Though Godstalk is generally believed by fans to be the best book in the series, it does have some flaws. The biggest being the sudden shifts in pov at certain points. Very few fans will point this out however, though they tend to be more critical of later books. (I did not actually spot many of the problems until after I had read the book a few times.)
Even with taking the flaws into account, Godstalk’s is one of my favorite novels because of the rich prose, surreal background and the engaging main character. Jame is curious as a cat, and we soon learn that piquing that curiosity results in the “cat” deciding to play with what interests her. In this particular chapter, Jame will become very personally interested in Tai-tastigon’s god infestation, thanks to an encounter with a priest. Continue reading
The first thing you have to understand about Godstalk is that you are going to have to slow your reading pace. If you’re used to devouring fast-paced novels quickly you are going to miss things, probably all of the things. Hodgell’s writing is both very poetic and very dense. She seems to try to get the most impact out of the fewest number of words in her sentences. If you tend to read fast, this can lead to you missing important details. Continue reading
I first found Godstalk back when I was still in high school. It took me a long time to get around to reading it, however. I am an extremely finicky reader, so it took me a while to decide to read it. It also took me a while to fall in love with it. Godstalk is a strange and quirky novel in which the writer does some fun things with various Sword and Sorcery and High Fantasy tropes. Godstalk has a war of Ultimate Good and Ultimate Evil, but the forces of good have had a thirty thousand year losing streak, and they kind of have it in for the God that gave them the job of fighting the Ultimate Evil. (They are mostly still fighting only because of extreme stubbornness.) And the forces of evil aren’t so much Evil as they are alien and inimical to the realities they’re invading. Continue reading
In Honor’s Paradox, Jame completes her training at Tentir despite continuing attempts by other houses to get her kicked out. The general operation of the plot tends to revolve around Jame being a catalyst of sorts for correcting problems that she comes across. (This could be said to be the case for all of the books, but in this case, the beneficial results outweigh the usual negative and catastrophic ones.) Various secrets are revealed, Tori shows a lot of progress in learning to accept Shanir in general and his sister in specific, and Kindrie continues to develop a spine. (As a special bonus, Graykin also seems to be developing a sense of perspective.) Continue reading
Bound in Blood continues not long after the events of To Ride a Rathorn. The opening reveals the aftermath of the failed assassination attempt of Randiroc, the true Randir heir whose position was usurped by Rawneth, The Witch of Wilden’s son. Jame and one of her classmates, a boy named Gari are on hand to witness a near insurrection among the Randir Kendar, which will lead to plot complications later down the road, since the insurrection is only averted by Rawneth causing her people to forget the names of the ones who died, which in turn causes them to go varying degrees of bonkers. Continue reading
Currently being reprinted by Baen Books as The God Stalker Chronicles and Seeker’Bane.
Original version posted Apr. 18th, 2008 at 10:42 PM in another journal.
The Kencyrath novels by P.C. Hodgell does the usual fantasy heroine with a Speshul Destiny, Daughter of a magical race dedicated to killing the Big Bad, and then turns everything upside down and bassackwards in the BEST possible ways. There’s a lot of Fritz Lieber in this series, with a touch of Chas Adams and H.P. Lovecraft thrown in as an accent. It has Wry Humor, Rains of Frogs, Exasperated Earth Goddesses, Undead Poultry, Gender Neutral Heroines, Telepathic Kitty Cats, Snark, Humorously Inept Yet Still Dangerous Villains, Pissy Psychotic Meat-Eating Unicorns, Arboreal Drift, Absentminded Professors, Alarums and Excursions, Philosophical and Existential Crises, Reality Hacking, Crossdressing Innkeepers, Deeply Disturbing Imagery, and Chairs that Eat People.