The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cue up Simon and Garfunkle for this ride. Just a single song on endless repeat.
"Don't talk of love,
Well, I've heard the word before.
It's sleeping in my memory;
And I won't disturb the slumber
Of feelings that I've died.
if I never loved, I never would have cried.
I am a rock. I am an island."
Now make a novel of a god of a single rock, surround him with endless time, sleep, and other gods getting by or rising into a WWI assemblage of alliances and obligations, always keeping out of the fray.
Enjoy second-person storytelling, sitting over the shoulder of humans or ruminating inside yourself, combining the most interesting aspects of N. K. Jemison's Broken Earth with Lois McMaster Bujold's Five Gods, sprinkle in the feel of lazy ruminations, solid logic, and patience. And then... turn the novel into one of vast revenge. :) :) :)
What is this Raven Tower, after all? In this world, there are vast numbers of gods and many of them help out based on the amount of devotion and offerings given to them. And depending on the god's power reserves, the spoken Word becomes reality. If the god speaks more than the power can manage, or if the god makes a promise that can be loopholed, the god can die.
So much of this novel teaches us the power of language and limits and vast schemes, but our MC god, the Rock, seems to have all the time in the world... until vast logic and realization leads him/her to learn to value someone. At long last. And this is where everything goes to hell. :)
This fantasy novel is actually a murder mystery. It's FAR from being a standard murder mystery, but in its core, it revolves around reveals, discoveries, and piecing everything together... like a mosaic of stone only revealing the full picture after so much wonderful deliberation.
So, WHO DIES? Men, or gods?
I'm kinda dancing around here. The full scope of the novel hit me over the head at the very last and I'm more than pleased by the outcome. I always rather enjoyed it, but only by the end did I discover I loved it. :)
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