and mind to save the world from horrifying demons in this “kick-in-the-nuts, edgy, and dark” epic fantasy adventure (New York Journal of Books)

Tyrant magus...

Advance Praise

“Cameron Johnston is an exciting new voice in fantasy. His writing has a dark sense of humour and his debut is bursting with imagination and wonders. Fantastic stuff!”

– Stephen Aryan, author of the Age of Darkness trilogy

Praise for The Traitor God

“From the frantic opening page, The Traitor God grabs you and doesn’t let go. Edrin Walker’s return to Setharis is a noirish romp packed with action and laced with black humour, and marks Cameron Johnston as a real name to watch in the epic fantasy genre.”

– Neil Williamson, author of The Moon King

“The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston is a hugely enjoyable tale and definitely a 2018 debut to look out for. Marvellous stuff.” – Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild Trilogy

“Cameron Johnston is an exciting new voice in fantasy. His writing has a dark sense of humour and his debut is bursting with imagination and wonders. Fantastic stuff!”

– Stephen Aryan, author of the...

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Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

I love Edrin. He has the manners and the means of a stray dog. More flaws than clothes, a lot of bad habits and no self esteem. He is the kind of guy that people loves to hate and despise, one that would like to stay away from battles and spend the day empting glasses of ale or whisky. He is an antihero and yet..under all those scars and harsh speach there is so much more.
If you enjoyed The Traitor God you certanly have to read the second book by Cameron Johnston, I had the luck to read an advanced reader copy and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed, I loved God of Broken Things as much as I loved the first book.

Thanks for the ARC to Netgalley and Angry Robot Books.

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If you were to do battle for the fate of the world with primeval parasitic mind controlling varmints who possessed elemental magic powers and were accompanied by hordes of mind controlled clan-dwellers, you might just want the tyrant magus Edrin Walker on your side. Well, maybe, if you can get used to the fact he crawls inside people's minds, warps their thoughts, and has in the not too distant past laid waste to just about everything that matters. Chosen by the college of magicians to take a ragtag band of warriors, cutthroats, thieves, and a knight with magical armor to the northern passes to head off the enemy, Walker has his hands full. And, that's before he runs into his three-eyed, soul-stealing grandma and her tame yetis. This is a full-scale action novel that pits magi against magi against parasitic monsters and if that's what you're looking for, you certainly found it.

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I was has been starting the series and happily blown away I just couldn't read them fast enough looking forward to reading much more by this author

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Johnston once again writes an amazing epic fantasy. We follow Walker on his path post almost dieing. This black hearted bastared will make you keep the pages turning as you wonder how he will save the day again and be the Tyrant he always feared. This is a fitting ending to the story and gives a very well rounded finish for our beloved characters.

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Walker is back with more mind control trickery, no sword and a cracked mind. This time he’s going to war. Fast paced with a frequent tug of war between man and monster. I like how over the top Walker is and just how broken. His support for this one is a fun and deadly bunch, each one adding their little bit to the story. A bit less going on than the first book but still great and just as enjoyable. Loved the ending.

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The God of Broken Things by Cameron Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cameron Johnston delivers again! Edrin Walker is back and has a burning vengeance for the Scarabbus that tried to destroy his home. The sequel to The Traitor God picks up shortly after the end of the book and takes of running from there. Edrin's body is in shambles after his fight with the traitor god but still he presses on to seek revenge for his home of Setharis.

I really enjoyed the first book in the series but when I started reading The God of Broken Things I got to see how good Cameron writes. His characters are well developed but, the world is amazing, and his magic system is on a scale of it's own.

Edrin returned as the same self centered arse I remembered, and develops into a much different person through the story. I love Cameron's character development, it put me in the head of Edrin and really made him come alive.

The world or the part of it we get to see is in the high reaches of a dividing , snow covered, mountain range. It was described as vividly as if it actually exists. From the mountain caves that were made into towns to the ruins of the ancients all was built so wonderfully.

My favorite part is the magic system. The mages gave access to so much power but have to practice extreme self control or risk being overcome with magic and destroyed. All the mages have a different affinity our hero Edrin is known as tyrant, on that has magic that can control minds, and is the most feared mage in the world.

I really cant say much more about it without getting in to spoilers which I stay away from, but The Age of Tyranny is a series that should be on the top of everybody's pile to read.

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Not to be dramatic but I feel like I've just went through 9 different emotions within the last two minutes and at any given moment now, I'm going to explode and become an entire freaking solar system.

Anyway, I'm sorry this review is a mess but since I can't even write bad poetry in an attempt to get my feelings straight and until the universe sends me the next Cameron Johnston book so I can unload all my emotional baggage on it...this review will have to do.

The Traitor God made it my best books of 2018 list and the sequel is easily going onto this years. It's a high fantasy novel where the use of magic truly shapes and distorts the world and its cultures. Magic in this world is described as a “worm”, something that gets into your mind and begs you to let go and let it overwhelm you. People often fall into madness if they channel too often or open themselves up too much. It's an anti heroin story that you'll find yourself rooting for. The plot was just incredible. I'm one of those people that likes to be hooked on the first page and boy did it hook me and that's saying something with this being a sequel. This is how you start off a book my friends. With a 'WOAH WTF IS GOING ON OMG' kind of adrenaline. What blew me away me was not so much the ideas themselves but the way they were presented. I’m also incredibly impressed at the sense of urgency the story conveyed. So basically I was hooked from page one and didn't want to stop.

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The sequel to The Traitor God is everything you demand of a follow-up. The threats, like its monsters, are bigger; its villains are a greater menace; the scale of conflict even greater. Yet, despite its galloping inflation, what made the first novel work so well, remains constant.
Its characters.
Edrin Walker is no different in some ways; he’s still the smart-mouth he always was. He’s still disrespectful, unpredictable and distrusted by everyone because of his Gift. After all, he is a tyrant, he can bend everyone to his will. If that’s what he wanted. And that desire is what keeps him grounded, forcing him to confront the monster he could become. After his killing of a god in the first novel and the consequences of those actions, Edrin Walker’s Gift has grown. Now he really is powerful. The kind of power that demands Spiderman’s Uncle Ben to render those famous words, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
But that power is needed as Edrin faces danger far greater than before. The secret of any successful novel is to scale the threat level so it’s greater than the protagonist and his/her allies can defend against. Cameron Johnston does this so well here because of the way mind-control works. When fighting a talented magus who can manipulate people’s minds what do you do? You create an entire race who can do the same thing.
But, as I’ve said, this story is about its characters. Plural.
Equally as vulnerable, almost as powerful (albeit in a different way), is Eva. Like Edrin, she’s severely damaged after the events from the first book, but she is still formidable. Their relationship grows, despite the odds and antagonism, into something akin to friendship but it is not an easy journey for either of them. Yet they rely on each other in many ways and its this need which makes their story so fascinating.
There are lots of minor characters who feature throughout but they’re all detailed studies of different aspects of humanity that collectively make a statement about people as they fight against unbelievable odds and know they will never survive.
The final character is the landscape of this story. Wild, complex, unpredictable like its protagonist, dark yet with glimmers of hope. And truly amazing in its originality. This is a story that has everything and is written with wry Scottish wit that you can hear in the background all the time, that leads you to suppose Edrin Walker is a character Cameron Johnston must love very much – and has every reason to do so.

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An action adventure sequel that followed a quest structure.

This second novel jumps right into a fast paced story. The real highlight of this book, both books really, is the humor and voice of the main character. He is snarky at times, and thoughtful at others. He rebels against authority but fights for his friends. It all comes across as very real. This book really dives into his backstory and helps explain events that shaped who he is.

The main character is fighting the magic within himself, and it is changing him. He is not ever the best person in the room but I root for him anyways. Along with the magic, it is interesting to see the way his growth in power is making his morals more shady.

It was very cool from a worldbuilding standpoint to see different cultures use of the magic, which does vary from how we have previously seen it used.

Very enjoyable dark action fantasy!

I received this ebook via Netgalley.

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The second book of the series, God of Broken Things continues Edrin Walker's adventures. If you are a Cameron Johnston/Edrin Walker fan, then you will know a lot of what you are in for. If you are reading this without reading the first, there is much for you here as well.

Johnston's debut novel The Traitor God introduced several elements that become clear in this book, and the second novel gives us more action of the same gritty, dark humor that we had in the first. The world Johnston has created is based on an interesting premise of the magic within us all - not in a golden, shiny, wonderful way, but in a struggle for survival and the weakness of humanity.

If you are looking for shiny happy characters, don't come here. This is grimdark. But if you are looking for a well-constructed world with a true anti-hero, this is for you. If you haven't read #1 The Traitor God, don't worry. Johnstone has constructed the story so that you can enjoy this one alone - for the full adventures of Edrin Walker, go back and read the first. You'll be wanting to pick up the next one.

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A dark and harrowing tale told with a brilliant voice, Johnstone's God of Broken Things is a refreshing and wonderful read that all fantasy fans will love. The story is riddled with action, poignancy, and jaw dropping moments. I loved it, and I suspect a lot of other people will too.

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Cameron Johnston has done something exciting: Take one ability that is often associated with a villain, and give it to the main protagonist.

This is why I enjoyed the first book, "The Traitor God," which kicked off as a sort of "fantasy-noir" where our hero, Edrin Walker, investigates the savage murder of his friend. He's what the world calls a, tyrant, because of his ability to tamper with the mind -- including, but not limited to, taking away your free will and altering memories. That book was a blast and I thought I had Book 2: "God of Broken Things" all figured out.

The book wasn't a slowburn. It kicks you straight in the balls, launching a series of action-filled scenes. The pace flows smoothly with a balanced set of character engagements, worldbuilding, and epic fight scenes. 

"God of Broken Things" still feature Edrin Walker as the main protagonist, sorting out his problems one at a time. I never got a good grasp on how strong he really is. Yes, he can control people, bend them to his will, alter memories, and basically anything involving the mind. I thought I understood it. But I didn't. This book explores why people like Edrin are called tyrants and why others fear them.

It's a test of patience and morality, no matter how stretched thin. And, normally I don't need to relate myself to the main hero to enjoy a story, but I've actually built this connection with Edrin. Cause I swear, if I had mind controlling powers, there'd be an apocalypse by the end of 2021.
A writing tip from a different author said, the simpler the plot the more developed characters need to be.

Along with this book is the introduction of a large bizarre new cast that Edrin decides should tag along in his newest adventure. Some of these characters are hard to like, some are funny and weird. We don't get to explore their origins, but each one gets a spotlight, a time when they shone, and enough background to get to know them. They grow on you as you go farther into the book. None of them are too complicated, but are filled with life, you'd wish you'd had enough time to just hang out and grab a few drinks with. (If you don't mind the risk of getting stabbed in your sleep, that is.)

In "God of Broken Things" we get to go beyond the city of Setharis, where the first book took place. We enter province territory, where things aren't as advanced in the city, where the folks rely on old traditions than modern studies. It's also something I happen to relate to, I get to hang out with all sorts of people who believes in every possible superstition. It's just something embedded culturally that people on these lands continue to hold on to and fight for things they find sacred.

The end of the book my jaw was hanging really low. It was an incredible journey, something I really enjoyed. So, when Johnston confirmed that Edrin Walker's story is actually a duology, I felt a little crushed. And yet, that ending felt so perfect that it made sense. I would have loved more books centering on Edrin Walker. But I get it. You liked "The Traitor God"? Pre-order "God of Broken Things." Had mixed feelings about "The Traitor God"? To hell with that, this book is infinitely better.

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God of Broken Things picks up three months after The Traitor God finished. There is no gentle lead in, this book starts the way it plans to continue, with action, violence and the characters reaching out with both hands to reach their full potential. I loved it from the first chapter.

“The slicks up in the Old Town might be calling you a nightmare given flesh, but-” a ghost of a smile appeared, the first sign of pleasure I’d seen from her, “-you’re our nightmare I guess.”

Walker is back, he is busy assisting the Arcanum hunt out the traitors, until he gets the call that he is leading a small group of magus to block the invading Skallgrim. Of course nothing is easy and Walker is thrown right back into the fire. Battling demons, blood magic, his own grandmother and possibly the oldest magus in existence, Walker has to embrace who he is and what he can do if there is any hope of saving his precious Setharis. Letting his tyrant magic loose, he risks becoming the very thing they are fighting against.

God of Broken Things is full of action, battles and wicked character development. In the mayhem of war, Walker is forced to push himself further then ever before to protect Setharis, constantly risking himself and those around him. Fighting to keep a hold of his humanity. In this book Walker becomes who I was waiting for him to be in book one. I was frustrated with his slow development in book one, his constant looking back, but here there is none of that here. While we do learn more about his family and the things that happened to him while he was exiled it isn’t rehashed over and over again, the difference in his thinking process shows a distinct shift in what is important to Walker, he seems to be able to hold things at arms length a lot easier and accept that sometimes horrible things need to happen and you just can’t save everyone. This is completely in line with his tyrant magic and what he has lost. It was a joy to watch Walker do his thing and unleash on those in his way. He isn’t nice, but I have a soft spot for anti heroes.

I thought the writing was really good. The story flowed really well, the battle scenes were intense and well put together, combining magic and swords. All of my favourite things really. It was hard to put down and I was so excited to pick it back up and see where the story was going. It had me on the edge of my seat, trying to force myself not to skim read because I wanted to find out what was going to happen so badly. It was compelling.
In The Traitor God Cameron spent a lot of time on world building, giving us a real feel for Setharis and it’s people. Showing the fear and apathy of the population and comparing it to Walker’s memories of his city, it was the perfect way to give us the details without obvious info dumping. In God of Broken Things, Cameron continues to use his kickass world building skills and we see the general populations hope. It’s in the way they walk, it’s in their eyes and it’s in the way they embrace Walker.

Yes I’m aware this review is only just touching on the plot and doesn’t talk about any side characters, but to do either would give away to much about The Traitor God. So if you are going to take anything away from my ramble, know I loved it. It was the perfect ending to Walker’s story.

I received a copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected my review.

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Thank you Netgalley and Angry Robot for providing me an ARC!!

This is going to be really short because its hard not to give anything away.. It’ll be much better for you to experience it blind..

This is the 2nd time that I was given a chance to read Cameron Johnston’s book.. And I can say that it’s always a mix of joy and thrill to read his stories.. The magic system and action packed story is always heavy (in a good way ofcourse). That’s why I like his books, they’re gripping, heavy, fresh and mix of different systems.

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God of Broken Things was an intense and bloody ride that fits perfectly as the end of the Age of Tyranny duology.

I loved it from beginning to end and I can't believe it's over already.


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* I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *

The second and final book in the short series (for once an author who is willing to restrict his series to two books rather than padding out to a trilogy with a low quality middle book!) continues Edrin Walker's fight for his life. Where in the first book the coward found himself accidentally returning to the city where he was banished from, and thrown into a conspiracy to destroy the city, here he is more of a willing participant.

The scarrabus (the mind-controlling parasite race) are rife in the city and Walker starts to uncover their plot. Events see him sent to hold off a fast approaching army, where he once again battles with mind-controlled mages and warriors.

The action is thick and fast in this book, and while there are some metaphysical sections, and some epic sections of exposition it keeps the reader engaged throughout.

Walker is a likeable, though thoroughly detestable selfish coward who sometimes ends up doing the right things, if not for the right reason. His magic power of mind-control is used more here than in the first book (where I felt it had been a little neglected for fear of being a Mary Sue), but not over-used and at times it wonderfully helps the story move along while his body can't allow him to be in the thick of the action.

There are twists and conflict galore in this brilliant gritty conclusion to a great story with some really strong, original characters.

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One of the challenges of writing a sequel is the balance between giving the new reader all the necessary background, developing the characters well enough, and yet not boring readers who are already familiar with the cast and setting. I picked up God of Broken Things unaware that it was a sequel to Traitor God. For most of the book, however, I could not decide if God of Broken Things was indeed a sequel (to a book I knew immediately I wanted to run out and read) or a stand-alone with a rich and brilliantly handled back story.

The world of this story, and in particular the city-state of Setharis, are still reeling after the events in the previous book, which include all sort of monstrous, god-like things running amok and smashing things in horrific fashion.Our reluctant hero, Edrin Walker, a “tyrant” magus who can read thoughts and impose his will on others, among other mental talents, remains at odds with the magical authorities and himself. Behind all this havoc are the barbaric Skallgrim (skull-grim?), many of whom are infested with alien Scarrabus mind-parasites. Now the Skallgrim and their mind-worms (or insects) are back again, bent on battering the world into ruins, and if humanity survives at all, it will be as an inferior, enslaved race. Much as the Setharis magus powers-that-be distrust Edrin’s mental powers, he’s their best hope, so they send him to hold the invading army at bay or at least slow it down until their allies can arrive. Edrin gathers together a personal coterie of arsonists and poisoners, plus a mind-slave or two, a sword that’s really a bloodthirsty demon, an old almost-lover, and a vicious pony, along with a handful of other magi of various sorts. And things go wrong. And more wrong. And then seriously wrong, with one reversal or twist leading to the next, even more awful crisis. And then this-can’t-possibly-get-worse-but-it-does wrong.

One peculiarity in this work is the discrepancy in language and tension level between external battle scenes and the internal struggles of Edrin Walker. The latter are taut and emotionally vivid, but the battle scenes often have a strange, flat quality. For one thing, these scenes are many and go on for a long time. More significantly, the sentences are long and complex, shifting the reading experience toward the cerebral. Here’s an example of how wordiness and an overlong sentence dilutes dramatic tension:

Axes and spears bounced off her armour and the magic-reinforced skin beneath, earning their wielders an early grave as elbows, fists and feet staved in chests and shattered bones even if they managed to avoid her hammer.

This is a long, complex tale with a cast of thousands and a ton of battle scenes. Also torture, also other sorts of combat. But overall it’s very well done and immensely entertaining. God of Broken Things definitely marks Canadian Cameron Johnston as an author to watch for.

As an aside, the publisher, Angry Robot, is putting out some very interesting books these days. I’d keep an eye on them, too.

The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to praise it. Although chocolates and fine imported tea are always welcome.

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The city Sethis is a ruined wasteland after the events of the previous book. Edrin Walker, a mage, survived the destruction of Sethis – though only just barely, as he managed to control the mind of the monster sent by the Skallgrim to destroy the city. Now Walker has a chip on his shoulder and he sets out to take down the mages who were behind the vicious attack. He’d also like to take care of the Skallgrim as well and he’ll get that opportunity – maybe a little sooner than he hoped.

The Skallgrin are gathering an army in the mountains just north of Sethis, readying to invade inland (which would completely eradicate Sethis). Walker has to gather his own army of sorts – a group of washed-up mercenaries and soldiers who have seen better days. It’s not the most trustworthy group of soldiers and companions, but Walker only needs them to provide him enough time to attack the minds of those in command. A lot of blood will be spilled and a lot of pain delivered and the end results may not have the desired outcome.

This was one heck of a fun read.

Edrin Walker is not the typical sort of ‘reluctant hero’ you find in most modern fantasies of this ilk. He’s a tyrant. He’s a pretty mean s.o.b., but he’s the kind of guy you definitely wanting fighting on your side, rather than against you. And it’s that anger and – evil? – that makes him exciting to follow. He’s also incredibly tough to take down (as evidenced in the first book).

One of my biggest problems with the first book (which I enjoyed immensely) was that Walker was pushed beyond a believable amount and his nearly superhuman actions made him less admirable. The challenge here for Walker is nearly as great (he’s about to take on an entire army) but author Cameron Johnston toned down the rhetoric, without taking away from the challenge, and I was more immersed in this story and the action than I was before.

The story is pretty simple – Edrin Walker is not a complicated man and the goal is pretty straightforward as well. But Johnston’s story-telling, combined with the delicious fun of Walker’s personality. makes this a real joy to read.

Looking for a good book? God of Broken Things by Cameron Johnston, the second book in the Age of Tyranny series, is exciting fantasy.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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A really interesting continuation of the Age of Tyranny series. Populated by interesting characters, with interesting and well-done fantastical elements, it's a pretty solid read - action, adventure. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to reading more by Johnston.

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This was fantastic. It picks up straight after The Traitor God where our snarky curmudgeony hero and his motley squad venture forth to save the world. This isn't a happy-prancing-unicorns, fairies and rainbows magical world. It is dark, vicious and magic is ugly. Lots of edge-of-your-seat knuckle-biting action and plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I inhaled it.

Recommended for fans of: Prince of Thorns, The Black Company, The Blade Itself

Thank you to Netgalley and Angry Robot for the reading copy.

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