~ Happy reading ~
This review contains spoiler for Gameboard of the Gods, the first part of The Age of X series.
Mae Koskinen is Justin March's personally assigned Praetorian to protect him during his religous investigations inside and outside of The Republic of United North America (RUNA). Futhermore Justin struggles as Odin's elect to repel the god's power. Mae, one of the elect too, gets connect with a female deity. The goddess wants to help her get back her niece.
When politician Lucian Darling wants to head his campaign into Arcadia, RUNA's dangerous neighboring country, he wants to take Justin and Mae with him. At first Justin didn't want to go but Mae ask for him to follow Lucian - her deity has revealed that her niece lives in Arcadia now. In Arcadia, where women and girls are commodities and lesser beings...
It took me ages to read and finish this book. Part of it wasn't fault of The Immortal Crown but part of it was. It took nearly 35 % of the book until they are finally starting their journey to Arcadia. I'm not the 'rules above everything' kind of girl but maybe you've heard a thing about Larry Brooks and his guide of structering a story. There is this thing called 'the first plot point' when our heroes receive their marching orders and sets out on the journey. This point should be reached around 25 % of a story. Truelly these 10 % plus were palpable. After The Immortal Crown reached this point it picked up pace and - thankfully - became way more enjoyable.
It was interesting to learn more about mysterious Arcadia and the horrible conditions women had to live in. And I liked to get to know Tessa more. Her POV was way more present in The Immortal Crown. This helped me, as the reader, to stay connected with the RUNA while Mae and Justin were away.
But the best parts of the book were the ones when the gods became present. There were a lot more deities mentioned (on the Gameboard) than in the prequel. Therefore, the RUNA wasn't a very religous country, a lot of it's inhabitants were following or serving the gods.
Mae and Justin were no exception dealing with the gods. Their personal relationship was intruiging because it expanded into way more serious channels. But everytime they finally seemed to work out something happened. It was hard to read but a necessity to keep the reader entertained. I liked the revelations at the end, although waiting for the sequel is once more a tough challenge.
One thing I didn't get: the title. Maybe it is going to be important for the next book but for this book it was nearly irrelevant. Or did I miss the hints before it was solely alluded?
*** I received a free ARC from Dutton/Penguin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***