By the Gods’s Ears by Christopher Fly
AUTHOR: Christopher Fly
PUBLISHED ON: 29 January 2021
RATING: 4.5 Stars
BOOK 1 OF CHANSON DE GUERRE
“To gaze upon that beauty for such a short time and to be able to hold that memory with me, is apt reward for a life of darkness.”
CONVINCING YOU TO READ THIS IN 5 WORDS: Historical classic with a twist, Gods, prophecy, Emotions, Battles
When Prince Henri knocks the door to the house of Gilles and Murielle, everything changes. To protect their daughter, Emmeline from a life of distress and pain, the two of them try to do something rather than surrender to the whims of the Prince. When Gilles is shown a vision, he is overcomed with a new zeal, trusting everything will go well. But everything changes. The vision changes. The secret card that Murielle thought to use to save her daughter shatters and everything is in chaos.
What will happen when Prince Henri comes to take Emmeline with him?
What will happen when the death of the sick-King leads to a war. A war with unknown enemies and Gods.
By the Gods’s Ears by Christopher Fly is one of the most different and thought-provoking book I’ve read. I didn’t know anything about this book or even the existence of this book. It was recommended by Blaise (Under The Radar SFF Books) and the Chanson de guerre part made me want to read this book. And I am so glad I did.
By the Gods’s Ears is unlike any book I’ve read. Typically I read Epic or High Fantasies but this? This book changed so many aspects for me. I have always been a lover of Gods meddling and changing things and prophecies. While this book has a bit of both, I would’ve loved something more. And that is the only small complain that I have. Other than that, everything is something amazing.
Let’s talk about story and characters. Story, brilliantly crafted. Honestly, there was a time when I read 200-300 pages book and be content with it and while over the years that changed and I grew as a reader, this book despite everything made me feel okay, satisfied. The story wasn’t dragged just for the reason, the characters were given space to grow, mysteries that made you feel intrigued, battles that didn’t just result in slaughter of a kingdom and ending that somehow answered so much more that questioned. In short, a recipe for perfection.
I love how the classical tale has a twist. The addition of Gods was a fantastic addition. It was refreshing to see how Gods were not seen for a while and suddenly Gods were just everywhere. Each aspect, how the faith for Gods actually exist, how Gods even when silent know what is happening and more than that coming in terms with faith and also death, some really heavy topics explained so easily and beautifully. I know for a fact that I didn’t realise I was learning so much, at least not until I read the word “Reunion”.
I enjoyed how we glimpse Gods as people. Gods are those who are angry, who fight, who love, who betray, who party, who sing, who fight, who bet, who praise, who admit their regrets, who show emotions. Like honestly, can you imagine- Gods as humans, among humans and yet above them? I am just in awe with all the small details. I love how they fought for someone. It was so humbling to see Gods fight for humans, Gods fighting trying to honor humans.
I haven’t explicitly talked about some main characters and that is deliberate. Because Gilles, Murielle et Emmeline are simply amazing and they deserve happiness.
By the Gods’s Ears has some French words and while chanson de guerre was a good indicator, coming across words in novel not only gave the book a new outlook but made my polyglot heart a moment to smile in glee. The small-small words used in French not just as name but because that word means it. Eg Cheval for horse. Loved it.
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When farmers Gilles and Murielle discover that Prince Henri of the kingdom of Darloque has chosen their daughter Emmeline as his next conquest, Gilles proposes a plan for their daughter to run, while her parents seek help from the Old King.
But Murielle has kept a secret from her husband: a secret life which may be the only thing that can save their daughter. She must resurrect a long dead name, and seek help before it is too late for Emmeline.
Saving Emmeline is only one part of the problem. Henri wishes to be King and reignite a war that can only lead to destruction. Murielle’s quest revives old alliances, and draws her secret identity into a great battle for a kingdom.
Meanwhile, the gods are not at rest. Henri’s actions have drawn the attention of long-forgotten powers. But can he be defeated?
You can read the review for The Many Shades of Midnight here.
You can read the review for Into the Dragon’s Maw here.