Title: Chaos (The Lost Gods #5)
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 100k words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Multiple Romances, Magic, Gods
Rating: LOVE It!
Nine gods ruled the world, until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.
Sealed off from the world for nine hundred years, Schatten is a country of darkness and mystery. The power of Teufel, Shadow of the Lost Licht, keeps the rest of the world out, and his deadly Sentinels keep the people of Schatten in. Their only hope for salvation lies in a single line of ancient prophecy.
Sasha wakes up with no memory of where he is, how he got there—or who he is. All he remembers is his name, and falling to a terrible beast with burning violet eyes. All he possesses are the clothes he wears, the weapons he carries, and a strange ring. All he can do is venture deeper into the land of snow and ice in which he is lost, hoping that eventually he will find answers.
This is the final book in the Lost Gods series, and it is worth reading the whole series to get to this book, although several books in the series rival it in strength. Chaos has something that the rest do not, however, which is the culmination and reveal of how exactly the gods were lost in the first place, over 900 years previous. We got a little bit more with each book, but this last one, about Schatten, Lost Licht and Teufel, is perfectly placed. So in a way, this review is about the series as a whole as well as this book.
The author once again returns to a format we’ve gotten to know well from the past books. It is told from multiple points of view from more than one central romance in alternating chapters. There are a lot of threads to pull together, from this book itself and the series, but the cast is big enough and the book long enough that we really get time to dig into the story and the characters. This is a series that really benefits from multiple reads and reading the stories back to back, because of those threads and especially for the books earlier in the series, where we still know very little about the world at large and the history that is slowly revealed over the past five books. But, over time, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten into the groove of the stories. In the first book, I was lost a lot of the time and, from the writer’s perspective might have proven to be the most difficult to write, but though the stories are so different (by geography, by characters, and by the belief systems of the people) they all follow a common theme and purpose. This book would be nothing without the ones that came before it and because of them, this book really shines. It is the time when the author really gets to pull out all the stops and finally piece the ends together. And I absolutely loved how it all wrapped up. I don’t even want to go into what I liked about it for fear of giving something away.
The beauty of this last story is in the characters and the setting. Of the five lands, Schatten was left for last in this series. Separated from the other four by the Sun god Licht and his shadow Teufel, it has become a land locked in time and fate after Licht was lost and Teufel took control. The past books have shown us that the people of the lands consistently pay for the mistakes of the gods, who are fallible to the extreme, like humans with unmeasurable power. Of all the lands, Schatten has paid for the loss of the gods the most. Left in the hands of Teufel, obsessed with fate and the eradication of chaos, the people of Schatten have spent the last 900 years without choice. Like the most creative of dictators, Teufel has subjugated the people, chooses their fates for them, and they love him for it. The thought of chaos is blasphemous.
We meet three characters in this story that stand alone against him. First there is Sasha, who wakens in a snowy cave, cursed and without his memories. He believes he is from another country and he knows that he has entered Schatten (when it should be impossible) to bring choice to the people. He soon meets David, a village boy who has been shunned by his parents blasphemy and and subjected to the cruelty of Schatten’s enforcers, the violet eyed scorchers. Lastly, there is Friedrich, the High Seer, who spends his days locked in Teufel’s holy temple of Unheilvol casting his visions across the land and seeing the fates of those sent before their 20th year to learn what Teufel has decreed for their life. He’s cursed with a voice in his head named Drache, whom he has fallen in love with, and waiting for the day when he’ll go mad from the visions.
Like I said before, this book is wonderful because it is the culmination of the series, but also because when you see the series as a whole, it is really interesting to see how the author plays with the idea of the hero and how that intersects with the gods. I know that these were written previously and are only now being re-edited and published, but they really show how strong this authors writing is and how much talent she has. I’ll continue to be a rabid fan of her work — I can never seem to get enough — and will look forward to reading this series over and over again. This is one of those that I finish and then think…and I get to read them all again! Funny how you don’t realize those things until you find one you love. I’m also looking forward to being able to read the series in a new light, and to be able to catch all the little things I know I missed the first time around.