by Pauline Gedge
Reviewed date: 2019 Mar 3
Rating: 1
337 pages
cover art

The Beginning
Before the beginning was the Lawmaker, and the Lawmaker called the Worldmaker into being and the Worldmaker entered time. The Lawmaker commanded him to make according to his nature. And the Worldmaker made the worlds. He gave to each world a living sun to give it warmth and a sun-lord to rule over it. He populated each world with mortals and gave them flesh. And it was good.

Now the Worldmaker had placed upon each world a stargate. And the Lawmaker said, let the mortals use the gates to travel about their own worlds. But using the gate to travel the corridors between worlds is forbidden to them.

The Unmaker
The Worldmaker became jealous and sinned. He became the Unmaker, and he tempted the sun-lords and evil entered them. And one by one, the sun-lords gave in to evil and their stargates were closed to prevent the spread of the Unmaker's destruction. But the Unmaker was clever, and at last there remained only five righteous sun-lords: Janthis, Danarion, Sholia, Ghakazian, and Ixelion.

The Fall of Ghaka and Shol
Ixelion found The Book of What Will Be, and he did not read the book but evil entered him. And his gate was closed, but Ghakazian took the book and he read it and he lusted after authority and power. Ghakazian took his wingless mortals to the high places and threw them down onto the rocks below. He caused his sun to blaze and burn up the winged mortals. Then he sent their bodiless essences through the stargate to travel the corridor between worlds to Shol. And the mortal essences entered the bodies of mortal Sholans, taking those bodies for their own. Thus Ghakazian invaded Shol with an army of mortals.

The Unmaker came to Shol. Now the sun-lord Sholia had two suns, and she sacrificed one and drew all its power and she cast the Unmaker back through the gate. Then she closed her gate. But the essences of the Ghakan mortals were still on Shol, and they did much evil.

The sun-lord becomes mortal
And Danarion took on mortal flesh and dwelt among the Sholans.

Danarion confronted the Ghakans and their sun-lord Ghakazian. He opened the gate and sent their essences through the gate. Then he returned to Danar.

The Lawmaker spoke to Danarion and said: "The day of the sun-lords is over. The universe now belongs to the mortals. Sun-lords were part of the dawn, and it is now full morning."

Pauline Gedge uses so many color words. Everything is an explosion of color and light and senses. It's all about deep, vivid and powerful sensory connection to the physical world, a connection so strong that it is spiritual. Every action and every thought is fraught with import and the weight of deep meaning. Every breath is a spiritual experience. It's too much. It gets overwhelming and becomes tedious.

Not for me
I had a genuinely hard time finishing this book. Some of that may just be me and my mindset, but some of it is the writing. Gedge has no doubt written precisely what she intended, and it's well done. She has real talent. But it didn't speak to me.

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