GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review ARC: The Guild (Guardians of Destiny #3) by Jean Johnson + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review ARC: The Guild (Guardians of Destiny #3) by Jean Johnson + giveaway

The Guild (Guardians of Destiny #3)
by Jean Johnson
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 6th 2014

by Berkley Trade
Cult’s awareness, it shall rise:
Hidden people, gather now;
Fight the demons, fight your doubt.
Gearman’s strength shall then endow,
When Guild’s defender casts them out.

For centuries, the mages of Mekhana have done their best to hide themselves and their powers from the rapacious needs of their so-called Patron Deity, Mekha. Greatest of their secrets is the Vortex, a Fountain hidden in the heart of the Hydraulics Guild. But even after the dissolution of Mekha and the freeing of his people, Alonnen isn’t ready to reveal his guardianship to outsiders. Particularly when the remnants of Mekha’s priesthood start looking for a new monstrosity to worship.

Rexei has hidden more than her powers for most of her life; she has also hidden her gender, wary of the hungers of the old priesthood. Only in the safety of the Hydraulics Guild’s innermost secrets can she be herself. While the rest of her people struggle to reinvent themselves and find a deity they can trust, Rexei struggles to trust just one man, the Guardian of the Vortex. Events are moving fast, though; the priesthood is desperate for any new source of power, even a demonic one that requires certain sacrifices to access.

Evil priests, a mage eating god, as well as mayhem and treachery at every turn are only part of what makes this steampunk tale great fun. Rexei is a young woman who has hidden her gender and mage abilities for years. Trying to maintain her gender identity as a male, she consequently earns a place in many of the guilds throughout the land as an apprentice; her most recent apprenticeship is with the stewards. She is sent to spy on the priests of Mekah, who have captured mages through the years and feeding the mage magic to their evil god. Through a series of events the power of the god disappears leaving the priesthood in chaos and the peoples of this country seeking a new beginning before the priests have the opportunity to establish an even more evil presence as their god.

There is plenty of intrigue with wonderful world building and all of the fantastical machines that make this genre such fun to read. The characters are colorful and likable and even not having read prior installments in the series, it read very well as a standalone novel inspiring curiosity about what might have transpired prior to this work. There is a bit of humor and even a bit of a romance with some smexy goings on, which is tastefully written, for those who enjoy throwing this in the mix.

I enjoyed the story very much and seriously wish I had my own motor-horse, definitely a recommended read for adult steampunk fans.

5 Sheep


About the Author:
Jean Johnson currently lives in the Pacific Northwest, has played in the SCA for 25 years, sings a lot, and argues with her cat about territorial rights to her office chair. She loves hearing from her readers, and has a distinct sense of humor. Right now she's living in a home with zone heating & decent plumbing, but hopes to some day put turrets and ramparts on it so that it looks like a castle.

a print copy of The Guild to one US winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm gonna have to catch up with this new-to-me series! It sounds fantastic!

  2. I love everything Jean Johnson has written, she is amazing. Can't wait for this book to fall on my doormat.
    If you want to read the previous books, you should start with the Sons of Destiny series, although that is more romance perhaps, it is the build up for this spin off series, where more the world is explored. Especially the destroying of Mekha is explained in there.

    1. This was my first read from this author and it was great fun. I will have to go back and check out more for sure :)

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