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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Paladin of Souls is the second of a trilogy of books, by Lois McMaster Bujold. I have written about the first such book, in particular, I examined whether or not it was a Christian novel. (It's not, but it has some Christian elements.)

The first link in this post is to the Wikipedia article on the book. That article covers matters of plot, and I don't wish to deal with them more, except as it relates to a brief analysis of the theology of the books, particularly this one.

One aspect of the theology of the three books is that no spirit being, even a god, can do anything in the world of matter without some willing help from a human:
So. You dragged me here, whichever of You harries me. But you cannot force me through that door. Nor can you open it yourselves. You cannot lift so much as a leaf; bending iron or my will is a task equally beyond your capacities. (Paladin of Souls. New York: HarperCollins, 2003, p. 170) Ista, the main character, is thinking to the gods. Emphasis in original.

Ista comes to see that service, freely given, is a good thing: ". . . What can the gods give me?" His brows twitched up in an expression of remarkably disingenous goodwill. "Why, work, sweet Ista!" (p. 172) The Bastard (one of the five gods) speaking to Ista in a dream.
It follows that the free will of humans is quite strong.

Bujold is a good writer, and well worth reading. I'll stick to my own God, however, rather than a made-up set of them. Thanks for reading.

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