Rivers and Gods: Good and Evil?

The Waterborn

By

Greg Keyes

A Net Galley review

This was a very different conception of a world and very imaginative. I was fascinated by the River and all the Gods and Goddesses both small and large – a very pagan view of the world and animalistic. The issue of the power given by the River was a new take on how gods choose who is to rule and the control that was part of the power that the water had to manage its own traffic and who could or could not perform activities on it.river

Somehow I found it also a bit creepy. And rather in the line of horror stories where people transform into …. other creatures anyway like zombies but here creatures related to the river such with octopus arms.  So there was a price to pay by the Emperor’s descendents for the power he had received and the river took that price as the child reached puberty.

The River here also could take a physical form – or at least the streams cold and could mate with humans, which is reminiscent, in some ways, of the Greek stories of gods and goddesses and how some are good and some are not and some demand a heavy price for what they offer. See Midas and gold for instance. So this story has these echoes.

We do have a hero and a heroine, who come from very different cultures and tribes, and who have a very different relationship with the River and its tributaries as a result. And it is their trials and tribulations that this book starts the saga with.

I am still divided in my mind whether I liked the book or found the River too creepy and thus didn’t. Either way it is a well devised story and well told. Note – I am not a Stephen King fan and I suspect that this book would appeal to them more than me..

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