Paternus: War of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Paternus Trilogy (Book #3 of 3)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Published: 23rd June 2020 by Paternus Books Media (Indie)
A truly stunning and magnificent conclusion to an incredibly unique and fun urban fantasy adventure, Paternus: War of Gods cemented The Paternus Trilogy as one of my all-time favourites.
Wow, what a crazy ride that has been! I’ve been reading a lot more urban fantasy of late, as I found that this fantasy sub-genre tends to be more fun and easy to read. The Paternus Trilogy certainly satisfied these criteria but it was a whole lot more epic than I would’ve expected urban fantasy to be. As a matter of fact, the concluding climax in War of Gods (which was almost half the length of the book) was even more epic than some epic/high fantasy series that I’ve read. Not only does this trilogy have everything a fantasy geek would want, it would also bring unending delight to fans of mythology, as it certainly did for me. Moreover, I personally think that mythology and fantasy pretty much go hand-in-hand because these are stories that lie within the realm of the fantastical.
Every form of mythology relates about gods and creatures with powers that defy what humans define as science, and their ability to influence and bring good or harm to the people under their care. Paternus kept to this basic premise of mythology but yet still managed to somewhat turn them on its head with surprising effect. Ashton melded all the interpretations of mythology and lore told throughout the ages and in different cultures into in a cohesive account of creation and power that doesn’t lack conviction at all even though it challenges your prior knowledge of world mythology. The result of that was one tremendously fun and engaging story that allows your mind to fly with the unmitigated imagination that was present within the pages of this incredible trilogy.
The visual writing in these books worked really well to conjure all the epic sets into one’s mind. The descriptions were effective without being lengthy and the action scenes packed such a powerful punch that it could send you to outer space, or through the fabric of the multiverse, etc etc. Okay, that’s just a little clue about the crazy cool concepts that one could find in this non-formulaic urban fantasy that so utterly entertained me for a good part of a fortnight. I was mind-blown by the epicness of the final battle in War of Gods – it was simply phenomenal, and utter mayhem. The sheer scale of the battle was unbelievable. Couple that with the immensely destructive forces of the powers manifest in these mythic beings and artefacts, and the elated fist-pumping moments as well as heartbreaking deaths and sacrifices, and you have one resoundingly satisfying and emotionally powerful conclusion that you’ll never forget.
Of course, without emotional investment into the characters, the most well-written conflict and battle will not count for much. That I felt such emotional payoff at the end of the story meant that Ashton did a great job with the characters – and there are so many of them. Firstly, the characterisation of Fi and Zeke was elevated to a level of awesomeness that I could never have imagined when I first met them in Rise of Gods. The relevations continued to astound me as they went through the most extraordinary growth and development, which I might add was executed most believably. While I liked both of them, my favourite was the most adorable and dorky badass, Zeke. I was also more than adequately invested in so many of the other characters that my heart was in my throat during that epic final battle. Seriously, when I say that the stakes were insanely high during this battle, I still feel that I’m understating the fact. And even through all that, the humour did not diminish although it might let up a bit in the midst of heartfelt and grave moments. Although this was the longest book in the trilogy, it didn’t feel as such because it was really well-paced, and I felt heavy-hearted at the notion of leaving this wonderful cast of characters behind when I’m finally done.
Fantasy fans, you owe it to yourself to read this insanely imaginative, fantastically fun and enormously epic urban fantasy trilogy. I’ve mentioned about how the initial quarter of the first book felt a bit rough, and I’m so darn glad that I pushed through. The Paternus Trilogy is a powerhouse urban fantasy that explored the very edge of possibility of what this subgenre could offer, and it was glorious. Highly, highly recommended.