The Raven Tower

| Tags: book, fiction, fantasy

“The Raven Tower” by Ann Leckie is a strange book. The strangeness starts with the usage of the second person singular. I actually don’t remember to ever having read a book where the narrator tells the protagonist his story.

The narrator is a god who lives in a stone. The chapters alternate between those where the god tells its own story and those where it tells the story of the protagonist.

As a god living in a stone or being a stone, it is a very patient god who takes its time to think things through. The world in this book has no real magic. But there are many gods and gods can make things true. If a god says that something is some way or another, then it becomes that way. But each such statement costs the god some energy. And some statements may continually drain energy from a god or may require more energy than the god has. If that is the case the god dies. So gods are normally very cautious what statements they make. Gods get their power from prayers and offerings.

It’s a quite interesting system. People pray for things and make offerings to their gods. The gods gain energy. But now they need to consider whether to fulfil the wishes the people pray for or not. Making the wishes come true costs energy, but not doing anything will eventually diminish the number of worshipers.

After the first bewilderment about that usage of the second person singular, I got really fascinated by the stories. This is not another Tolkien-like story where a group of companions fight against some dark power.

I recommend it to anyone looking for fantasy that breaks out of the box.