Downfall of the Gods • 2015 • Fantasy novella by K. J. Parker

★★★★★

Synopsis: Lord Archias murdered his long term friend Lysippus, who happened to be the Goddess’s favourite musician, but ironically was also an atheist. Archias was really sorry and did the right thing: Ask for forgiveness at the Temple. But we know how those Gods are – egocentric, childish con-men who can’t stand seeing their toys shattered. So, she didn’t pardon him. Instead, she sent him on a long quest to get Lysippus back from the land of the dead. Only, that our hero doesn’t go alone but is annoyed to be accompanied by the Goddess (who sometimes slips from physical to illusional form because walking is really inconvenient in the long term).

Review:  A real joy to read (an excerpt is available at Subterranean): Parker brought the Goddess near with all her pubertal, hilarious family-business. I was constantly tempted to google those Greekish names, but it is set in a different universe, though not far from our mythology. The narration reflects on right and wrong, honour and shame, true sources of power, and the real needs of Gods:

But when you’re poor, dirt-poor as the gods when it comes to things of real value (meaning things you want and can’t have for the asking), even the good opinion of mortals counts for something.

This superbly written page-turner is not only about pranks and God-talk but also about philosophy, and of course the Ragnarök, because the Goddess is always up to something.

Highly recommended!

Meta: Goodreads. This fantasy novella will appear April 2016 @ Subterranean.

 

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