The Redemption of Althalus is a stand-alone fantasy novel by David and Leigh Eddings about... well, the Redemption of Althalus.In his early adult life, Althalus was a thief. Since he was neither strong enough to rob people by force nor small and fast enough to steal via stealth, he aspired to become successful by outwitting his targets. He did, and he managed to gain a reputation as the best thief in the northern wilds of the world. After hearing of the wealth available in the cities to the south, he decided to try his luck there. When things didn't go well, he returned home and accepted a job to steal a Book from the House at the End of the World.Upon reaching the house, Althalus met the goddess Dweia and became her disciple, spending multiple centuries preparing for the final confrontation between the forces of good and evil, before embarking on a journey with her to find those needed to unite and destroy the evil that threatened the world.This book provides examples of:
Because Destiny Says So: Lampshaded: Each good character has an evil counterpart, and they are the only ones who are allowed to confront them, despite Althalus preferring to get things over with quickly.
Chekhov's Gunman: Ghend, who first shows up to recruit Althalus for the job of stealing the Book and then, chapters later, turns out to the be The Dragon (although when a character is described as reflecting fire in his eyes even when the real fire has gone out and carries around a book whose writing makes even someone who can't read uncomfortable, it's pretty obvious there's something more at work). A subtler example is the mad eremite in Kaghwer who talks to God and points Althalus towards the Edge of the World. When he is met again in the re-run at the end of the book, it turns out he was talking to himself.
I Have Many Names: There are dozens of gods in the world, known by names like Kherdhos and Apwos. Turns out that there's only three gods- Deiwos, Daeva and Dweia. Apwos, Kherdhos and all the others are just other names for Deiwos- cultures looked at what was most important to them, like lakes or herds, and turned that into the names of their god- Apwos means 'water god' and Kherdhos means 'herd god'.
Informed Attribute / Offstage Villainy: Despite the numerous comments made by Dweia, as well as Argan and Koman, suggesting that the depths of Yakhag's evil is too horrible to discuss, and Gelta's obvious terror of him, the most villainous thing he's portrayed or discussed doing is killing a relatively minor character in a fairly straightforward manner.
Suffer The Slings: The shepards can kill a charging warhorse with a well-aimed shot; they soon become very popular among the mercenary army.
Sweet Polly Oliver: Althalus gets Leitha onto a battlefield by pretending that she is a male ballista specialist. This leads to an officer hearing her distract Koman with random numbers and assuming that she is doing calculations.