The blurb deifies:
Some say that in the city of Orlyn, godhood is on sale to the highest bidder. Thousands flock to the city each year, hoping for a chance at immortality.
Lydia Hastings is a knowledge sorcerer, capable of extracting information from anything she touches. When she travels to Orlyn to validate the claims of the local faith, she discovers a conspiracy that could lead to a war between the world’s three greatest powers. At the focal point is a prisoner who bears a striking resemblance to the long-missing leader of the pantheon she worships.
Rescuing the prisoner would require risking her carefully cultivated cover – but his execution could mean the end of everything Lydia holds dear.
I feel kind of bad for the author of this book – he’s obviously put a lot of work into it, but it’s just not grade-A material. Judging from the editing errors I think the book was probably self-published which would explain it.
The author has clearly put a lot of thought into the magic system, but as it’s never fully explained to the reader, you just have to kind of take the author’s word that whatever the characters just did is possible, follows the rules and makes sense. People turning out to be illusions is overused, and it gets to be annoying.
Like the magic system the religions obviously have structure and thought behind them, but since they aren’t explained to the reader it’s a bit unclear what the characters’ beliefs and the pantheons are.
The action is mostly written well, with some very dramatic scenes.
I get the impression that all of the male characters fancy all of the female ones and (to a lesser extent) vice versa, which seems unrealistic. I suspect the author is single and fancies every woman he meets, and this worldview has seeped into his writing.
The point of view jumps around, and it feels a bit arbitrary rather than tied to the plot. Exactly once in the book the narration jumps backward in time, which was disorienting.
The main character suffers a bit from paragon syndrome – unrealistic, unimpeachable, perfect morality. It’s annoying but isn’t as obtrusive as in some other books.
The book had a few dramatic reveals but no big twist – from the beginning both the characters and the reader have a suspicion of what’s going on and they’re correct.
Like a lot of fantasy books, many of the made-up names are unpronounceable and confusing.
The main plot of the book is resolved by the end, but there are a lot of loose ends which I assume will be addressed in later books.