Bid the Gods Arise follows the adventures of two cousins, Aric and Maurin. It begins in a pretty standard medieval fantasy format with a hint of prophecy and a bit of dissatisfaction with their provincial lives. The characters are likeable enough and their comraderie is evident. Author Robert Mullins then shakes up both their worlds and genre expectations by having these hapless cousins abducted by slave-trading aliens, destroying a wedding in the
From that point onwards, we are swept along on a journey that parts and reconnects our protagonists with the tides of Mullin’s storytelling. It is a well-thought-out universe with several alien people groups and multiple planets. It is one part sci-fi, one part fantasy and one part Ancient Rome. As the story progresses, we discover fur-covered Maolori, brutish Talormines and of course the soul-sucking vampyric Reamar and the demonic Harvesters. Mullins’ ability to paint his worlds in prose is impressive. I was especially taken with his description of Darkhorn Fell in Chapter 40 and the swamp denizens of Chapter 24, the latter seeming almost a homage to Dagobah of the Star Wars universe. My favorite verse in the entire book amply illustrates his descriptive gifts:
“The moons spilled mercury oceans of light over the stark landscape of the Grey Lands.” P.418
You’ll also enjoy the wide range of characters in this book …unless of course you’re a godless speed-reader who hasn’t quite learned how to enjoy a book yet ;] In addition to the cousins, we have Dania the hardened gladiatrix, mute fur-covered Talauna, a couple of Jedi-like Wardens and even a Talormine. And the forces of evil have their own impressive cast list! Despite the big cast, we see a lot of interpersonal conflict, distinct personalities and a lot of growth. Dania’s is probably the most dramatic, but the development of the cousins should feel eerily similar to those who’ve followed the Majere twins of Dragonlance fame. The book definitely has a Star Wars Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace feel to it… without the annoyingly cute kid and the gratuitous pod race. And especially Jar Jar Binks.
Major themes explored in Bid the Gods Arise include good versus evil, the evils of slavery and the bloody Roman games, the darkness of the human heart and the redemption every human can experience through the one true God. The book also has a bit of pulpit cussing [words you don’t generally find objectionable if your preacher uses them in context] and deals frankly with sex and violence in accordance with the books themes. None of it is overt or gratuitous.
Overall, it’s a great story, full of action, surprises and drama. I was actually surprised more than once. Bid the Gods Arise has an epic feel to it that would translate well into a movie or television series format. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the Well of the Worlds series.
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair,
received this book free from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 […] : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”