First Lines Friday – 05/05/2023
It’s the start of a long weekend here, and what better way to kick it off than with a First Lines Friday post?! If you’re looking for a book to pick up this weekend, this week’s feature may just appeal to you.
When I last shared a First Lines Friday post, I featured a book with difficult themes. It is somewhat true about this week’s feature as well. The introduction describes the death of a couple of characters. The event has already happened, but it does describe how it took place. It isn’t overly graphic, so if you read a lot of fantasy like I do, this shouldn’t bother you.
Naturally, today’s featured book is a fantasy novel – one that is a recent addition to my TBR. I have pulled the book out of my TBR Jar to read next month. If you are not familiar, I have a jar (well, an owl-shaped mug) on my bookshelf, full of slips of paper with titles of books on my reading list. Once a month, I pick one of these at random to read.
Enough pre-amble… shall we check out today’s opening lines?
Rage. An old man’s rage.
The temple of the sisters in Weshwesh had more than a hundred steps- one hundred and forty-four, in fact, as the old seer had reason to know. But he climbed of them without counting; indeed, without seeing them.
Rage carried him, and as he leapt up the steps, his age and pain with forgotten in an anger that so enveloped him that, even as his old knees trembled, the weight of his daughter’s corpse was nothing; nor the spreading stain of her blood on his embroidered robes, nor the terrible wound where a sword had ripped across her womb and killed her and her unborn child.
Against All Gods – Miles Cameron
Publication Date: 23 Jun 2022
The gods play their games, looking down on the mortal realm and moving men as pawns. Sacrificing lives, towns, even civilisations as they make moves against each other, oblivious to and uncaring of the suffering it causes.
They are above it all: worshipped, emulated and admired.
Yet there is one among them who exists to sow chaos, to challenge the way of things, and to stir up trouble. One who sees the gods growing indolent and contented and selfish . . . and who is ready to meddle in the world of men. Not as part of the immortal game, but because they believe it’s possible for men to challenge . . . and even topple . . . the gods themselves.
An epic which draws on the Greek mythology of gods and heroes, this new trilogy is a must read for fans of Dan Simmons and Madeline Miller alike.
I discovered this book through an email from Gollancz around the time the book was being published. The synopsis caught my eye. Having read a Terry Pratchett book with an interesting similarity (how the gods are described as playing games with the mortal realm), I wanted to look into this book further.
Not only that, but this book also has links to Greek mythology. The excerpt I’ve provided you today is from the first chapter of the book. I also skim read the beginning of the prologue, but this was less first lines Friday worthy. However, upon reading it, I immediately recognised the main character being described as a parallel to Zeus.
I haven’t really explored a book which combines fantasy and Greek pathology before. I have read each genre in their own right (one far more heavily than the other), but so far, not a book that combines the two. I’m interested to see how this plays out.
The one drawback of drawing this book from my TBR Jar is that Against All Gods is the start of a new series. If you read my resolutions post published in January, you’ll know that I’m actually trying to read more sequels and finish series this year rather than start new. However, that’s the look of the drawer. So far, I have made a decent effort in picking up sequels to series I’ve already started. Beginning the odd new one isn’t a hardship!
Have you read Against All Gods by Miles Cameron? If you have, what did you think?
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and that you have a lovely weekend!