Quite simply the best book about a whale since Moby Dick.
The Idiot Gods is an epic tale told by an orca. David Zindell returns to the grand themes of Neverness in this uniquely moving book.
An epic tale of a quest for a new way of life on earth, told by an orca.
When Arjuna of the Blue Aria Family encounters three signs of cataclysm, he leaves his home in the Arctic Ocean to seek out the Idiot Gods and ask us why we are destroying the world. But the whales’ ancient Song of Life is beyond our understanding, and we know nothing of the Great Covenant between our kinds. Arjuna is captured, starved, tortured and made to do tricks in a tiny pool at Sea Circus.
His love for a human linguist gives him hope, even as he despairs that other people twist his words and continue the worldwide slaughter. As the whales' beloved Ocean turns toward the Blood Solstice the fate of humanity hangs in the balance: for if Arjuna gains the Voice of Death he could destroy mankind. But if understanding can prevail, he may, through the whales’ mysterious power of quenging, create a new Song of Life and enable human evolution to unfold.
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‘David Zindell has place himself at the forefront of literary SF’ London Times Literary Supplement
‘Zindell makes you think’
'One of the finest talents to appear since Kim Stanley Robinson and William Gibson – perhaps the finest'
A stunning new epic fantasy which tells of how the rapid development of magic transforms a world. On the world of Erdu it is late in a long, dark age. Everywhere magic is woven into the fabric of society, but it is a low magic of little power. There is a growing sense, though, that all the seperate strands of magic are becoming more developed and powerful. The most learned of the wizards are whispering a word out of the mists of time: the Behel Lus. This is thought to be the single power that feeds the working of all magic. Masters of the greatest guilds begin seeking ways of understanding how the Behel Lus might accomplish such seemingly different feats as making a love charm or calling up a rain cloud. In the air hangs a sense of discovery, excitement and great possibilities. On his eighteenth birthday, the slave Nicholas Medeus overhears a trader describing a magic school where 'men are taught to fly like eagles and summon dragons' and immediately begins planning his escape. Although he manages to steal his owner's fastest horse, he has never ridden before, and his pursuers soon catch up with him.But Nicholas has a talent he was not aware he possessed; just as he is about to be caught he transforms into a wolf. On reaching the school of magic, dirty and half-starved, Nicholas is met with ridicule. But when he manages to summon an eagle he gains the favour of three of the wizards and is admitted to the school. Now begins the growth of the most poweful wizard Erdu has ever seen. Nicholas will eventually come to a deep understanding of the Behel Lus and how it can be used to the benefit of humankind. But he will also gain bitter rivals, with very different ideas.
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