New #book: The Favour of the Gods
The sequel to Baba Connridh, The Favour of the Gods, featuring everyone's favourite God of Justice will be out in September! Enjoy the first excerpt:
Every Gods’ Day morning, when those who concede to be frightened awake by the stream of sunlight blazing through their windows for the sake of sermon, the people of Frewyn congregate in the public square in their given villages and municipalities, to be wished into artlessness and out of reason, corralled into chancels and crowded into naves, for the chance of hearing a few pretty words by unhandsome men about the Gods and Their Honoured Merits, and after a few hours of listening to the droning din of High Brothers and Sisters reading from the Good Book and glorying in its praises, the parishioners offer their languid Aconnas and hasten to the cenation prepared at the back of the church, where the real lesson in patience and civility begins: the poor are invited command of the table, the flock bleets for ale and wine, someone asks whether there are any moon cakes or whether Dimmeadh has aet all the pear pies again, and husbands tap wives on the shoulder as they slip away to the tavern, whilst old crones are left to deliciate over slander and scandal, and young men women spy prospective partners, while children hasten to the yard, where Gods’ Day accoutrements are giving away, and everything they have learned in the last two hours is lost in a haze of chocolate tarts and caramel apples, the vendors circling their prey in the public square long before anyone even escapes the church. It is a customary saltation, the weekly dance of horror for mothers, who are regularly being charmed out of their change by eager children, who will ruin their dinners if unchecked by their wardens; of felicity for farmers, who have spent the week trodding about their fields, bent over furrows, running the gauntlets of gilts and piglets, sat with cows who would rather be thrashing piggins than giving milk-- unconsciously committing themselves to the butcher when their time was done-- and would now like nothing more than to lunt about the town in their cleanest clothes in quest of the best cider a silver can buy; of tender anguish for the Gods, who were all still very much around and all still very fond of their children, though some of them were liked better than their actions deserved. The Redemancy of Invisible Gods was incomprehensible to those who had spent the chief of their week working assiduously away with little to show for it, and though Frewyn is not a poor country, it is an agrarian one, making their stores well-stocked and larders lined with everything anyone could need while lacking many things one might wish for.
The Favour of the Gods might be saleable to the High Reverend Mother of the Karnwyl branch of the church, but to those whose favour it was to give away, it might be awarded to anyone who reveled in the fond remembrances of godly affection. A thought, a prayer, a contribution made in the name of a patron God and done with the warmest feelings of sincerity was enough to warrant the goodwill of those who once lived amongst their children, and while it was easy to believe that Frewyns had long ago been abandoned by those who were said to have created them, the Gods would never leave their children to wholly to themselves; no parent who truly loved their child would abdicate the office of aegis and caretaker, but like any reverential relationship, dependents are not always worthy of the partiality that their situation can excite. The Gods, unlike their mortal counterparts, commanded no respect from their children beyond what the dalliance of a passing thought could promise, for unlike what Frewyns were told at church, the Gods did not require devotion to equal belief: Frewyns knew the Gods excited, faith in them and their ability to influence daily life was voluntary, and, as experience dictated, minimal and unworthy of all the threats that the High Reverend Mother could manage. Unconditional love was all the Gods’ concern, the prayers and good wishes of their children the currency that purchased their admiration.