Approaching Terry Pratchett, many make the mistake of thinking that they have to start from the beginning. The thirteenth Discworld novel, Small Gods is essentially a standalone story that showcases Pratchett’s ability to produce something as profound and substantial as any great author of his era. In Discworld, gods are ubiquitous but not omnipotent. Swarming in their billions, their power is dependent solely on the strength of their followers’ belief. With vast temples built in his name, and thousands proclaiming their faith, the Great God Om should be almighty. But he has a problem: the only person who actually believes in him, truly, is Brutha, a distinctly unpromising novice with little chance of become a priest. Delving into concepts of faith, ritual, and belonging, Small Gods is perhaps the ultimate riposte to anybody who claims that the fantasy genre doesn’t have anything of substance to say.
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