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We Dream of Gods by Devin Madson

We Dream of Gods by Devin Madson from @orbitbooks #Fantasy #bookreview

We Dream of Gods by Devin Madson

Orbit, pb, £9.67

Reviewed by Sarah Deeming

The front cover of We Dream of Gods by Devin Madson. The front cover shows a man on horseback holding a sword. The man and horse are standing on a cliff against a purple sky.

The Chiltern and Kisians are coming together in a war that will change the political landscape forever, but Miko has no control as she is empress only in name, and Minister Manshin is calling all the shots. If she can’t find a way to take back control, Manshin will marry her to Leo Villus, and she will lose her position and all the power she has fought to obtain.

Rah faces a similar issue with his Levanti. They have had enough of this war for a land that isn’t theirs; they just want to go home. But Rah’s sense of justice means he can’t turn his back on the evil in Kisia or the Levanti following the disgraced Horse Whisperer, Ezma. He must follow his heart even if it isolates him from his people again.

As the series draws close, the characters must unite against Leo Villius, the abomination with one soul spread over seven bodies, or the Kisian empire will be torn apart and plunged into darkness.

This is the fourth book in Devin Madson’s The Reborn Empire series; everything is drawing to a close, and so with this comes the natural increase in pace. We Dream of Gods goes straight into the action, with Miko verbally sparring with Manshin, trying to carve back some element of the autonomy she once enjoyed. We start to see what’s meant by the series title The Empire Reborn. In the first book, We Ride the Storm, we see Miko struggling with a male-dominated society, and her approach to handling her issues is powerful and assertive. By the end of We Dream of Gods, we see significant changes.

One of the things that niggled me about the series was Rah’s static character. He is so just and honest; what was refreshing in the first book had started grating by the end of the third. However, there was a purpose for this which is revealed in the fourth book, and it was worth the wait. I loved Rah’s storyline, his relationship with Miko and Gideon, his conflict with Ezma, and his ultimate endpoint.

The ending is everything I could have wanted. There are epic clashes on all sides, subterfuge and political alliance made with unlikely comrades, and last-stand battles that the future of the empire hinges on. It is a satisfying conclusion to the Miko/Leo story arc with enough hints of another series following Rah and Gideon back to Levanti.

We Dream of Gods is a fitting conclusion to a powerful, character-driven series that tears down the patriarch and rebuilds with women taking a more central role. I have enjoyed this series from start to finish, and it has been a real privilege to have advanced copies to review. I hope I’m right that there is another series following Rah and Gideon because that would be amazing. Highly recommended.

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