What do you get when you combine a norse god, a Greek god and an Egyptian god of war and send them on a long journey together?
No it’s the not the start of a bad joke, this is what you get in the 2nd Warfare of the Gods series by CT Ortega. One epic adventure.
I read the first book in the series, The Writer and The Throne, shortly before interviewing the author early last year with my co-host, Holly, for our podcast Speaking LITerally and I must admit I loved it. The whole concept of all the Gods we know from different eras all living in one land, Saggilmut. From Zeus to Thor to Osiris, it was a concept I really liked. The first novel was based on Aaron, the human who was chosen by the most high to be their writer to report on their activities and events and tell their stories. This was a superb novel with a combination of your favourite myths, gods and legends with a brutal, bloody showdown. I didn’t think it could get better, but boy was I wrong!!
Sekhmet and The Curse is not a tale of Odin, Thor and Co’s struggle for power. However it is about a hero’s journey from start to finish. It is a story about Sekhmet, the Egyptian god of war and her strive to rescue her sister, Bastet from Sheol.
You still get the brutal scenes you are used to from the first one, however this is combined with an epic journey and is darker and more emotional than the first, as Sekhmet has to make sacrifices to rescue her sister. Luckily for Sekhmet, she isn’t alone, she is joined by Tyr, the Norse god of war and Ares, the greek god of war, who support her on this rescue mission.
This is a superb story, which keeps you engaged and hooked throughout. As the story progresses we see just how far Sekhmet is willing to go to save her sister. We also see the importance of friendships and connections, as each god of war helps the others to survive, when in theory they should be fighting each other for the true title of god of war.
There are so many important lessons to take away from this story, but for me, one of the biggest takeaways i had from this was the importance of not letting an emotion own you. If a feeling is strong enough, it will latch its claws into you and will shape the person you are if you let it. Even if you change as a person or maybe even forget, that feeling will cling on. A powerful feeling such as guilt can transform a person, even a god and this novel is the perfect example of just how much emotions can take hold of someone.
In the first book we had the epic lands of Asgard and Olympus described to us. The beautiful, powerful lands where the gods reside. This time we explore darker, more dismal lands including the forests of Tunda and Sheol, the afterlife for many gods and humans alike.
These are places you never want to go to in real life and Ortega did a fantastic job of describing the dark, macabre and sinister scenes. All senses were utilised to describe the scene which truly brought the scenes to life and made each area all the more horrific. From the rotting smells and the crunch of bones beneath their feet, to the constant screams of its inhabitants these lands are truly brought to life within the pages.
““We have to keep our hope alive,” Ares said. “A person that does not have hope is settling for whatever comes their way, no matter how low the value. Hope drives us for a better tomorrow”
Many of the characters were introduced to us in the first novel but in this novel you get to find out more about each god of war alongside some new faces. The fierce, violent Sekhmet is overcome with guilt after seeing her sister murdered on the battlefield and as the story progresses we see her go through several other emotions from sorrow to anger and revenge. We also see her softer side as she realises that the other two gods on her journey, Tyr and Ares want to help her and aren’t there for selfish reasons.
I loved seeing these characters built on and developed from the first book, and most of all I liked that it wasn’t the big guys like Thor, Zeus or similar ones who had the limelight but the lesser known gods.
I didn’t realise I would enjoy this one more than the first as I loved the Writer and The Throne but I was proved wrong. This novel had me gripped from the start. The pacing of the novel was perfect and once you are hooked you won’t be able to stop reading until the end.
One of my favourite scenes is the depiction of the ferryman. A figure written about so many times who ferries the souls back and forth to the underworld, to Hades. This description was beautifully done. It was dark, morbid and brutal, just how you would expect the ferryman to be.
Overall, this was an epic fantasy novel and if you are into your dark, more brutal tales I highly recommend this. The bloody, gruesome scenes contrast nicely with Sekhmet’s sisterly love and determination to save the person who is her whole world.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – dark, brutal and bloody but also emotional, moving and full of action. This was a brilliant epic fantasy tale.
The 3rd in the series is out on 31st January so if you haven’t read this one already what are you waiting for?