Jan 12, 2016: A setting that uses and examines old fantasy ideas in ways that make them interesting again, a huge ensemble cast of fleshed-out characters and a complex plot that ties into both make this the best story I’ve read in a long while. It helps that it’s genuinely funny, too.
If the story has a flaw, it’s probably too much of a good thing: even as long as its updates are, they can’t possibly cover the sheer amount of things happening in each chapter. On the other hand, each plotline is so interesting on its own that I don’t mind switching back and forth between them.
Overall, a great story I’d recommend to anyone who likes fantasy. Or westerns. Or any genre, really.
May 5, 2015: I highly recommend this fantasy series for its unique and detailed setting, amazing cast of characters, and a perfect balance of humor and seriousness.
Setting I absolutely love the world building. First it starts with a setting based on taking many of the classic Role Play Game Tropes seriously (the world is filled with monsters that have treasure and adventuring parties often go out to kill them and take it). The timeline is then advanced past the age of adventurers and we get to explore the change to the world economy and systems as the new more advanced and settled world develops. I have never seen another story set in this time period and if you had described it to me before I read TGAB I would never have believed it could work. It is perfect though!
Characters There is a really large cast of characters and I enjoy reading about every single one. This is almost unheard of for me. Typically with a large ensemble I will find myself quickly skimming past some characters to get back to my favorites but that has never happened in this story. Each character has an interesting personality, what they are doing is always engaging, and I find I can empathize with each of them. This is really well done.
Despite having multiple characters with world breaking power I never feel like the story suffers from what I think of as the Dragon Ball Z syndrome. Basically in other stories with this many super powered characters I always feel like I have to suspend my disbelief that the conflict is not quickly resolved. All of the action scenes will feel forced as it seems the conflict is dragged on just for the sake of conflict. In TGAB there is a bunch of conflict that is not easily resolved by pure power, or the various powers come into conflict in a very entertaining way that never feels forced.
Humor As icing on this already awesome cake there is the humor. Humor is one of those things that is very hard to pull off in a story that is otherwise serious. It is almost never done right, either the jokes are flat, or they detract from the sense of tension in the story. This story nails the mix and has had me laughing out loud multiple times, brought me to tears, and had me biting my nails. This elevates an otherwise interesting fantasy into pure excellence.
At the time of this review the story is not yet complete but the author has maintained a 3x a week update schedule consistently for almost a year. Despite this prolific output the quality of each update never suffers.
If you are any kind of fan of Fantasy you owe it to yourself to start reading The Gods Are Bastards!
Feb 27, 2015: The first four arcs of this epic are now finished. "The Gods are Bastards" book one is fully complete with prologue, epilogue and bonus chapters. So if you’ve been waiting to start reading, or just don’t like getting an incomplete story, then now’s your chance to jump in at a perfect point. You can eagerly await the installments with the rest of us or go about your merry way.
You don’t see many books out there who touch on this period in technological development. If I had to place it anywhere I’d put it at the beginning of the industrial revolution in America. The atmosphere would be more like a frontier tale though. Imagine that Americans had not actually managed to subject a continent of land, and the culture of the wild west had lasted another one hundred years or so.
Of course there are a few differences since this is a unique fantasy world with magic, elves, dragons, and a whole pantheon of gods. If that characterization just made you want to read something else, then this review is targeted at you. If just hearing that was enough to make you want to pick this gem up though, then I admire your adventurous spirit and wish you well on your way.
Now for the rest of you. I understand your misgivings. In this post Tolkien fantasy environment which is heavily influenced by dungeons and dragons, its hard to find an original concept when sticking too close to the stock races and concepts. However, if you couldn’t guess from the title, this is one of those tales which take tropes and stand them on their head.
I can imagine you nodding your head like you think you know what I’m talking about. That’s good, this book has that too. The main difference is that unlike most written works that follow such an outline, the characters show a surprising amount of depth. In addition to a good grasp of dialogue, which you’d expect to find in a story that is basically a walking gag, there is also a very respectable amount of world building. While D. D. Webb borrows heavily from basic fantasy lore to set the board, he more then makes up for it by hand drawing the maps and throwing the rule book out the window.
What starts as a wizard’s school tale quickly evolves into something greater as new plots are brought on that flesh out different pieces of this remarkable world. As a web serial you are certain to find a certain lack of polish, but its obvious that the bones of this beast are of the finest quality. D. D. Webb has a quick wit as well as a sense of the dramatic. Even better, as a web serial this is free, costing you nothing but your time. If you’ve been fiending for something to make you laugh and cheer, you would be hard pressed to find a better use for that time then immersing yourself in this grand work of art.