Today's topic is on Religion Portrayed Differently. As Edwin Lewis says, "A religion without the element of mystery would not be a religion at all", and yet most of my list tries to do exactly that - strip the element of mystery from religion, and let the chaos unleash itself on whichever world the book might be set in. Yet others on my list try to talk about the role of religion in our life - on religious conflicts that separate and unite people - and about the things that we do for religion. Not all the books in my list today are about religion, but each of them has religion as one of the major themes of the book. If you are interested in religion, and in less-than-normal portrayals of the same, it is my hope that you will enjoy this list.
Plot: The Gardens of the Moon is the first book in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, a series about the struggles on power on the Malazan Empire. In fact, in the first book, the Malazan Empire is basically trying to annex two remaining provinces to it - The Pale and Durjhistan. The only problem is, there are a lot more players in this game than our immediately apparent to those playing it - including a lot of meddling gods.
Why should you read it? Cool plot, intense world-buildings and amazing characters - an epic story.
(My full review to come soon.)
Dont believe me? Read this review, or this one, or this one.
Why you may not like it? Erikson is definitely a hate-him or love-him writer. He's got a really complex backstory, he throws you right in the middle of the plot from page one and expects you to swim or sink, and the book skips around a lot. It can be hard to follow and way too complex.
4. Age of the Five Trilogy (Trudi Canavan)
Plot: About a century after the war of the Gods, only five gods remain in the world...and they have formed their own religion, that of the Circlians. Auraya, the main character, is the newest priestess for this religion. But the loyalties of Auraya and the rest of her world are going to be sorely tested when the southern part of the continent claims to have a new religion with five new Gods - and even more with the appearance of the Wilds, old sorcerers who hate the Gods. This series raises questions about what happens when Gods live - and whether Gods can die.
(The Age of the Five Trilogy has three books - The Priestess of the White, The Last of the Wilds, and The Voices of the Gods.)
Why should you read it? Great characters - every character (especially the Gods) is shown to be so very human, great plot, amazing ending and very deep world building. An excellent, gritty, dark, realistic book.
(My full review will come soon)
Dont believe me? Then read this (where it gets compared to my favorite author of all time - George R. R. Martin), or this, or this.
Why you may not like it? You might not enjoy the skipping around between different points of views - as frankly I didn't like the Pentadrians or Ellaria enough to enjoy their voices. Also, the main character can get a little perfect at times and the ending may seem gimmicky and clichéd.