In the Shadow of the Fall

Tor.com. (Guardians of the Gods, Bk. 1). Jul. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781250907967. $20.99. FANTASY
Ashâke, a devoted but frustrated acolyte of the orisha at the temple of Ifa, disobeys all the order’s strictures in her attempt to force the orisha to speak to her so she can become the priest she’s always longed to be. When Ashâke discovers that her gods are dead, she escapes the peaceful, sheltered temple to discover that everything she has believed is a lie—but the truth isn’t what the rest of the world believes either. Not all her gods are dead, but someone is trying to make it so, and Ashâke’s rebellion has provided them with the perfect means kill off the remaining gods. This touches off a war between gods and men. Caught between competing, partial truths, Ashâke isn’t sure what to believe at the end of this story, but readers will be left eagerly anticipating her decision about the fate of her world.
VERDICT In Ogundiran’s (Jackal, Jackal) West African–based epic fantasy, the first in a duology, Ashâke learns the truths of her world and becomes a linchpin in the coming conflict between gods and godslayers. A sure hit for fans of Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Moses Ose Utomi, and N.K. Jemisin.
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