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In the Shadow of Bound Gods by Rachel Dunne {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne promises to be an epic fantasy on the darker side, but with anti-heroes that win over your heart despite themselves. I’m a sucker for dead god premises, so I am definitely intrigued right from the start.

Note: I received an advanced copy of In the Shadow of the Gods from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

In the Shadow of Bound Gods by Rachel Dunne {Just Hatched}

In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne (Bound Gods #1)
Published by Harper Voyager on June 21st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals, led by violent, secretive man, must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the “Twins” grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire-lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked, until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

3.5 Stars

How is the writing style?

Third person, past tense from at least two characters’ perspectives from the looks of the first two chapters. I’m entertained by the snarky humor and lack of temper of the opening character, though it looks like he might not stick around. A darkly comic writing style from what I can tell.

General tone of the beginning

The book opens with a set of people climbing a mountain to find the cult dedicated to the bound Twin gods, one of whom is a very pregnant woman. Two of the group don’t make it up the mountain, setting the dark tone immediately, and hints as to what might happen if the Twins are released are dropped right away. While this is clearly a dark story, the magic and characters are fascinating.

Setting, genre, etc?

Dark fantasy, adult. The death of two innocents early on makes it clear that this is a book for adults and of course the bound gods being clearly present makes it solid epic fantasy.


  1. My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
  2. Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
  3. Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
  4. Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
  5. Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)

I’m giving In the Shadow of the Gods a 3.5 star rating. I’m worried that the pace will get a bit slow after the initial excitement, which makes me less inclined to start it with my current reading mood, but I’m seriously intrigued and will keep this one in mind when I want an inventive dark fantasy.

Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Sounds like a good analysis for the first chapter of this one. I’ll wait for your review before adding it to my TBR or not. :)
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