The first volume of Levene’s series The Hollow Gods, “Smiler’s Fair”, is a fantasy novel packed with complex characters, memorable events and gritty storylines.

“Smiler’s Fair” follows the paths of five different characters who visit Smiler’s Fair, a fair that travels the fictional land of Ashaneland and the Territory of the Four Together and “holds one example of all that there is in the world – every food, every spice, every pleasure and every vice.” The main characters experience the fair in different ways – Eric, who travelled with the fair until he ran away to follow his dreams, Nethmi, who visits it twice; first as an innocent bride-to-be, and second to use the fair as a refuge, Dae Hyo, the last of his tribe, filled with a desire for revenge and alcohol, Marvan, a skilled fighter who also ravels with the fair as a Drover and gets pleasure from killing, and finally Krish, who wants nothing more than to be a goatherd but is forced to leave his simple life and become something far more.

Religion in this world is a complicated business, and the waking of the Moon God sparks conflict between his followers and King Nayan and the followers of the Five Gods of the Ashaneland. A war is also being fought between Yron the Moon God and Mizhara the Sun Goddess. The skirmishes between characters as they come across one another – and run from each other – and the relationships they develop as the unrest surrounding the gods escalate, makes for an excellent story full of dark suspense and intricate narratives.

In a land full of unrest and conspiracies, murder and suspense, “Smiler’s Fair” is an epic fantasy novel that’s reminiscent of Game of Thrones. The character’s stories¬†are complex and full of twists and turns, and the book¬†is a must-read if you’re a fan of the epic fantasy genre.

A reader, writer and tea drinker. Some of my favourite things include books, superhero movies, dogs, and music. Currently studying New Media and English at UL.