booklite: banewreaker

two years ago, my friend sala, introduced me to the fantasy writings of jaqueline carey by way of the epic trilogy of kushiel (kushiel’s dart, kushiel’s chosen, kushiel’s avatar) and i was blown away! while i await the second installment in the next kushiel trilogy, i ventured to check out one of carey’s other novels – banewreaker.

i’ll admit, if i didn’t already know jacqueline carey to be an absolute magician of prose depicting simple beauty, deep sorrows, and other realms with gentle finesse, i would have never picked up this book. i mean, the cover was a huge turnoff for me. for starters, even after reading the book, i don’t understand what the hades is happening on the cover, nor why that woman is soooo pale and is wearing a white dress. however, i do see how the cover fits in the world of fantasy/sci-fi.

anyhow, back to the review…


banewreaker is the first in a trilogy called the sundering (i’m going to pick up the second book today!) chronicaling a war between the shapers – immortal beings who shape existence with their respective powers. try to image that god created 7 beings ( like yoruba orishas/orixas or kemetic ntchru) responsible for contributing something different to the physical world and/or humanity. banewreaker focuses on a dispute-turned-war between two of the shapers: satoris (the sower) and haomane (lord-of-thought). 

here’s an excerpt from the creation story :


In those days, the Seven turned their thoughts to the emerging world…Haomane…gave Shape unto light. And the sun shone with bright radiance as it passed; but the night was black, and Arahila took pity upon it, and did Shape a second light called the moon, pale and beautiful, and thousands upon thousands of stars. This world they called Urulat, after the World God whose death had given birth to it.

And still life emerged from the death of Uru-Alat, those races known as Lesser Shapers (ie humans), and each of the Seven did claim a race and Shape their Children according to their strenghts and desires.

All save Satoris, who spent his time walking to and fro in the earth…But his gift lay in the quickening of the flesh (sexual desire and procreation), and he gave it gladly for the asking.


…and therein lies the rub. because haomane is the eldest of the shapers and masters thought, he feels that he is the natural commander of the others and orders that satoris refrain from imparting the gift of sexual desire and procreation on the lesser shapers like humans and other creatures. satoris, being one “for the people”, refuses to withhold his gift and is eventually demoted from Shaper status and exiled to live among the creatures. all of this is backstory to banewreaker.

in banewreaker the old war is rekindled as both haomane’s allies and satoris attempt to end the war for once and for all. what unfolds is a wonderfully subjective dystopic tale of right and wrong. of course, those who live in the reality created by haomane and satoris respectively feel that theirs is best and should be desired and had by all others. is it better to have the power of thought, introspection, and cunning than the power to be sexually fulfilled and procreate?


which road would you follow?


next up…




~ by Anayah on December 24, 2006.

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