This review of H.M. Long’s Temple of No God is late, the 2nd book in the Hall of Smoke is already out, so let’s dive right in! The truth is, my SO and I got a PS5 in December, and, as you can imagine, things have been focused on gaming. But I’m here to remedy that.
I got a free copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, dear publisher, forgive my tardiness. I’ve read the first book through NetGalley again and loved it, as you can see in my Hall of Smoke review. Things started out slow for me, as with the first book, but honestly, it was a great duology. You should read it!
Temple of No God: The Plot
The brutal war between gods is over. Hessa is the High Priestess of the Eangen people and the resurrected god Thvynder. She’s hardly enjoying the fragile peace she’s helped establish and the loveless marriage she’s stuck in. But love is the last thing on her mind as tension rises on the southern border.
A new threat takes root and blossoms. Three factions struggle over the once-great Arpa Empire and the right to rule it. Each is trying to claim the seat of the Arpa Emperor, who’s capable of tapping into a massive source of magical power. That’s a threat that promises to sweep Hessa’s people. And she’s faced with a choice – crown the up-and-coming emperor or kill him.
Of course, accompanied by her most trusted people, she ventures into those hostile territories. But there awaits a new cult, one whose magic sucks the life out of everything. And while Hessa needs to meet the dangers resolute and determined, she also has to learn to see eye to eye with her estranged husband. And why not find a new beginning for their relationship?
Temple of No God: The Characters & World
I’ve always loved Hessa, the strong and brave character she is. But now, a new star emerges on the horizon to steal the spotlight. And I think that’s Hessa’s husband – Imnir, an Algatt and High Priest of Thvynder. He’s a man who’s known the ultimate loss, but don’t let me spoil this for you. His past plays a huge part in why their relationship with Hessa is so strained. Apart from it being a political marriage.
I find something very relatable in Imnir and his attitude toward not only Hessa but the world. And what a world that is – huge, with more people, more lives and stories, and higher stakes. But not everything is what it seems, and Hessa, Imnir, and their companions are not safe, not together, and especially not alone. The world in Temple of No God is even darker, grittier than that in Hall of Smoke, and no one is safe.
Should You Read It?
You still haven’t? What are you waiting for? The book came out on February 1st and is ready for you! Of course, there are some trigger warnings worth mentioning like violence, blood, gore, implicit loss of a family member. If you’re looking for a high fantasy book with a taste of Vikings in it, Temple of No God by H.M. Long will satisfy the craving. It might start out slow (at least for me, it was a slow start, as I mentioned), but it picks up speed and gives you all the action and feelings you might want and need.