In the beginning there were gods and they lived in harmony, but then one of them went rogue and basically became a bad guy (god? devil?). There was a great war and the renegade god was banished into an inescapable prison. We all saw a similar beginning countless times before, starting from the Bible and all the way to Tolkien's [b:The Silmarillion|7332|The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)|J.R.R. Tolkien|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336502583s/7332.jpg|4733799]. Here is where the similarities end.
After the great war all the human nations agreed to create Safe Territories where people would worship gods and live peaceful lives without the need of a military force to defend themselves. Suddenly a new violent religion came out of nowhere with a single goal to destroy the places of worship of the gods. Their first logical place of conquest would be Safe Territories. Other nations decided to join the fun as well.
This is the first book of what seems to be a four-book series of epic fantasy. There are a lot of POVs in the book of some interesting characters the major ones being Adam - a male prostitute who ended up in a military's death squad, a former criminal Ayrton currently from Safe Territories, young brother (a monk that is, not somebody's sibling) Ewan, Commander Mali of one of the major military forces in the conflict; all of these and much more make up for an interesting cast of multidimensional characters with none of them being a pure villain, or Mary Sue.
The plot was interesting enough to suck me in and keep interested all the way until I finished the book. It definitely belongs to subcategory of grimdark fantasy, but I never felt it was dark just for the sake of being such. While it deals with some gruesome subjects, it was never too gory for me.
The final verdict is 4 solid stars with the next book of the series promptly going to my to-read shelf.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/959516/this-fantasy-debut-exceeded-my-expectations