Buried in the scriptures of Ibea lies a story of rivalry, betrayal, stolen love, and the bitter division of the gods into two factions This rift forced the lesser deities to pledge their divine loyalty either to the shining Eternal Kingdom or the darkness of the UnderworldWhen a demon sneaks into the mortal world and murders an innocent girl to get to her sister Chaeli, all pretence of peace between the gods is shattered For Chaeli is no ordinary mortal, she is a demi goddess, in hiding for centuries, even from herself But there are two divine brothers who may have fathered her, and the fate of Ibea rests on the source of her bloodChaeli embarks on a journey that tests her heart, her courage, and her humanity Her only guides are a man who died a thousand years ago in the Dragon Wars, a former assassin for the Underworld, and a changeling who prefers the form of a catThe lives of many others the hideously scarred Anya and her gaoler the enigmatic and cruel Captain Kerne the dissolute Prince Dal and gentle seer Hana all become entwined The gods will once walk the mortal plane spreading love, luck, disease, and despair as they prepare for the final, inevitable battleIn Search of Gods and Heroes, Book One of Children of Nalowyn, is a true epic of sweeping proportions which becomes progressively darker as the baser side of human nature is explored, the failings and ambitions of the gods is revealed, and lines between sensuality and sadism, love and lust are blurred


10 thoughts on “In Search of Gods and Heroes

  1. Tixie Dean Tixie Dean says:

    I read parts of this on a writing site a few years back, but when I re read it over the weekend it was clear that the author has spent time developing the world, story and characters.This was a great, smooth read involving different point of view characters We re thrown into a world of gods and demons and the first chapter takes us to the heart of the action The story starts off with a seemingly typical storyline orphaned girl, destined for greater things but it soon becomes clear there s I read parts of this on a writing site a few years back, but when I re read it over the weekend it was clear that the author has spent time developing the world, story and characters.This was a great, smooth read involving different point of view characters We re thrown into a world of gods and demons and the first chapter takes us to the heart of the action The story starts off with a seemingly typical storyline orphaned girl, destined for greater things but it soon becomes clear there s so muchat stake and so muchthan one person s destiny Gods meddle in the lives of the mortals, demons break treaties and humans betray one another There s a mortal and godly war comingand it promises to be intense.I loved the character of Sheiva a smart talking changeling that takes the form of a cat, and the strength of Anya is amazing Overall, this was a great read, and I look forward to book 2.Warning though this ends on a cliffhanger


  2. Bret James Stewart Bret James Stewart says:

    This book has a lot going for it The cover art is attractive, and the text is pretty much error free I mention this because the publisher seems to be a hybrid publisher close to self publishing, and my primary gripe with self published works is lack of quality in regard to art and editing The novel is largely based upon Greek mythology, thematically and character wise I am somewhat confused as to the audience of the book as some descriptions refer to as a YA book whereas others do not In an This book has a lot going for it The cover art is attractive, and the text is pretty much error free I mention this because the publisher seems to be a hybrid publisher close to self publishing, and my primary gripe with self published works is lack of quality in regard to art and editing The novel is largely based upon Greek mythology, thematically and character wise I am somewhat confused as to the audience of the book as some descriptions refer to as a YA book whereas others do not In any case, there is enough sexual content in the book to make me feel it is not targeting a YA audience or shouldn t be.The story does have a strong female protagonist, so those liking this characteristic will be well pleased The protagonist is flawed, and she grows throughout the novel, which I appreciate even if she does possess the rather trite characteristics of the unwilling heroine with stereotypical romantic problems including agonizing between the good and the bad boy The world is realistic in its own context, and the Classical mythological tropes help an educated reader relate to the story This is a classic good vs evil smackdown, although some of the characters are in the middle The general tale involves the setting of Ibea and the divine realms wherein the gods are struggling over the world and its inhabitants Enter the protagonist, Chaeli, who is actually a demi goddess not an unusual occurrence with the promiscuous gods of the Greek pantheon , and who is the key to the future A good bit of the storyline revolves around the question of which god is her father as the fate of the world depends upon this fact.I find the characters well done, and some of them, such as Anya, the scarred literally sister of one of Chaeli s love interests, I particularly liked Smith has included characters who are polar opposites who must cooperate in order to create conflict and tension, which is an effective, if not new, literary device.Despite all of its good qualities, I just couldn t get into the story The only other book I can remember ever doing this with was Moby Dick I spent the entire time thinking I would get into it and enjoy it, although it was good enough to keep me hoping In the end, neither book delivered for me I almost hate to say this because of the other positive qualities of the book, so I am ranking it four stars as the tale probably would be great to others and my lukewarm end view unusual There isn t even anything about the book I can think of that I did not like I would be willing to read the next book in the series or another of her books


  3. Jake Jake says:

    I was lucky enough to have a glimpse of this novel a few years back on a writing website and enjoyed it even then Naturally, it has since progressed and matured into the fantastic end product that was a joy to read.In Search of Gods and Heroes is a coming of age tale where Chaeli, the protagonist is thrust into a world of deities, demons, fae and magic following the death of her sister by the hands of a sinister demon Running from her old life she gains the aid of a former Underworld assassi I was lucky enough to have a glimpse of this novel a few years back on a writing website and enjoyed it even then Naturally, it has since progressed and matured into the fantastic end product that was a joy to read.In Search of Gods and Heroes is a coming of age tale where Chaeli, the protagonist is thrust into a world of deities, demons, fae and magic following the death of her sister by the hands of a sinister demon Running from her old life she gains the aid of a former Underworld assassin, his healing sister, a guardian of the Eternal Kingdom and his fae sidekick come best friend I won t spoil the book for those who haven t read yet, but as Chaeli begins to discover that she is far from the normal girl she though that she was, the importance of her existence is unravelled thread by thread Soon, Gods are breaking oaths and walking amongst mortals for their masters, their familiars jostling for favour, all because of this mysterious young woman within whom lies a power, once dormant and dark Smith is clearly inspired by Greek mythology and this story pays homage to those tales of Gods and monsters that also pulled me into reading and writing fantasy when I was a child.To be honest, even though I d read part of this book a few years ago, I had a some reservations before picking up the finished article Firstly, high fantasy books, for me, are very hit or miss I either love them, or hate them Very few ever lay across the fence Also, young adult novels have a tendency to wind me up the wrong way Whether it s the obligatory love triangles or the lack of depth, I sometimes struggle to enjoy them Finally, the female protagonist I don t know why, call me sexist if you will, but I have an issue relating with and enjoying novels where a female is the protagonist It is, however, a testament to Mrs Smith s work that I found myself wanting to readand , stretching out my lunch breaks to squeeze in as many pages as possible All of my worries regarding the novel were quickly snuffed out and I found myself very involved in the story cursing at Chaeli for making, in my opinion, the wrong decisions not that I can blame her for getting into that caravan of whores, bewitched or not , at Nathan for his over compensating bravado and Adley for getting too close to Chaeli and not trying hard enough not to fall in for her bloody moron You knew what you were doing These characters pulled me through a world that lives and breathes and everything I learned about it seemed to have significance within the main story arc Smith has done a fantastic job of building an animated world that invited me in from the beginning from the blood sports, to the cities steeped in history and their varying castes, every detail enriched the experienced adding layers of depth that I found missing from other debut novels.The only downside I found to this book was the ending in that there was no real culmination of the party s actions Granted, this is book one of the series so I understand that not everything can be wrapped up yet, but I feel that an end objective for Chaeli was missing Take Lord of the Rings for example, the ring wasn t destroyed at the end of Fellowship of the Ring, but we knew what the ring bearer s end goal was and the road he would be forced to travel by The Council of Elrond just over halfway into the book I would have liked some kind of revelation at the end of book one to give me a hint at least as to what was to come in following instalments, an insight as to what may be asked of Chaeli in her future.In Search of Gods and Heroes is a fantastic and engaging debut novel that urged me to keep reading It is a very promising start to a series with fantastic potential I have every faith that this is the start of a long and successful writing career for Smith


  4. Ellen Croshain Ellen Croshain says:

    Fantasy fans you need to read this book It s as vivid and as glorious George.R.R Martin and Tolkien Ibea is a rich and vibrant world, grabbing the reader by the face and refusing to let go Smith has done the near impossible she has balanced a huge, epic storyline with intense and believable characters, whom you are invested in from the moment you meet them Political intrigue, scheming gods and a journey of self discovery, everything a good fantasy novel needs I cannot wait for Book Two


  5. Laura Laura says:

    Thank you to the author, Sammy H.K Smith, for gifting me with a copy of In Search of Gods and Heroes through a common connection All opinions expressed are my own.Before I say anything else, let me tell you I spent a good hour agonizing over this book and what to rate it I ve never felt constrained by my rating system before but I definitely do now I m just so conflicted On one hand, the complexity that this author built up in 420 pages is astounding but on the other, there are clear areas Thank you to the author, Sammy H.K Smith, for gifting me with a copy of In Search of Gods and Heroes through a common connection All opinions expressed are my own.Before I say anything else, let me tell you I spent a good hour agonizing over this book and what to rate it I ve never felt constrained by my rating system before but I definitely do now I m just so conflicted On one hand, the complexity that this author built up in 420 pages is astounding but on the other, there are clear areas of improvement kept this from perfection If you couldn t tell, I have a lot to say about this book so strap in 1 The characters This is the area that I was most conflicted by There is a healthy cast of characters that each have their own feelings and perspective I loved getting to hear from each of the characters and their interactions are spot on The issue I had, though, is the lack of backstory It s hinted at and briefly explained in various portions of the novel in a broad, sweeping sense, but not on a personal note which kept the character s themselves feeling slightly vague and shadowy The characters were anything but flat Nathan especially but they are very murky which really bothered me.2 The romance I m not sure how I feel about this There s a very clear love square defined by about the first third of the book and by love square I mean three guys interested in one girl I m very much not a fan of love triangles that are done in the wrong way but if they raise good questions for the characters, then I m all for it In this book, I don t see that happening very much the two closest guys are both doing the typical I want to love you but I ll corrupt your soul I swore an oath of protection and not love deal which isn t very valuable There is a question of lineage brought into play, though, that makes itvaluable for the MC Chaeli So overall, the romance is a meh for me.3 The setting world I have a complicated relationship with this aspect as well While the world is lush and rich, it isn t terribly well defined, like the characters There s a map in the beginning which was truly appreciated but I do wish there was a littleof an introductory period or a bit of help from the internal dialogue of the characters to explain some things like the orientation of the different countries and which ones were countries and which ones were just cities and what land forms are where that sort of thing It s all included in the map, but it s nice to be reminded of these things now and again so you don t have to keep flipping back to the map This is entirely personal preference but I m kind of an impatient reader Despite this, I think the world building is the author s strength in this novel.4 The POV s This is one of my favorite parts of the book along with the world building We are given so many different perspectives that reveal our unreliable narrators and their personal lenses that they see the world through The perspectives aren t labeled but you re able to figure out who is speaking within a paragraph The voices are distinct although some of the character vagueness does carry over Mostly, I enjoyed how many angles of the story we were able to see I ll talk about this in the next section, but it also helped move the plot along and keep the tension up If you just saw the story through only a few of the perspectives, the plot wouldn t be as engaging because there is so much happening behind the scenes The book is slightly political which means there s plenty of backstage maneuvering.5 The plot And last but not least, the plot As I said above, once you get past the halfway point, the urgency seems to die down from a couple of the POV s but it picks up in others which keeps it going There s the typical action plotline, the political plotline, the romance plotline, the godly plotline, and the list goes on and on The author does a stellar job of keeping them all in balance and weaving them together so you don t get too overwhelmed and everything ties together nicely You have to use a little brain power and surmising but take it from someone who enjoys mysteries on a regular basis it isn t too hard to keep up and any inferences you make are carefully guided by the actions of the characters It may not seem like the author is leading you in a certain direction until you realize that you ended up exactly where she wanted you to be I admit, it sounds strange, but it s exactly what mystery writers do when they write their endings.The Final Verdict While I do have a complicated relationship with this book, the plot, POV s, and world building are stand outs with their complexity and finesse I do wish the characters and the overall orientation of the world were a bitdefined.3.5 stars


  6. Joanne Hall Joanne Hall says:

    When a demon forces his way into Chaeli s home and kills her sister, Chaeli is thrown into a new world where nothing is as it first appears A world where living gods stalk the land, playing out their games of spite and malice, where alliances are uncertain and shifting, and where her own mysterious heritage makes her a pawn in a deadly game of good vs evil Can she trust an Underworld assassin, a dead man, or a changeling who prefers the form of a cat Sammy HK Smith s debut novel is a tightly p When a demon forces his way into Chaeli s home and kills her sister, Chaeli is thrown into a new world where nothing is as it first appears A world where living gods stalk the land, playing out their games of spite and malice, where alliances are uncertain and shifting, and where her own mysterious heritage makes her a pawn in a deadly game of good vs evil Can she trust an Underworld assassin, a dead man, or a changeling who prefers the form of a cat Sammy HK Smith s debut novel is a tightly paced coming of age story set in a world where the living gods bicker and play politics just like earthly men Ibea is a richly characterised world, full of broken seers, scarred herbalists, mysterious librarians, spies and counter spies Everyone, including the gods, plays to their own agenda, and the way Smith has weaved deception and counter deception is skillful The reader is never sure who to trust even Chaeli, or the innocent seer Hanna, or quiet, scarred Anya, have their own secrets and desires that may set them at odds with both their companions and, sometimes, with themselves And because of this conflict the story heads towards some dark places as it twists and tangles In some places it s unsettling Captain Kerne s abuse of both Anya and Hanna is disturbing, but although the story is bleak, it s not without hope Guardian Adley is pure of heart, a beacon of good in a dark world, as is conflicted Nathan who struggles to do the right thing by and for Chaeli.It s a shame there hasn t yet been a sequel published, as the story is left on a number of cliffhangers and with plenty of questions left open Recommended for those who like their fantasy on the dark side


  7. Joel Cornah Joel Cornah says:

    This book is immensely powerful Smith manages to create vast swathes of emotion in each of her characters Some you intensely despise, some you really feel for.What seems at first your run of the mill chosen one fantasy very quickly reveals itself to be a complex and subtle tale of power and corruption, of allegiances and treachery Chaeli is a brilliantly crafted protagonist who holds her own, creates her own path, and makes her own decisions Around her are people who love her, people who h This book is immensely powerful Smith manages to create vast swathes of emotion in each of her characters Some you intensely despise, some you really feel for.What seems at first your run of the mill chosen one fantasy very quickly reveals itself to be a complex and subtle tale of power and corruption, of allegiances and treachery Chaeli is a brilliantly crafted protagonist who holds her own, creates her own path, and makes her own decisions Around her are people who love her, people who hate her, and people who want to use her Sometimes these can be the same person.The main villain, Eli, is a truly spiteful fellow and you get the distinct feeling that this isn t your usual I am evil look how evil I am King of the Underworld, but a deeply hurt and petty child who just wants to be loved.The most loathsome character is a man called Kerne who I found myself wishing death upon after only a few appearances By the end I was hoping he d have a pillow thrust over his head while he slept It is a testament to how well Smith creates her characters that you genuinely root for and against so many of them I wait on the edge of my seat for the next installment


  8. Kate Kate says:

    A brilliant first book in the series, and definitely worth a read.I admit it took me a little while to get into this book, hence the four stars Chaeli didn t immediately grab me as a character and I struggled to get started However, by the time Sheiva got on the scene I was hooked I love that cat and Anya s story really grabbed me The writing is engaging and the world is fabulous the political intrigues between the various different factions are well played the darker characters are part A brilliant first book in the series, and definitely worth a read.I admit it took me a little while to get into this book, hence the four stars Chaeli didn t immediately grab me as a character and I struggled to get started However, by the time Sheiva got on the scene I was hooked I love that cat and Anya s story really grabbed me The writing is engaging and the world is fabulous the political intrigues between the various different factions are well played the darker characters are particularly interesting Metlina is probably my favourite so far and the different places are brought to life quickly and easily I am eagerly awaiting the next book to find out what happens


  9. Hugh Hugh says:

    Loved it The inventive characters and engaging storyline kept me so engrossed I read it in just 5 days, which considering that I had been working and the world cup is on is some feat I can t wait for the next installment, hopefully it comes soon


  10. Sammy Smith Sammy Smith says:

    So, yeahI think I m allowed to rate my own I hope Anyway, I liked it