When the saints fail, the sinners step up.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.
The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies’s website.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Thirteenth Hour Review
Did I know what to expect from an adult gaslamp fantasy before reading The Thirteenth Hour? I fully did not.
Is this a new genre I’m obsessed with now? Oh heck yes.
I’m in full fangirl mode (and, know you will be too).
Come with me into the world of the Chime, powered by steam and a healthy fear of cruel gods and those who enforce their wrath. Like all my favorite fantasy novels, I spent the first bit frantically devouring Skies’ prose to figure out what even was going on. That heady dive-in-the-deep-end feeling gave way to a thoroughly built-out world and a persistent worry about Kayl and Quen.
Skies’ world-building alone makes this a five-star read. With every page, she added new depth to the differences between all twelve (yes TWELVE) domains and races of people while keeping the plot humming along as we move deeper into the book.
I loved that Kayl wasn’t the traditional “yes, I am the MC and therefore I can do all the things, instantly!” fantasy character. As a fellow holder of strong opinions learning about the depth of her commitments and beliefs felt natural and her path to discovering more about how she fits into such a unique world felt like I had watched a friend go through a time of great personal growth.
For those seeking a fantasy that is as fresh and bracing as a cup of strong tea, main characters that you adore (and sometimes lovingly want to throttle), and a world you can lose yourself in, The Thirteenth Hour is an immediate must-add to your TBR.
Check out other favorites from previous blog tour stops here.