Monday, 9 August 2010

The Third God by Ricardo Pinto

The Third God by Ricardo Pinto

The Third God is the last book of the Stone Dance of the Chameleon, a much anticipated ending to the series. Although the wait for this third book has been long, it was worth it.

At the end of The Standing Dead, the Ochre tribe has been massacred by Osidian, who becomes the most cruel and hateful person in the world in Carnelian's eyes. But there is also the threat of the Masters coming to Earthsky, putting the lives of Carnelian's loved ones in danger, so that he is forced to protect and ally with Osidian in order to save them.

The Third God tells of the return of Osidian and Carnelian to Osrakun, the war they wage against the Chosen that stay in their way and Osidian's revenge against his brother and mother.

I thought, when I bought the book, that the title was one "Big Spoiler". It is, and it isn't. In some sense it warns to the existence of another God, but its significance is really only learnt at the end of the book. There's a revelation that the title hints at, but only at the what, and not at the how.

Beautifully crafted in terms of world building, this book requires some time to read. Not only because of its size, but because of the pace of the action, that is not as fast as most fantasy, but takes time to describe both the beauty of the places and people, and the horror of war and human nature. Since the first book that I loved the Caste System that rules the Three Lands, the Masks and Costumes, the different people that inhabit it, and the sheer complexity of the politics and laws that make the world that is found in The Stone Dance of the Chameleon (I was really happy to find that there is a lot of extra material regarding the world building on the author's website).

I admit to being lost on some parts, when I couldn't remember exactly what happened in the previous books (after all, it has been some time since I read them), and when sometimes I couldn't see much sense to the characters actions. But when all the pieces finally were set in place, and the "secret" comes out, it makes so much sense, and it's perfect. That probably was what I loved the most in The Third God – the discovery of the founding stones of that society, the whys of the rules set in place. Much like in Tolkien's Silmarillion, I wanted to delve into the History of that fantasy world, that because of its complexity and level of detail, feels frighteningly real.

My favourite character from the beginning of the series was Osidian, and it was with some sadness that I came to realize that the story was not about him. It was with some apprehension that I continued reading, dreading what usually happens to characters that are evil in any way: their death. Osidian is not "The Evil One", although he is not a very pleasant fellow either. One of the strong points of The Stone Dance of the Chameleon is that it's ripe with morally grey characters, there is no black and white. Osidian is completely brutal and monstrous, but at the same time very much like a lost child in search of approval and love.

I loved reading this series, but, like it usually happens with good things, I'm sad that it came to an end. Different from most fantasy I've read, it evokes a vivid imagery every time I think about it. Not a fast or light read, but an immensely enjoyable one. I will probably do a re-read of the entire series in a near future.



  1. quote:
    "My favourite character from the beginning of the series was Osidian, and it was with some sadness that I came to realize that the story was not about him." --> LOL, I'm sorry to remind you quigui, but you always seem to fancy those know, those less important, it made me laugh that you sounded surprised realizing it xD (just messing with you :p)

    It sounds like a quite complex story/series, I don't think I would ever have the patience/brains for it *.*

  2. Yes, I know, I like unimportant evil characters...but in this case Osidian is important, he just isn't as important as I thought he would be (not the main character but he influences a lot of the main character's decisions, mostly because Carnelian has to anticipate who Osidian might kill, and try to prevent it).

    It is complex, and there is a lot of politics in it, so that when I started the first book, I kind of zoned out on those parts. But it's the kind of book that you want to know what happens, because you get incredibly curious about the society and the characters (and the gay romance, of course :P)

  3. Sounds gorge..but how interesting that the characters name is close to the black stone.

  4. Most of the Chosen characters (that are the Elite group of the book) have names derived from stone names. There is Osidian, Carnelian, Molochite, Jasper...
    And then the same thing happens with the barbarians names, but those come from nature elements: Fern, Poppy, Akaisha, Krow...
    I really liked that there was a lot thought put into creating the world, and the characters.