It’s my intent to review books here from independents and small press. I also only intend to review books I enjoyed. If you’re interested in a more complete idea of my reading habits and opinions, check out my Goodreads profile. For the first, I give you a Greek/Indian inspired secondary world fantasy.
The Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III
As the title suggests, Black God’s War includes involvement from Gods. I don’t generally go for books like that. They’re heavy on predestination and the like.
This book was quite different. The story focuses around a war between the countries of Rezzia and Pawhelon. The gods of Rezzia have told them it’s their holy duty to spread knowledge of the Lux Lucis, their ten gods, to the rest of the world. Rezzia has chosen to do this by conquest. Pawhelon is a country focused on internal spiritualism, and their sages (wizard/monks) say there are no gods, and that Lux Lucis are just projections created by the Rezzians. Their war has been going on for 10 years, and the heirs of each country are coming of age and getting involved.
The older daughter of the Rezzian king has been visited by the eponymous Black God since her mother died in birth with her younger brother. She blames him for the death of her mother, and for most of the bad things in her life. The younger brother was born with markings that make him an important religious feature of Rezzian life.
The cosmology of the book is interesting. Both sides’ magic seems to depend on their concepts of what is beyond humanity to be correct, but both work. The Pawhelons see the Rezzian gods just like the Rezzians do, on more than one occasion. However, the Pawhelons are also able to counter and even overcome the power of the Rezzian gods as well. We are left with the certainty that the gods exist, but no certainty about their godhood, their motivations, or the worthiness of their goals.
I found the characters to be well conceived and well written. I didn’t find any particular side in the war to be clearly “the good guys” or “the villains.” There were likable characters on each side, as well as people worthy of dislike.
I felt that the work bore the stamp of classic myths and religious texts, such as the Mahabarata and the Illiad.
All told an excellent start to a series, that also ends with the conclusion of a smaller story within the larger arc.