** I received an ARC for an honest review **
Nat Drozdova has crossed half the continent in search of the stolen Dead God’s Heart, the only thing powerful enough to trade for her beautiful, voracious, dying mother’s life. Yet now she knows the secret of her own birth—and that she’s been lied to all her young life.
The road to the Heart ends at the Salt-Black Tree, but to find it Nat must pay a deadly price. Pursued by mouthless shadows hungry for the blood of new divinity as well as the razor-wielding god of thieves, Nat is on her own. Her journey leads through a wilderness of gods old and new, across a country as restless as its mortal inhabitants, and it’s too late to back out now.
…or accept the consequences of her own.
Blood may not always prevail. Magic might not always work. And the young Drozdova is faced with an impossible choice: Save her mother’s very existence…
I recently read The Salt-Black Tree(Dead God’s Heart, #2) by US dark fantasy and urban fantasy author Lilith Saintcrow.
The journey of Nat Drozdova continues but she now possesses Spring’s Arcana and is coming into her own Divinity. While she battles internally with the reality her mother has lied to her throughout her entire life, and that she was born simply to allow her mother to assume to divinity on American soil, Nat comes into her own power and makes her own decisions as she travels towards the Salt-Black Tree and whatever ending awaits her there.
She seeks the Dead God’s Heart but what she intends to do with it once she possesses it, she is yet to be sure. One thing she does know-Nat Drozdova is her own Divinity, and if that means battling her mother and Baba Yaga, she will do so.
The Salt-Black Tree is the final instalment in the Dead God’s Heart duology.
Saintcrow’s writing is superb and she provides a thrilling and satisfying ending to her series. The plot is fast-paced while still being insightful to characters development and the detailed world-building. The comparisons to Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods, while relevant on the surface, Saintcrow’s duology blows them away with a darkness and ruthlessness in development and immigration of divinities and human belief which is fresh and bold. This finale is a masterpiece of talented writing while maintaining the integrity of the characters and the world building at the core of in this urban fantasy duology.
A highly recommended read for fans of urban fantasy, Russian folklore and world mythology. A thriller of an urban fantasy and a read!
** This is my personal opinion and does not reflect any judging decisions **