That’s right. It’s another book, and one with a cover! This time, it’s Gods of Londinium, another in the godlings series — a kind of prequel/companion to Pilgrim of the Sky, my first novel. This one is a long time coming, but I am so excited to see Joss Raddick’s story come to light after all this time. It’s a huge, sweeping story, and marks my first fantasy novel with Falstaff (Rock Revival was straight fiction, and the Frost & Filigree trilogy was comprised of novellas).
Gods of Londinium is best described as American Gods meets The Stress of Her Regard (or, as I like to call it, “The Sea Witcher”). It’s the story of Joss Raddick, godling of the sea, and takes place in an alternate Regency period history where Rome never left Britain. It’s a coming of age story, a romance, and at its heart, an adventure! Pulling from The Odyssey, Romantic poetry, and history, it features new godlings with familiar threads to the original book. There are a lot of feels in this book, a whole ton of them. I have a lot to say about the story, but not today. I’ve got time, after all.
The quick overview…
Joss Raddick arrives in Londinium like a godling of old: powerful, strange, and almost inhuman. He is swiftly taken under the wing of Andrew LaRoche, Vertacordia, and Trita Oya, three other godlings who help teach him the ways of living with such powers in a city filled with so many human beings. Londinium itself is a great, vast city, with arching aqueducts, hanging gardens, stunning mansions, and poverty, death, and decay. The godlings help fight against injustice when they’re not dealing with their own infighting. They engage in a boast to see who can inspire the greatest poet of a generation, but what begins as amusement quickly devolves into foul play.
As Joss learns to tamp down his own power, he finds himself torn between worlds: the world of mortals and the world of godlings. When he is accused of a great crime, he flees to the sea and vanished into the depths, only to return years later in the middle of a war. He finds his closest friend, LaRoche, is dying of a strange illness, and together with his friends, they search the globe looking for answers.
But as the clock runs on out on LaRoche, so, too, it’s running out on the one person Joss has loved above all others: his young son, a poet named John Keats. Joss risk all he holds dear to save his friend, a man he loves beyond his own reasoning, and the broken family he has left behind. But will he become a monster in order to save them?
It is true what they say.
I am a lord of the sea, of storms and of thunder. I am the commander of waters, rivers, oceans, and all those trappings of old. I have transformed into titanic beasts and evaporated into mists; I have held lovers of the highest renown in my arms and made them quiver with pleasure; I have quaffed enough spirits to drown a small village in the stuff and lived to tell the tale.
I have lived longer and wilder than most. I have laughed loud enough to shake the mountains and grieved long enough to watch babes live, grow, and die in the wake.
My life has spun stories, whirling eddies all about me. And I lose track of them now and again.
Yes, much of what they say about me is true. But that’s not the half of it.
Gods of Londinium by Natania Barron