To be perfectly honest, I'm feeling a bit guilty about this review as I got a copy of Lost Gods through the generosity of its publishers, after picking up the sequel via Netgalley and complaining on Twitter that I hadn't read the first one. I'm a bit of a completist, after all, and very much insist on reading books in a series in order even though they suggested it would stand well enough on its own.
Now I've actually read Lost Gods, I'm not so sure a sequel to this could be read individually, as there's a hell of a lot of world-building going on in the first book and that tends to make subsequent books work poorly alone. There is, for example, a whole set-up of assassins loyal to the crown who are raised from childhood and then given missions that they're not allowed to tell anyone about, set within a world with a variety of nation states and warring invaders.
Our main protagonist is Neythan, whose first mission outside of the confines of the order which has trained him, is derailed by the apparent defection of one of his fellow trainees who seems to have murdered a third. Instead of continuing with his mission, Neythan decides that he must track her down and discovers that not only is she not a traitor, the order for which he works has been infiltrated. The eponymous gods, it turns out towards the end of the book, have not been lost at all but are merely biding their time to regain power.
Lost Gods is another one of those books that looks very much like a first novel - there's a lot of attention paid to the world-building but that ends up with a large amount of names and information being written in that might not immediately be relevant. We don't quite get to 'as you know, Bob' types of conversation but it skirts perilously close at times and there's a declamatory quality to some of the conversations that doesn't quite work for the characters in question. I will, however, be reading the sequel despite all of this, since I have it now and always want to see if things improve past first novel status.