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The Broken God Notes in progressFor this partner read with Ani, I m coming back to the series that has touched and shaped me the most as a human being What will I see twenty years later How will it touch and shape me now I ve seldom felt so thrilled So Set into the snow around a large circle were wooden stakes Each stake was topped with the skull of a different animal There were a hundred different skulls the great, tusked skull of Tuwa, the mammoth the skulls of Nunki and lonNotes in progressFor this partner read with Ani, I m coming back to the series that has touched and shaped me the most as a human being What will I see twenty years later How will it touch and shape me now I ve seldom felt so thrilled So Set into the snow around a large circle were wooden stakes Each stake was topped with the skull of a different animal There were a hundred different skulls the great, tusked skull of Tuwa, the mammoth the skulls of Nunki and long, pointed skulls of the snow fox and wolf there were many, many smaller skulls, those of the birds, Ayeye, the thallow, and Gunda and Rakri, and Ahira, the snowy owl Danlo had never seen such a sight in all of his life, for the boys of the tribe were not allowed to approach Winter Pock In the twilight, the circle of greyish white skulls looked ominous and terrifying Danlo knew that each man, after his cutting, would look up at the skulls to find his doffel, his other self, the one special animal he would never again hunt His doffel would guide him into the dreamtime, and later, through all the days of his life my journey into shamanism actually started twenty years ago Well, well Other than that, Danlo s coming of age rite was as harrowing and visceral as I remembered it but now I can graspof its symbolic meaning e.g shedding the foreskin is shedding the sheltered nature of childhood.The metric prose is still mesmerizing Whew we re finally past the journey across the ice the slowest and probably most gruesome part of the book How many readers have left their bones in the blizzard, only a few pages away from the City of Light and wonders and growing up Chapter 3, The Glavering, was my first introduction to ahimsa Never killing or hurting another, not even in your thoughts , glavering or its pithier version , angslan causing others psychic anguish, the pain that comes from higher understanding , the hidden power lessness of words, saying yes to all truths and ultimately this Did you know that laughing at oneself is the key to escaping the glavering Which has defined my core for as long as I have been able to look at myself.All that in a single chapter Well I never knew how much foreshadowing there was in these early chapters In little thoughts and larger scenes, they basically hint at all the major events that are about to unfold even the end of the trilogy.Chapter 4, Shih, has been another cornerstone in the foundations of my worldview It introduced me to the fluid nature of reality, made me question certain verbs as well as all pronouns and nouns, and showed me shibui, the beauty that comes with age.It s aged beautifully Chapter 5, The Returnists, enthralled the young me with the notion of simplex complex multiplex omniplex perception of the world and the pitfalls of guruism Ever since and likely before that, on a vaguer level , my life has flowed toward the asarya and away from the guru.And I ve never stopped wondering in which shell of reality I m currently locked Chapter 8, The Doctrine of Ahimsa, shows how ahimsa and angslan can be compatible Ahimsa, as he understood it, required only that he never harm another s body or spirit To inflict mind pain on another in order to provoke understanding was a Fravashi tradition that he cherished Into the icy maze of the city of Neverness, a wild boy stumbles, spear in hand, starving, frostbitten and grieving Danlo the Wild, raised by far off Alaloi neanderthal cave dwellers, survived a plague that took all of his tribe Now he must find who engineered the disease and how he can cure it And what kind of man he will grow up into, as he enters the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable FlameHis journey has only begun This was a re read for me and so to give you a general feel for my thoughts on Zindell s Requiem for Homo Sapiens trilogy as a whole and the larger themes of the books I would simply point you here I ll restrict myself in this review to a few thoughts on volume 1 The novel is both a bildungsroman of Danlo s journey from childhood to adulthood as well as from the primitive society of the Alaloi to the civilized one of Neverness , and the story of the birth of a religion supposedly based on This was a re read for me and so to give you a general feel for my thoughts on Zindell s Requiem for Homo Sapiens trilogy as a whole and the larger themes of the books I would simply point you here I ll restrict myself in this review to a few thoughts on volume 1 The novel is both a bildungsroman of Danlo s journey from childhood to adulthood as well as from the primitive society of the Alaloi to the civilized one of Neverness , and the story of the birth of a religion supposedly based on the worship of Malory Ringess, buttruly of humanity for itself, and the desire for power and glory of its founders The Alaloi and their culture have grown on me quite a bit since I first read about them I wonder if I d enjoy those sections of Nevernessnow At times Danlo skims awfully close towards being a Gary Stu given his near supreme excellence at everything he turns his hand to, but somehow, for me at least, he never quite steps over the boundary Perhaps this is because he is, at heart, such a likeable character Zindell somehow manages to create a character who is both an exemplar of human excellence in all he does without losing his fundamental human vulnerability, as well as being imbued with an earnest morality and devotion to pacifism that don t have him devolve into an annoying Pollyanna as was the case, for me at least, with Gene Wolfe s unfortunate character Patera Silk Ah Bardo It s always great to see you, even if I d probably want to punch you in the face if we ever met in reality I m still a little dubious about how the story of Old Father, the alien Fravashi character who first mentors Danlo when he comes to Neverness, concludes, but to discuss this further would be a spoiler and we ll see if I feel any differently when I actually get there on a re read of the subsequent volumes Zindell is quite good at expressing character through the unique speech patterns of his characters esp Danlo, Bardo, and Old Father as long as you don t find these verbal ticks to be annoying they worked for me Hanuman li Tosh is an intriguing character both Danlo s greatest friend and his most adamant enemy a villain whose perspective often makes the most rational sense especially when contrasted with Danlo s seemingly unrealistic idealism and whose perspective is often quite sympathetic though perhaps I m just a cynic As Danlo himself says he is both cynical and sincere, too aware of the darkness that everywhere permeated the universe and yet strangely innocent Hanuman wants all the universe to share in his suffering, a suffering that he believes is the fundamental truth of life, and so he rails against Danlo s idealism and uses all of his powers to ensure that he can give Danlo the gift of fire so that he would always burn for something impossible to ever hold Danlo s great quest, and initial belief, is in the Halla nature of reality all things exist in harmony and are good, but Hanuman, with his twisted compassion , teaches him the lesson that despite the fact that the universe is beautiful, it is also deeply flawed, with a deep crack of Shaida or disharmony evil running through it Danlo comes to see that there is no escaping this This is an odd fish.I really liked it Big space opera and metaphysics of the soul all mashed up together around a chewey centre of some interesting characters and some intriguing concepts At the core of this novel are questions like What does it mean to be alive What is conciousness and When is it ok to kill but, to my mind, they re wrapped up enough in the story that you don t feel preached at And Zindell s mystic style suits his somewhat mythical material I d definitely read it ag This is an odd fish.I really liked it Big space opera and metaphysics of the soul all mashed up together around a chewey centre of some interesting characters and some intriguing concepts At the core of this novel are questions like What does it mean to be alive What is conciousness and When is it ok to kill but, to my mind, they re wrapped up enough in the story that you don t feel preached at And Zindell s mystic style suits his somewhat mythical material I d definitely read it again.That said, I might have trouble recommending it to anyone else Some people will agree with me and like it, of course, but some people are going to be jumping up and down shouting shutupshutupshutup and make something HAPPEN by about halfway through one of the main character Danlos mystic journeys of discovery I would say stately but I can also see how for some the pace would be merely slow Strangely because I often winge about the bloating of the modern SF novel I didn t feel these 3 800 page books were too much for the story, but I m not sure I can explain why It just felt about right I would recommend reading Zindell s standalone novel Neverness first if you like it, come read these if not, save yourself some pain.Also interesting to have a book about space travel written by a mathematician He doesn t go into the maths, but he makes them seem real That he makes the hero pilots that everyone looks up to in his world The Order of Mystic Mathematicians seems less like putting himself on a pedestal andlike poking fun at mystics and mathematicians alike Don t let the distant planet setting fool ya This book isn t your typical sci fi If anything, it would probably beat home in the philosophy section.Of course, it is quite usual for sci fi novels to tackle a big question or theme The added scope of the setting allows for some interesting extrapolation of themes and ideas I knoweth of what I speak, honest, lol My dissertation in uni was on character development in sci fi and cult tv But Zindell isn t content with playing with one Don t let the distant planet setting fool ya This book isn t your typical sci fi If anything, it would probably beat home in the philosophy section.Of course, it is quite usual for sci fi novels to tackle a big question or theme The added scope of the setting allows for some interesting extrapolation of themes and ideas I knoweth of what I speak, honest, lol My dissertation in uni was on character development in sci fi and cult tv But Zindell isn t content with playing with one or two big questions He reaches out and grabs them all, and blends them seamlessly into a narrative that should be one huge mess in its ambition, but is far, far from it It is, in fact,halla.This should be incredibly difficult to read, but isn t It s one you want to take relatively slowly, certainly, in order to take it all in fully, but it s such a smooth, easy read that this isn t a chore at all.Very highly recommended, and a well deserved 5 stars This is one of my favourite book ever A complex mix of hard sci fi, philosophy and spirituality, this is a true epic Why hasn t someone gotten the rights to this series and made an awesome movie or tv series Over the top but fun and occassionally deep, plus grand scale world building Kind of Atlas Shrugged for existentialism Only, you know, good. Incredible Sci Fi Sympathetic characters, gripping plot, eastern based phiolsophical grounding for those who are tired of boy saves world tripe Best of all, fantastic and new imagery Wolfe beats Zindell, but only just Zindell wins overall, as he s not trying to show off how clever he is Very recommended. , ,, , , ,, This had been sitting in my to read list for years I read over 300 pages less than half of the book It didn t meet my interests inclinations, so I chose to drop it Before deciding, I looked online The book s Wikipedia page only refers to the first section of the book, and the Publisher s Weekly review referred to earlier parts and then indicated there s an important twist at the end This didn t leave me with the impression I just had to wait a little for the better stuff Even after 300 This had been sitting in my to read list for years I read over 300 pages less than half of the book It didn t meet my interests inclinations, so I chose to drop it Before deciding, I looked online The book s Wikipedia page only refers to the first section of the book, and the Publisher s Weekly review referred to earlier parts and then indicated there s an important twist at the end This didn t leave me with the impression I just had to wait a little for the better stuff Even after 300 pages, the protagonist is about 16 years old in his first year in an academy.My personal impressions may be biased by the the book not meeting my preferences, but I felt the story of the protagonist s life was told in greater length than needed to convey the significant points.Readers wanting science fiction The first 60 pages have a prehistoric like setting After that, the setting is in a future city, with a number of references to future aspects However, there are many elements which don t seem futuristic, and the basic story doesn t seem to require a science fiction setting

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