Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week my Can’t-Wait-For Book is Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker!
Published on: 27th June 2023
In a world locked in eternal winter and haunted by prophecy, a young boy trains for years to become the Chosen One, only for another to rise and claim his place in the start of an unmissable epic from a rising star in fantasy.
The northlands of Crua are locked in eternal winter, but prophecy tells of the chosen child – who will rule in the name of their God, and take warmth back from the South. Cahal du Nahere was raised to be this person: the Cowl-Rai, the saviour. Taken from his parents and prepared for his destiny.
But his time never came.
When he was fifteen he ceased to matter. Another Cowl-Rai had risen, another chosen one, raised in the name of a different God. The years of vicious physical and mental training he had endured, the sacrifice, all for nothing. He became nothing.
Twenty years later, and Cahal lives a life of secrecy on the edges of Crua’s giant forests – hiding what he is, running from what he can do. But when he is forced to reveal his true nature, he sets off a sequence of events that will reveal secrets that will shake the bedrock of his entire world, and expose lies that have persisted for generations.
Seeing as today’s Wyrd & Wonder prompt is Divination, it seemed appropriate to feature a book about prophecies today! (It even has part of Wyrd & Wonder in the title!!!)
For real, though: my introduction to R.J. Barker was the incredible Tide Child trilogy, which besides being packed full of all kinds of intrigue also featured some of the most unique and interesting worldbuilding I’ve ever seen. (A matriarchal world without wood!!! Seriously, if you haven’t given that series a try, you definitely should!)
So of course I was interested when I heard Barker was starting a new trilogy – and then we got the official blurb!!!
I love stories that subvert the prophecies/Chosen One trope, and this is literally that!!! I already feel so sorry for Cahal – imagine being raised as the Chosen One, only to discover you’re not? How crushing would that be?
Or maybe it’s not, exactly, that he’s not a Chosen One. Because that bit at the end of the blurb – his true nature, what he can do. Presumably he’s not a normal human like the rest of us, then… Maybe it’s a case of, another Chosen One got there first, rather than Cahal himself not being Chosen?
Also, the idea of multiple Chosen Ones – people Chosen by different gods?! THAT IS SO COOL. How does that work – do their relationships to each other reflect the relationships of the gods that chose them, ie, if god A and god B are allies their Chosen Ones can be too, but if the gods’ relationship is antagonistic, presumably the Chosen Ones are going to be enemies as well??? Are the poor Chosen Ones just game pieces for the gods, a way for any given god to claim supremacy??? Are Chosen Ones like prophets or messiahs in our world, or paladins??? I have no idea, but thinking about it has me WILDLY excited for Gods of the Wyrdwood!
We have to wait until June for this one, but that gives you time to check out Tide Child if you haven’t yet!