Short works

Books : reviews

P. C. Hodgell.
Chronicles of the Kencyrath.
NEL. 1987

P. C. Hodgell.
God Stalk.

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 30 June 2002

With no memory of the last several years, Jame staggers out of the dread Northlands, and into the bizarre city of Tai-Tastigon. She does have memory of her people and culture: she is one of the Kencyr, a people who never lie, and who have, for the last 30 millennia, been fighting a desperate battle for the one true god. But in Tai-Tastigon there are hundreds of gods -- is all she has lived by a lie? As she struggles to make sense of her life, she is embroiled in strange events -- the inn where she finds refuge is in a peculiar contest with another -- the old man she rescues apprentices her, as a thief -- and her martial arts experience makes her in great demand as a hypnotic dancer. But mainly, she tries to stalk the false gods, to see if they are real. Then she accidentally kills one, and has to make things right.

This is a weird and wonderful book. Jame is a complex and fascinating protagonist, and the plot is only gradually revealed, so we feel some of her confusion. And the bizarre city of Tai-Tastigon could almost count as a character in its own right.

P. C. Hodgell.
Dark of the Moon.