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Reviewed by Si Ning Yeoh for Readers' Favorite
Meet J.A. Coppinger’s Godslayer, a most unwelcome figure in many an exalted circle. Some, like Lord Sanit, call him a murderous lunatic. Others, like Lady Catrina, see him as a chauvinistic pig. Everybody would agree that he is not a man you want to cross. But the Godslayer doesn’t give a fig about what you think of him. He’s here to do one thing and one thing only: to hunt down those who lay false claim to godhood and kill them. He’s done this job for years and done it well, which is why this latest task irritates him like none other - not only does he have to hold off on slaying a horrible godling in favor of investigating the source of said godling’s great powers, but he also has to cart along some obnoxiously haughty woman as a traveling companion! However, as danger and betrayal come to light, as assassins and tragedy dog their footsteps, the Godslayer must put aside his distractions and do what he does best - survive the threats and kill the false god.
The minute I started reading J.A. Coppinger’s The Screaming God, I was hooked. The Godslayer is an entertainingly flawed antihero. Grossly sexist and obnoxiously sardonic, he projects a cliched image to all and sundry of a barbarian who will gorge, guzzle and wench his way through life without care. The exciting plot does not shy away from his brutal role and tragic experiences in the harshness of this colorfully-crafted medieval world. And yet, as the story unfolds, his character develops to show some hidden depths, like his worldly cunning, soft spot for children and (somewhat twisted) code of conduct. His clashes with the confident Lady Catrina are pure gold in terms of entertaining snark and snappy one-liners, leaving me giggling every time the hard rock of the Godslayer’s head met the unstoppable force that is the Lady Catrina’s determination to seek justice. Through this, and other delightful characters, I felt incredibly invested in their adventures and watched with glee as they bluffed their way into enemy camps and battled detestable characters by the dozens before securing a highly satisfying victory. All in all, The Screaming God is an unabashedly entertaining romp, and I look forward to its sequel.