Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Five top novels with gods as characters

Lou Anders is the author of Frostborn, the first book in the Thrones & Bones middle-grade series, and its sequel, Nightborn. For Tor.com he tagged five favorite books with gods as characters, including:
Elric: To Rescue Tanelorn by Michael Moorcock

One of my first fantasy loves was Michael Moorcock. I encountered his Eternal Champion series early on and never got over it. That moment when a young Elric of Melnibon√© summons Duke Arioch, Lord of the Seven Darks, is absolutely chilling. If memory serves, the god appears first as a fly, then as a beautiful male youth who drips power and seduction. The Elric series was the first time I encountered gods who actively participated in their stories, the way the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology did. But there was a specific story, the novella “The Singing Citadel” (which I encountered in the collection/fix-up novel The Weird of the White Wolf, and which appears most recently in Elric: To Rescue Tanelorn), that has never left me. The minor god Balo, Jester to the Court of Chaos, is up to no good, and after battling the god ineffectually, a desperate Elric summons Arioch to deal with him. Arioch crushes Balo’s head, then wads the god up into a ball and swallows him. He tells Elric, “I have not eaten him… It is merely the easiest way of transporting him back to the realms from which he came. He has transgressed and will be punished.” I was both disturbed and fascinated by that scene, which haunted me for years, but it set my young brain puzzling. I realized then that gods were not made of the same mortal clay as we humans and did not have to abide by our rules. And speaking of rules…
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue