The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) – Josiah Bancroft

Haven’t read the previous novels, Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx? Check out my reviews!

the hod king

5 star

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 608
Release Date: January 22, 2019

Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public’s entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion.

Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan.

Edith, now captain of the Sphinx’s fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail where the hods climb in darkness and whisper of the Hod King.

As Senlin and his crew become further dragged in to the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?

Come the Hod King!

The Hod King will definitely be featured in my top books of 2019. It has everything that readers are looking for in a steampunk fantasy novel: compelling characters, an intriguing world, mystery, and wild creations.

The Hod King focuses mostly on the hods as Senlin and company enter Pelphia where the mistreatment of the hods is displayed most prominently. The Hod King is told through multiple perspectives all within the same time frame. I was slightly disappointed when the perspective shifted away from Senlin, though I grew to love the other perspectives since they offer another point of view and interpretation of the Pelphia and the tower in general. Each perspective offers a new layer to the mystery of the Hod King while offering new implications to past and future events.

Bancroft’s writing is flawlessly lyrical in everything that it accomplishes throughout the novel, which is no easy feat. Each sentence, paragraph, and chapter are meticulously written to weave together an adventure tale that sheds light on more serious topics like slavery, abuse, and the mistreatment of women.

Overall, The Hod King is easily the best instalment in The Books of Babel, so I’m incredibly thankful for its hefty page count as compared to its predecessors. The Hod King will enchant readers from the first page until the last and leave them desperate for the next book.


Have you read The Hod King? What did you think?!

5 thoughts on “The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) – Josiah Bancroft

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