cover image The Gutter Prayer

The Gutter Prayer

Gareth Hanrahan. Orbit, $15.99 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-0-316-52531-2

Interesting monsters and a steady pace carry Hanrahan’s epic fantasy debut. As an unholy war between mad deities and divinely powered saints sweeps across the land, the city of Guerdon is a bastion for hundreds of refugees, including Carillon Thay, a new member of the Thieves’ Brotherhood. In the aftermath of a disastrous heist, Carillon is plagued by mysterious visions as shape-shifting Ravellers, servants of the ancient and evil Black Iron Gods, take to the streets for the first time in decades. Along with Rat, a corpse-eating ghoul, and Spar, whose flesh is slowly calcifying into rock, Carillon must navigate a city of monsters and powerful guilds to protect her friends from full-scale apocalypse. Hanrahan brings the sights, sounds, and smells of Guerdon to life with crisp, lyrical prose that moves swiftly between thrilling action sequences and imaginative worldbuilding. Equal parts grim and entertaining, this series launch balances fresh ideas with familiar tropes to create a satisfying story. (Jan.)