Garner for Gold (Lustrous Divinity #2), by Catherine Labadie

The Book

Garner for Gold
Series: Lustrous Divinity
Pages: 521
Age Group: Adult
Published on 5/1/2024
Publisher: Self-Published
Dark Fantasy
Available on:


Bettina has wealth, freedom, and power as Goddess Marzanna’s favored Saint. Divine influence has grown over the years as Goddess and Her consorts rebuild what Silver’s vanquished order destroyed with each of their fertile joys. The early years of Bettina’s immortality should be equally exalted, but there is a fly in the ointment: her daughter Cosima has been granted Godling status and eternal life. Her firstborn son Cristoval has not.

As the Bright Age luxuriates in its golden afternoon, unhallowed forces conspire to challenge Marzanna’s audacious regime. Bettina returns from self-imposed exile to find Aebbenary more perilous than she remembered and her children grown almost beyond recognition. Old wonders and interest in a curiously constructed Grand Archivist both help and hinder Bettina in her plan to ensure neither of her beloved, wayward children will be lost to the grim march of time…or Goddess’s gluttony.  

My Review

Garner for Gold is the second book in the adult dark fantasy series Lustrous Divinity, written by Catherine Labadie, and it can be read as a standalone novel despite being part of this duology. A character driven plot that has a powerful inspiration in religion and which shines especially because of its aesthetic and the intensity of its themes.

Goddess Marzanna rebuilt the land into a golden age of opulence after the vanquishing of the previous power. Bettina is one of her favoured saints; however, she's disillusioned with Marzanna and her games: while her daughter Cosima and herself were given divinity, her son Cristoval wasn't, and his death is a perspective that Bettina is desperate to change.
Meanwhile, Cosima spent her time trying to avoid her obligations to Marzanna; but with the return of her mother and her naming as the heir of the Goddess, she will need to finally dive into the games that Marzanna like to play, putting her love to the mortal huntresses in the background.
Finally, we have Sovanna, a Godling that once lost her position of privilege towards Marzanna; she's romantically drawn towards Cristoval, despite knowing his destiny is sealed by the Goddess. At the same time, she might want to pursue her birthright in the divine court.

The love of a mother and the desperate search for the condition of her son will draw Bettina far from worshipping Marzanna, putting her in the hands of the enigmatic Archivist; a path that requires her of sacrifices. Her character arc is the hardest on the book, with us becoming spectators of how she deals with duel, anger and doubt; it's difficult to not feel empathy for her, even when her actions can become questionable at points. 
While Cosima and Sovanna's arcs can be fainter, they are also partly drawn by their love to other characters; they will end intertwined in order to end with Marzanna's power. All the characters, in general, are complex and well developed, helping us to connect with their motivations.

Labadie's prose is lyrical, deeply related to the worldbuilding, magical at transmitting the images of opulence and the aesthetic and symbolism of her own world; you can guess the religious inspiration and the Baroque influences that appear in this novel. The pacing is relatively slow and heavy, slowly weaving a plot with an incredible emotional impact.

Garner for Gold is an excellent novel, a character driven story that will hook you while you suffer with the characters; come for the aesthetic and stay for the trauma. Can't wait to read more from Catherine Labadie!

The Author/s

Catherine Labadie

Catherine Labadie

Catherine Labadie lives in the mountains of the picturesque Carolinas with her husband, her daughter, and her 3 dogs. She’s written and published six novels.