Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was only the second time I've read Small Gods, first time around oh so many years ago I simply didn't like it very much and made the decision it was just not my style of story despite being set well and truly in the Discworld. I am however glad I'm doing this full reread of the series because I got a lot more pleasure out of the novel the second time around, not sure if it's level of expectation or maybe I'm just different, either way the story of the Great God Om and Brutha his only true believer is both complex, compelling and depressing given how Terry's writing often draws upon the real world. As we learn a God on the Discworld draws power from their believers but is often the case the religious framework becomes more "real" in the lives of the people than the God themselves, in other words they still worship the God but they believe in the Priests who stand in front of them dictating every aspect of their lives and in the case of Omnia their deaths. Thus Om is revealed to Brutha in the form of a Tortoise and together they have to survive not only the "heathen" nations that surround Omnia but the very Priests who serve Om and are patiently awaiting the arrival of the latest Prophet. However the fix is in, the current head of the Quisition a priest named Vorbis has plans and is not above sacrificing his own people for the greater truth but he does not hear the voice of his god only Brutha does and well existential crisis bigtime as Brutha deals with the reality of the world he and his people live in and his ultimate destiny to bring about change and rebirth if he survives of course.
Small Gods in all honesty did surprise me, a much more satisfying read then I was expecting and nice to recognise a few of the secondary characters and situations that appear in other novels. This certainly won't be the last time I pick this novel off the shelf.
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