The Pagan Night by Tim Akers

Rating 8.0/10
A mystery, epic high drama and a new twist on this genre

The land of Tenumbra was once divided by religion and geography. The Pagan Night sees this land at an age when the North and South are now united under the Celestial Church; the North having forsaken its Pagan past.

As a result, gods (now gheists) are driven to madness by a lack of worship and stalk the lands. The inhabitants of the land have adopted a way of life which is moulded by the rampages of the gheists.

The machinations of the opposing religions (old and new) bring the North and South into conflict once again with Houses Blakely and Adair at the fore of this conflict.

This is the first book in what will be a series based in the lands of Tenumbra. 

Setting aside and some familiar echoes from other fantasy series (rival houses at war and the new and old gods) this story has all the hallmarks of a quality new epic.

There are some great ideas that start to bloom within the books’ pages. The rampaging old gods add a unique twist to this world as do the powers of the new gods, Lady Strife and Lord Cinder, and their followers.

Once I had shaken off the desire to find parallels with more familiar fantasy settings and gave the book a chance I did really get into the story and felt empathy for the main protagonists. After a slow build-up and introduction to this new world the story builds momentum.

There is a climactic part of the story where a war breaks out and from that point onwards the story becomes a page-turner. 

The story does have an element of descriptive horror which is above and beyond that of its contemporaries and I believe the story and feel of the book benefits from this; I hope that this continues in the remainder of the series to come. Overall the Pagan Night has key elements in abundance: a mystery, epic high drama and a new twist on this genre. I look forward to exploring this world further with Akers.
Joe Warren, 8/10

The Celestial Church has all but eliminated the old pagan ways, ruling the people with an iron hand. Demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the warriors of the Inquisition, yet it is the battling factions within the Church and age-old hatreds between north and south that tear the land apart. Malcolm Blakley, hero of the Reaver War, seeks to end the conflict between men, yet it will fall to his son, Ian, and the huntress Gwen Adair to stop the killing before it tears the land apart.

Suhdra and Tener are run by the church who replaced the old religion of the Tenerran. The spirit lines in the six warriors of legend who each have a tattoo of marks on them, murdered by Greenhall's men. Life is hard for the people there, even under the duke who has them work for nothing, while he gets to have his wicked way with their daughters, tended by Tenenan people who struggled while the lord's tables were fat with produce. Malcolm, a duke in the North has, along with his kin been asked to a celebration in Heartsbridge as part of the Celestial church though some, like Ian have no intention of going. He remembers the days when he was a much younger man, but his weathered face and the shocks of grey in his hair show that he is a man hurt by the ravages of war and less than happy with the news that the high elector would be wanting them. The high elector knows of Malcolm's name, Reaverbane, and his fighting spirit, but the high
elector needs Malcolm and Ian to go with him to Greenhall and Duke Halverdt's court.

At first, Malcolm thinks that they are to be reprimanded for not wanting to got to the Celestial arch's behest, but the reason is something else. Even if he is the hero of the Reaver War, Malcolm has his own beliefs that he will sort out the problems of his people, but he can't do this alone, he needs Ian and Gwen Adair to help him if they are to be successful. To search for the truth, one has to look beyond the lies, and this is the sort of book that tells readers to open their eyes to the possibility that even those who are devout to their own religion can and will be tolerant of others pagan views and practises, even in today’s society.

The Pagan Night is an epic of mad gods, inquisitor priests, holy knights bound to hunt and kill, and noble houses fighting battles of politics, prejudice, and power.
Sandra Scholes, 8/10

This The Pagan Night book review was written by and Sandra Scholes

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