Thursday, January 08, 2015

2015 book 6

Rebecca Levene's Smiler's Fair
The first of a planned four-book series, this book is amazingly epic in scale, with eight POV characters, multiple gods, spanning what seems to be the entire world (well, as big as a fantasy world can be--it FEELS big). The story starts with a frankly horrifying home c-section, intended to save the unborn child prophesied to kill his father--but really he's the long dead moon god, reborn (I find it interesting that the moon god is male and the sun female in this universe when it's often the reverse in mythology. There's also some matriarchal society vs patriarchal society stuff that may or may not be related). Anyway, the discovery of the god's existence, as the eight main characters--the young god himself; a young male prostitute; a man seeking revenge for the slaughter of his people; a serial killer; an unwilling political bride; a prophet; a mage; and the bastard son of a king--all start to encounter each other and the moon god begins his rise. Which all sounds overly complicated, but this was super readable and interesting. It reminded me a little bit of N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy, both in scope/theme and in terms of diversity (there is a LOT of racial diversity here, which is great, but only two of the eight POV characters are women, which kind of sucks). Really an interesting story and I'm excited to see where it goes next. A-.

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