The Gutter Prayer

The Gutter Prayer

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well this one blew my mind, dark intense and horrifically inventive, set in the city of Guerdon which first of all must rate, especially considering this is a debut, as one of the most vividly realised fantasy cities of recent times and a character in its own right with such a rich history. It is inhabited by two races, humans and the flesh-eating ghouls in uneasy co-existence and the story revolves around three thieves, one of whom is a ghoul, one of whom a Stone Man-victim to a disease of slow petrification-and the other an aristocratic runaway girl we later find out is prone to visions. These thieves are drawn into a conspiracy that threatens the whole city, involving the powerful alchemists’ guild and dark and forbidden gods. This novel also has Tallowmen-golem like creatures made by the alchemists out of candlewax and human flesh to be unstoppable policemen-and Crawling Ones-sorcerous worm people. Part horror,part fantasy and part thriller this gripping novel was one of my stand-out recent discoveries and surely one of the best fantasies of 2019. Recommended.