The Bladed Faith (The Vagrant Gods #1) by David Dalglish
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Paperback. 512 pages.
About The Bladed Faith:
"A usurped prince prepares to take up the mantel of a deadly assassin and reclaim his kingdom, his people, and his slain gods in this epic fantasy from a USA Today bestselling author.
Cyrus was only twelve years old when his gods were slain, his country invaded, and his parents—the king and queen—beheaded in front of him. Held prisoner in the invader's court for years, Cyrus is suddenly given a chance to escape and claim his revenge when a mysterious group of revolutionaries comes looking for a figurehead. They need a hero to strike fear into the hearts of the imperial and to inspire and unite the people. They need someone to take up the skull mask and swords and to become the legendary "Vagrant"—an unparalleled hero and assassin of otherworldly skill.
But all is not as it seems. Creating the illusion of a hero is the work of many, and Cyrus will soon discover the true price of his vengeance."
The Bladed Faith was such a great and truly riveting story that I’m not kicking myself for not reading Dalglish’s other books already when I had the opportunity! The Bladed Faith is a book about revolutions, rebellion, and fighting for what’s right no matter the cost it will take to get there. The stakes are extraordinarily high, and the characters in The Bladed Faith are not afraid of those stakes or anyone who poses a threat to them.
In The Bladed Faith, we follow the orphaned and usurped prince Cyrus as he has the opportunity to be molded into a revolutionary figure known as “Vagrant” that will serve as a source of inspiration and strength to his kingdom to fight back against their oppressors of the Everlorn Empire. The Everlorn Empire is particularly brutal in how they invade a nation, as they take care to slaughter the gods of each land they invade in front of their devotees in order to jumpstart the breaking of their spirits, as the Everlorn Empire intends to eventually mold them into following their own religion.
We largely follow the perspectives of Cyrus, Stasia, Mari, and Rayan, though there are other characters that are important to follow in this book as well. I was particularly drawn to Rayan for his loyalty and overall demeanor, but I truly enjoyed following each and every one of these characters. I think Dalglish did excellent work in creating characters that I found myself fully invested in and rooting for every step of the way, as well as characters that all felt multi-dimensional and truly able to stand apart from one another. Because of their many differences, I found myself really enjoying watching the relationship between various characters and how different aspects of their personalities worked with others. For instance, Stasia is a tough, hardened warrior, while her sister, Mari, is a somewhat quieter and more peaceful person (well… for the most part), so seeing how those two interacted and how their relationship was affected by that was really compelling to watch. And if you love having an antagonist to hate, trust me when I say you’ll absolutely loathe the villain character of The Bladed Faith.
In addition to the great characters, plot, and world-building, it is the pacing and writing in this book that I think really set it over the top for me enjoyment-wise. I really couldn’t put this book down due to the fact that there was constantly something compelling happening that had me hooked. It’s not that there’s constant action–although there’s plenty of action to keep you entertained–but rather that there’s just always something interesting and important to the plot happening that makes every page feel important. There’s also plenty of information thrown at us along the way as well about the world and its history, but I never found it overwhelming, and instead felt that it worked well in the story and only added to the depth of the world and our characters.
This book is full of political intrigue, religion, and of course rebellion. It is also a book full of tough, compelling characters from many different backgrounds that come together to fight together for a greater cause than any of them. Not only do they want to free Cyrus’ kingdom from their oppressors, but also on a much grander scale they want to take back the land that the Everlorn Empire has overtaken, spreading to regions even further and wider than Cyrus was aware of. There are some pretty big twists and discoveries that Cyrus is confronted with throughout the story–and in particular some pretty big things at the end of the story–that make this story feel much bigger than what we get to see in this first installment, which is already pretty big. I was also captivated by the world-building in The Bladed Faith and am particularly excited to see how Dalglish will continue to expand this world-building in future books.
Overall, I’ve given The Bladed Faith 5 stars! I’m excited to see where Dalglish where take this story in the future because it has some pretty huge potential, and I have high hopes that things are going to get even more epic as the series continues. Also–I guess it’s time to start diving into David Dalglish’s backlist while I wait for more!
*I received a copy of The Bladed Faith courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*