Title: The Sage of Theare
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Gods, Mythology
Dates read: 26th April 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: As soon as he pushed the door open, thick smoke rolled in, filled with harsh crackling.
The Gods are ruled by order and they like it this way. So when the Sage of Dissolution is born they begin to fear that it will be the end of the world as they know it.
Order is not something that comes easily to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly organised and have a system for things. But my life in and of itself is not actually organised. And I don’t tend to follow conventions about 90% of the time. So I kind of liked a dark fantasy tale that dealt with the intersection of order and chaos. How they are both important to the existence of life as we know it.
The gods in this story are kind of a sick-in-the-butt characters. They have rules and restrictions for literally everything, and there is no way in which to deviate from this set path and plan. It means that no one can be questioned and nothing can change. Which in and of itself isn’t horrifying, until you realise that it means the world becomes stagnant and… well, boring.
I like that the mechanism for change in this tale is the child of a god. And in trying to avoid a prophecy, they, well don’t necessarily make it happen. But they bring to light their stupidity and inability to understand the world around them.