A Panning For Clouds first, reviewing… things! Probably mostly books!
I don’t want to turn this into a “reviews whatever is popular to get hits” blog, so I’m more likely to review things I enjoy that are lesser known, such as indie games, local authors, self-pubs, weird movies.
So let’s get to it, eh?
Forged by Fate – A Review
Book One of the ‘Fate of the Gods’ Trilogy by Amalia Dillin
Forged by Fate has an interesting premise that pits Western Religion’s Adam and Eve against each other instead of being together forever. You could say it takes the concept of Original Sin to an extreme in order to establish its origins. Every other pantheon of gods exist, too: Zeus, Ares, Odin, Ra, Bhagava, Loki, Athena, Hermes, you name it they’re in this story in some capacity. It is the story of the rise and fall of civilizations, of gods and angels, of pride and grief.
The main characters in this tale – those whom we get to see through their eyes – are Eve, Mother of Humanity, and Thor, God of Thunder. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that we see them in several iterations throughout the course of the story, in different time periods.
Can’t really go into much more detail without getting super spoilerific, but the basic gist is that we get to see some of the major stepping stones in Eve’s immortal life, and the conflicts that arise as a result of her presence.
Is it just a trashy romance novel? That was my initial impression with the cover art of Forged, but it is not just a romance. It has at its heart a struggle greater than the mere love of its characters.
I enjoyed the take on the gods and the twisting of myth, folklore, and religion to tell this unique tale of Adam and Eve throughout the ages. There are simple villains and complex villains, just as there are simple heroes and complex heroes. Nobody is perfect in this fictional version of our past and present, and that’s a welcome thing.
Forged by Fate isn’t perfect, nor is it the best story I’ve read this year. It has a tendency to tread over the same ground multiple times, which may be a result of the shifting focuses on present, past, and extra-past. It also suffers a little bit because Eve, as a character, is almost always being acted upon, and is rarely the one creating the impetus of action and reaction in her life. Her passive nature makes her feel insubstantial, while Adam, Thor, Loki, Sif, and others are all doing things that positively and negatively affect the world, whether it’s on her behalf or for their benefit, and she feels very willowy by comparison. Sometimes it’s uncertain why humans and gods have any interest in her at all.
Thor, on the other hand, is a blast to follow around. On the heels of Marvel’s big screen version of the Norse god of thunder – who is often impetuous and war-hungry, the prototypical brute with a great body – it’s refreshing to see a Thor who is all of those things, but is also so much more: a diplomat, a protector, an emotionally-fuelled and driven creature pulled by hearth and heart alike. His journey is not the core focus of the story, but it is certainly the catalyst for much that’s happening in it.
Amalia Dillin has crafted an intricate twist on the stories and myths we all know, and you can definitely feel her dedication to the old myths and tales in the way she deftly handles them, telling a story that has never existed, but with all the familiar elements we’ve come to expect in our old gods.
She has a novella out now, Temping Fate, that explores the story told in Forged from different angles, in preparation for the second book in the trilogy, Fate Forgotten, out in November. I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress with Adam and Eve and their good buddy Thor!
So get out there and read Amalia Dillin’s Forged by Fate today