Sordaneon by L.L. Stephens (Book Review)

You guys might remember that I was on a book tour for Sordaneon a few weeks ago. LL Stephens did a great Sunday Brunch Series interview for that and I hope you’ll all check it out if you haven’t yet.  I took my time reading the book itself since it’s pretty dense and honestly took me a while to get into, and now I’m finally catching up on back reviews. Let’s take a look at the book and see my thoughts finally!

Bookish quick facts:
  • Title: Sordaneon
  • Series: The Triempery Revelations #1
  • Author: L.L. Stephens
  • Publisher & Release: Self, 2021
  • Length: 538 pages
  • Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for epic fantasy fans
Here’s the synopsis from Am*zon:

Secrets sheathe swords.

A fallen world is littered with the corpses of broken god-machines, and a sheltered, angry youth is destined to re-awaken their power. But to embody a god, Dorilian Sordaneon must first learn to be human…

Dorilian is blood bound to the Rill, a quasi-living artifact that spans continents and empowers a privileged few to reap the riches of an entire civilization. Unfortunately, decades after seizing control of the remaining god-machines, those privileged few aren’t willing to give up their power—even if it means destroying the human bloodline to which the Rill is tethered.

My thoughts;

This is a big book with a lot to unpack, aka perfect if you like epic fantasy.  There’s politics and godlike abilities and character arcs that will provide something for every type of fantasy fan. My initial reaction was to be turned off by all the names and places and threads at first but my advice is to use the appendix in the back and be patient: the reward is worth it!


Two unlikeable princes are the major points of view. One on either side of a political conflict. Dorilian is the main character and while I did warm to him eventually, there’s a godlike quality to his race that makes him inaccessible. He’s got a great arc that ties into that of the King of the occupational force as the books set up for the rest of the series.

As someone who doesn’t like character driven stories, my favorite part was watching Dorilian learn to be human.  The opposing king is an older guy that miraculously steps in as a father figure and tries to change the course of conflict moving forward by teaching Dorilian about family, history, civility, and so much else.

How much of Dor’s world view is true and how much is manipulation from people trying to stay in power?  One would be surprised. The other POV is Stefan, the king’s grandson, who embodies the “other side” of the political spectrum.  More of a static character than I was expecting. I’m excited to see where the two boys take their countries in the next book.

The political plots are epic, brutal, and Stephens isn’t afraid to kill off a few characters. I love all the backstabbing, plotting, and paranoia threading the pages.

The magic is there on a big epic scale too. A lot of it is done through magical objects but I also think that Stephens is leaving a few things dormant until later books, like a powerful sorcerer and the attention of a god entity.  The magic is there but this is more of a political fantasy so far.  The other interesting thing is that Stephens I think had written later books in the series first, then went back to the start to tell Dorilian’s story first.  I’m most curious to see where this goes now that the story is set.


And what a story! Vaguely so it’s not spoilery, towards the end there is one of those huge, vastly huge, events that I love in fantasy.  There’s absolute slaughter. Total mayhem. Souls screaming as they die as a tower is cracking and raining destruction.  It’s really a wonderful reward for getting through the book and I’m just so excited to keep reading on.

The only part I didn’t like was again, something that I think will be important later on in the series because it’s too big to just toss into a book like it’s nothing.  There’s a big idea of the gods creating layers of the world so that humans can live in reality. Tying into this somehow is modern day Earth – I mean are we A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court or are we an epic fantasy? Bringing “reality” into this amazing fantasy setting seemed like a terrible idea, but I’m willing to see where it goes in future books.

Overall… Yeah, I like when fantasy is actually pretty epic.  Sordaneon has a lot of background but it also has a ton of action and heartfelt moments, and my pulse was pounding by the end.  A lovely mix of political, personal, epic fantasy. Check it out for sure and don’t forget to go read the author interview too!

Thanks for checking out my book review of Sordaneon by LL Stephens. I originally won the paperback in a giveaway and as always, all opinions are my own. Support indie!

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