White privilege and male privilege are terms that we in the West are familiar with.
“whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal” (Elizabeth Minnich)
The same goes for our patriarchal societies.
In the world of Nikki Glass this is true. Her old and regular life is is part of average US patriarchy where some people are more equal than others. In her new reality with Descendants of Gods turning up all over the place the most equal people are these Descendants. Nikki fell into that life by accident, although the others Descendants seem to have trouble accepting that fact.
In the US, the two largest groups of these Descendants are the Liberi Deorum and the Olympians. Both groups are immortal. They can be killed but that takes a lot of effort and the right kind of killer. Which is how Nikki accidentally became one. She happened to be a descendant who killed a Descendant. Intentional or not, the seed of immortality then passed to her.
I’ve often wondered at the appeal of immortality. Hell, I often wonder why people feel the need to stretch out their lives as long as medically possible. Neither seems very logical to me. Immortality would have to change you immensely as a person. Once all of your original bonds have died, who do you then become? Add to that the side-effects of your new identity and you might even have been the reason your old friends have died. Death-gods, gods of the hunt, trickster gods and war gods all seem to have death as a common problem. How would you contain the desire to cause destruction and mayhem? At what point do regular humans become insignificant to whatever long-term goals you might have?
No wonder the immortals think they deserve preferential treatment. Because Nikki is still a new entry into this life, her bonds to the regular world are strong. Her adoptive parents and adoptive sister are all alive and care a great deal about Nikki’s well-being. Because of her foster-home background Nikki has always been close-mouthed about her life. Talking about her new status is not something she cares to do, but circumstances ignore any such desires. Close-mouthed or not, the truth will out.
I likedDark Descendant by Jenna Black. It was fun, funny and full of near-death experiences.
You could probably start reading The Bastard Cadre series with The Lord of Frake’s Peak. That is because it goes back to the story of the early days of the reign of Lord Obdurin. As long as you don’t mind the spoilers as the beginning of the novel you should be fine. The only problem with doing this is that you would be reading the best first because Lee Carlon‘s writing has gone from one bastion to the next during these four novels.
I am fairly certain the gods aren’t gods. After I finished reading The Lord of Frake’s Peak I knew that the “whatever they are – not gods” had done all they could to keep humans in ignorance. The Cleansing that had occurred three years before the beginning of The Lord of Frake’s Peak seems like something they would do to keep their secret safe because they felt some person had come too close to the truth. I’m still not clear on whether there are any female gods or if there are genders at all. Whatever the case is there, these so-called gods seem to be amoral beings playing the world and humans for what they can. People like that stink. That is my completely unbiased (snort) opinion.
Lord Obdurin is only one of the many chosen running about doing the gods’ deeds. His god is Rhysin. To become a chosen Lord Obdurin had to get the heart of Rhysin from his predecessor, Lord Benshi. Something terrible seems to happen over time to all of the Chosen. Part of the amorality of the gods seems to enter them and they go from being whatever type of person they used to be to taking on part of the nature of the god. If that is the case, Rhysin must be a brute. Lord Benshi became one and his sons paid a terrible price for it.
Vincent d’Rhyne is the only surviving son of Lord Benshi. He wants nothing to do with Rhysin but is not able to tear himself from the place he grew up. Lord Obdurin spared Vincent for some reason only Obdurin knows when Lord Benshi died. Vincent feels only relief at having his father out of his life. Of the two, Vincent feels that Lord Obdurin is the best alternative. Having read all four installments of The Bastard Cadre I find myself unable to give a clear answer as to whether Vincent trusts in vain.
Trust might be the wrong word, but it seems pretty close to how Vincent feels toward Lord Obdurin. It is as if Vincent trusts that Obdurin will keep him from reaching for the gods. But the reach of the gods might be longer than any of the inhabitants of Carlon’s world might know. Perhaps they are all just part of a huge video game.
Life sometimes feels like that. The joke has been on Vincent so many times that it is becoming more and more difficult for him to remember that life is just a big joke. His ability to stay in the present fluctuates. Considering how traumatized Vincent it is a wonder that he manages to stay there at all.
Jim Melvin’s introduction of Torg’s First Death is worded thus:
The Death Wizard Chronicles is a six-book epic fantasy that debuted August 2012 (Bell Bridge Books). The main character, Torg, is a Death-Knower wizard who has died and then returned to life more than a thousand times. The story below describes Torg’s first death.
I include the below quote to illustrate the mood of the story:
As he walked across the still-warm sand, Torg felt the pull of a seductive will far stronger than his own. He had no power to resist it – and would not have, even if able. He wanted to make this journey into death. And, if he was worthy, return.
Death is something I find incredibly fascinating, something I do not fear much. Much of my fascination comes from that part of me that fears my disintegration and disappearance into stardust.
What if I could actually return from death, not as a vampire or anything else weird, but as a regular/irregular person? Would I want to? What if I was a Tugar who consider it the ultimate privilege? Would I strive for a return?
Torg’s First Death is a short-story that raised many questions inside my head. Melvin drew me slowly into Torg’s self-control. I found myself envying Torg his ability to still his mind. When it is time for me to die I wish I could control it as well as Torg does. I wish we all could. Melvin’s description is beautiful and peaceful. His cover fits the mood of Torg’s story well.
Greed is such a wonderful thing. It is as if some people think that if it sounds too good to be true, then it must be true. The Twelfth Tablet is the tale of a man who fell for such a scheme. As sometimes happens his falling led to murder and mayhem.
Upon closing the museum one evening Paul Mitchell meets a couple who make him an offer he cannot refuse. Ari and Valerie wish to see the museum’s Aphrodite statue in return for donating a large sum of money “to the museum”. Paul finds himself unable to say no to anything they ask. He tries but there is something strange about their touch that fills him with powerlessness and an eagerness to please.
Once he has said yes once, saying yes to their next request is less of a hurdle. Ari and Valerie want to know where they can find the Orphic Tablet and Paul leads them to it.
Paul is the perfect example of how we are all potentially able of deeds we thought impossible. I find Harper’s description of Mitchell’s self-destructive road believable. Tom has a tight pace and tension galore. We get plenty of action and fighting.