Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Tielmaran Chronicles

These were pretty good. These type of books are my default setting, I enjoy fantasy, especially if it is well written. I enjoyed them enough to read all three books. I have finally learned to stop reading if I think it is stupid.

I only had one problem with this series. The author was very obviously trying to write a series with an active pantheon of gods; like Ancient Greece, but real miracles and obvious manifestations. I have no problem with that, it is part of fantasy and enjoyable what-if story-telling. What bugged me was the gods seemed very indiscriminate about their gifts. If much prayer and faith is required to access this power, why did people who were obviously unworthy of such honors still receive them? Perhaps it is because I have a prejudice about such matters. In the real world priesthood power does not continue with a man who tries to misuse or gain power from it. It seems a very poor type of god who would give incredible power to a person, then have no care to what that person did with it.

I suppose to some this seems like a minor point, but I it really bothered me. At the very end she did fix the situation a bit. I think the main problem wasn't so much a failure of imagined theology as it was a failure to draw a distinction between magic and god-given power. To most, especially those who don't believe in God-given power it might not matter. To those of us who do believe God influences the Earth and gives man the power to act in his name it is a vital distinction.

Wind From a Foreign Sky, A Tremor in the Bitter Earth & Prince of Fire And Ashes. Katya Reimann. Tor. 2003

1 comment:

jendoop said...

IMO (as a Mormon through and through with relatively little knowledge about these things)God and his powers really seem like what you described in these books, to the average reader. People see God's work as very arbitrary and magical, never to be comprehended by mere mortals. If you don' t know the principles on which the universe is governed it seems unreasonable. Which points out one of the great blessings of the gospel: the power in knowledge.

As a side note, you didn't post for a few days so I foolishly thought you had to take a break from reading. So it made me laugh to open your blog and see that you were just reading the whole series. How silly to think you would take a break from reading. :)