Tag Archives: #Beliefs

Svingen & Pedersen; Converted (The Meantime stories II)(2018)

Illustrated by Håkon Lystad

Converted is the second short-story of The Meantime Series. “Draghan and the shaman had been on the inside of the innermost circles of power since the previous regime” until “King Avlar met his premature death after a clumsy and unfortunate accident where he sat down on his sword”. Both Draghan and the shaman had an instantaneous conversion from the old god to the god of Avlar’s son. We follow the two of them in Converted.

While there are language and grammar issues, Svingen & Pedersen have solved many of the problems I saw in Flushed. I particularly like their take on the worth of people. Some places in the world are still like this.

The authors gave me an ARC copy to review.


My review of Flushed

Lewis, Gareth: Street of Lost Gods (Loc 148)

It’s not like you’ll find any gods of wisdom or thinking here. Not that there are many gods of thinking. It’s counter-intuitive. Plenty of gods of making noise and hitting things, but there’s plenty of mortals who do that. To be fair, I suppose the proportion of thinking gods to hitting gods probably matches the proportions among their worshippers.

The grand lie

“The Supreme Grand Master smiled in the depths of his robes. It was amazing, this mystic business. You tell them a lie, and then when you don’t need it any more you tell them another lie and tell them they’re progressing along the road to wisdom. Then instead of laughing, they follow you even more, hoping that at the heart of all the lies they’ll find the truth. And bit by bit they accept the unacceptable. Amazing.”

”Vimes had half expected the Scone to explode, or crumble, or flash red-hot. Which was stupid, said a dwindling part of himself – it was a fake, a nonsense, something made in Ankh-Morpork for money, something that had already cost lives. It was not, it could not be real.

But in the roaring air he knew that it was, for all who needed to believe, and in a belief so strong that truth was not the same as fact … he knew that for now, and yesterday, and tomorrow, both the thing, and the whole of the thing.”

Terry Pratchett (2000), “The Fifth Elephant”, London: Transworld Publishers, Corgi Books

Bradford, Owyn: “Get your exit letter, see what freedom’s done!”

A satirical look at belief by one of my friends

1) “If you want earrings count ’em one, two three,
if you want to wear no skivvies just like me,
if you want to drink a beer when the day is hot,
then a Godforsaken Mormon is what you are not.”

Chorus:

Count the restrictions, what you cannot do,
worse than a baconburger if you are a Jew,
give your money, do your tasks, wear a suit and tie,
or in the outer darkness you are gonna cry.

2) Don’t touch your little factory, don’t you date a black,
or from the good ol’ bishie you will take some flak,
Shouldn’t show your shoulders or go in the lake –
that’s the devil’s hangout, for goodness’ sake!

Chorus:

3) Funeral potatoes, oh my heck,
all that flippin’ stuff makes my hips a wreck!
Fast Sunday makes me hungry but what is worse
is kiddie testimonies, oh what a curse!

Chorus:

4) They stammer and they lisp that the chuwch is two
but it sure don’t cut the ice with me or you.
If you’ve had it up to here and “Enough!” you say,
than write that flippin’ letter and do it today!

Chorus:

5) They take our hard earned cash and they build a mall,
but if we are in need, who’re we to call?
There’s money for investments and for the Brethren too,
but there is nothing but frustration for me and you!

Chorus:

6) Count your aggravations, count them one by one,
then pack your bag, my friend, and prepare…to…run!
Count your aggravations, count them one by one,
then pack your bag, my friend, and prepare…to…run!

Moeller, Jonathan: Demonsouled (The Demonsouled) (2011)

Demonsouled
Cover image copyright Nejron

As you can probably see from the section below called reviews I like to check out what other people have to say about an author. Demonsouled sure brought a lot of varied comments and some of what I read made me wonder if the other person and I had even read the same novel. The one I read was the updated and revised edition from 2011. Demonsouled is part of a series and therefore a stand-alone novel.

As the name of my blog indicates, I am fascinated by the darker side of humanity. Part of that translates into an interest in dark (but not horror) litterature. Our struggles to keep within the accepted mores of society are so much more interesting than all of our successes. Which is one (and probably the main) reason I liked Mazael Cravenlock. Like the quote from Schopenhauer at the beginning of Demonsouled says, I firmly believe in the beast that lies within the heart of every man (and woman) just waiting to be let out.

Every time Mazael looks at a person he sees how he could kill that person. For him its just something that happens and that he doesn’t act upon unless he is forced to. In the battles he has fought that ability has certainly come in handy.

Mazael’s older brother is Mitor, Lord of Cravenlock. Mazael is on his way home after an absence of 15 years. He has heard rumours of his brother beeing extremely foolish and he feels the need to find out if Mitor is indeed hiring mercenaries against their over-lord, Richard Mandragon. What do you know? He is.

What we have in Demonsouled is a novel that almost gets the best of Mazael. First of all he wants to get his sister out of her brother’s claws and keep her from Richard Mandragon. Then he feels obliged to figure out where all the disappearing people under the care of Lord Cravenlock have gone to. In addition to that he ends up with the ambassador from the wood-elves on his hands. Mazael’s last wish is for his family to fight Lord Mandragon and he tries to keep his brother from launching an attack. We all know that Mazael is not going to go unchallenged. There is no way Jonathan Moeller is going to make this easy for him. All he does is throw in another challenge in the form of disturbing visions. It makes a person glad she is not a hero in one of his novels.

Sir Gerald Roland is Mazael’s best friend and sticks with him through thick and thin. Along with them follows Gerald’s squire, the 11-year-old Wesson. They take part in most of what happens along Mazael’s journey through Demonsouled, but they do not have the three-dimensionality that Mazael has.

Mazael’s family is nuts – brother and sister both. Totally off their rockers. But Mazael is naive about their development in the fifteen years he has been off to fight. Like a lot of us he wants to see the best in them and defends them when it might have been more constructive to take another look at their behavior. But he, too, learns that families aren’t always what we want them to be.


Reviews:


 

Diemer, Sarah: The Witch Sea (2012)

I love this cover. It illustrates perfectly the longing of the witch in the novel. In my head that is what The Witch Sea is about. Longing to belong, to have someone to love and to love you back.

Being responsible for holding the magical net surrounding her island is becoming a difficult task for Meriel. She is no longer certain of the beliefs that her mother and grandmother have tried to imprint on her.

Both Meriel’s longing and the longing of the sea-people shines through Diemer’s prose. Very minor-key and absolutely lovely.

The author makes a point of this being a lesbian fantasy short story. Once it was pointed out to me, I could see it.


The Witch Sea won first place in the Kissed by Venus Fresh Voices short story competition.

Dalglish, David: The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs) (2010)

Coverart by Peter Ortiz

There is a timeline for Dalglish’ books. You can find it on his website. However, that does not mean you have to read the books in that order. I haven’t.

David Dalglish has created a world called Drezel. Once upon a time the brothers Ashhur and Karak came to Drezel and ended up representing dark/chaos/death and light/order/life. They are godlike-creatures who have been cast from the planet and acquired followers. Like many brothers out there Ashhur and Karak fight. Unfortunately that usually involves getting their followers to fight each other.

The Weight of Blood is a dark story, one of death and destruction. The Half-Orc brothers Harruq and Qurrah Tun are responsible for quite a bit of that destruction. These two brothers seem very different yet Harruq would do just about anything for Qurrah, even if it means killing children or friends. What Qurrah will discover in The Weight of Blood is just how far he can drive his brother. Because one thing is for sure, Qurrah manipulates his brother. In spite of this, the brothers have great love for each other.

Dalglish writes dark fantasy well. His characters are complex and loveable (in spite of their deeds). Life isn’t a matter of black and white in Dalglish’s litterary world. Instead we get shades of grey that mirror real life.

I loved his writing and the world he has created.