By K.V. Johansen
PYR, $17.00, 546 pages

Trapped in the body of a human child, Attalissa goddess of the mountain lake, Lissavakail is driven from her home by an all devouring devil. Guarded by the Blackdog, a creature whose origins are lost in mystery, she seeks sanctuary in the lowlands. Hidden in a caravan gang, protected by a grassland god and a river goddess, she finds temporary refuge, but ancient powers are stirring in the far north, rebellions are rising, and Attalissa will need to learn a great deal more about herself and her dark guardian if she hopes to reclaim her home.

Populated by a huge number of dynamic characters, Blackdog slowly weaves a number of individual stories into a single epic fantasy. A complex tale of loyalty and honor, warriors and wizards, gods and demons and devils, the story demands the reader’s complete attention. Subtle details and seemingly insignificant events often transform into major plot points as the story progresses. The book is so thoroughly developed, its mythology so complete, that it often gives the impression of being a single chapter of a much larger story, a window into an actual living breathing world. A must read book for those who love high fantasy.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Goss