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Literature / Godspeaker Trilogy

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Art by Les Petersen.

The Godspeaker Trilogy is a Dark Heroic Fantasy trilogy of novels by Karen Miller.

Centered around the two main female characters: slave turned warrior turned Empress Hekat and Distressed Damsel Rhian. Assisting Hekat is Vortka, one of the few good guys in his country's horrible religion. On Rhian's side is Dexterity Jones, who, with the help of his his dead wife Hettie, turns into the Fantastic Glowing Man with Healing Hands. In the middle is Zandakar whose younger brother Dmitrak he's always had some problems with, not to mention a rivalry in the power weapon department.

The first novel is Empress of Mijak or Empress, in which Hekat is sold as a slave by her parents, escapes to become the instrument of Mijak's God, being a sort of Chosen One who thinks anyone who disagrees with her is possessed by demons as she is following the God's plan. She seduces the warlord Raklion, bears a son by the benevolent priest Vortka and ends up Queen of the whole known world.

The sequel The Riven Kingdom involves Rhian running away from her Arranged Marriage and becoming queen in her own right with the help of Dexterity and Zandakar, going against the High Priest Marlan who just thinks Rhian should just get married and really doesn't believe in any religion at all.

In Hammer of God, Rhian fights a sea battle for her crown with Mass Teleportation and a Final Battle with some great explosive sequences.

  1. Empress of Mijak (2007)
  2. The Riven Kingdom (2007)
  3. Hammer of God (2008)

The series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Hekat and later Rhian, and there are a lot of action girls as Mijak lets women be warriors.
  • Ambition Is Evil: It's never quite clear whether one of Hekat's viler acts is truly motivated by her god speaking to her from within, or just her own ambition. For example, her using a divine curse to spiritually "neuter" Vortka, rendering him incapable of fathering future children that could challenge Zandakar's ability to wield the Power Crystal (and, coincidentally, negating his own ability to do the same) could have just been her own zeal to see her dynastic plans not thwarted... or genuinely prompted by the god in order to ensure her next child would be by Nagarak, ensuring he would be much more like a typical Mijaki.
  • Battle Cry: "Chalava! Chalava zho!"
  • Blood Bath: Mijak's godspeakers bathe in animal blood to commune with their god.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Hekat kills the two slavers who bought her with a divine-like curse as they had revealed her as a runaway slave to the warlord, and if the godspeakers heard, she would be nailed to a cross, disemboweled and left to die. Ironically, no actual blood is shed, and she even choses to forgo slitting their throats to use the curse.
  • Blood Magic: The Religion of Evil of Mijak is built on The Power of Blood, and thousands of animals and slaves die to spread the power of their dark god.
  • The Chessmaster: Hekat and her god both; it's hard to tell which of them is actually writing the plans, but either way she's involved in a lot of scheming.
  • Conlang: Mijaki has a handful of words. Sadsa is camel's milk. Knife dancers forms are hotas. Zandakar calls his mother Yuma.
  • The Chosen One: Dexterity Jones and Zandakar are chosen by the God of Ethrea. Hekat, meanwhile, is The Chosen One of the chalava of Mijak.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The historical figure Rollin, and later Dexterity Jones.
  • Evil Makeover: Zandakar's hair turns blue when he uses the hammer, Dmitrak's turns red. Hekat gives herself an evil makeover.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: According to Miller, Mijak is supposed to be like the Hittites where Ethrea is Medieval England. Tzhung-tzhungchai is obviously China, while Arbenia and Harbisland have German traits.
  • The Federation: The trade alliance with Ethrea, Rhian has to go through hell to get them to help her when Mijak is coming to attack.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Marlan has never encountered his God before, and doesn't believe that He exists. What makes it this trope, however, is that he continues to hold this belief in the face of the divinely-chosen Dexterity Jones, even when the guy's glowing with power, and is struck down for his trouble.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Dmitrak's personality is because his mother Hekat never liked him.
    • Hekat herself; her own childhood was horrifically abusive (she wasn't even named and her father demanded her mother not even bother trying to teach her to talk), and the trader that she thought had rescued her by purchasing her as a slave and proceeding to treat her with exceptional kindness was really just trying to amp up her value for when he sold her as a concubine. It's not really that surprising she becomes psychotically vicious in trying to climb as high in power as she can so she can at last be "safe".
  • God Is Evil: In Empress. The god is not actually the God that the characters in the later books describe.
  • God of Evil: The Mijaki God, otherwise known as a pool of demons fueled by death and blood.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Ethrea doesn't have a standing army due to the treaty of the trading nations.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Both Hekat and Rhian cut themselves on the face so men can take them seriously. Hekat cuts her face twice.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Hekat, before she realizes that the slavers care about her solely for her value and not for herself.
  • Kill It with Fire: The gauntlet fires people where they stand. As well as Marlan's death.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Subverted here. We know the paternity of Zandakar and Dmitrak from the first novel, neither of them are told this until the third. And in Dmitrak's case it's just before he kills his mother and gets killed himself.
  • Plot Hole: Mijak's Hekat chooses her name due to mispronouncing "hellcat," which she was called as a child. Ethrean sounds like English no matter what point of view it's heard from, while Mijaki is represented as a completely different language when heard by Ethrean characters. The plot hole here is how the term "hellcat" sounds exactly the same in two uniquely-developed languages.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Dmitrak, as mentioned above. His mother really does not like him. She only came up with the idea of having a second child able to wield the Power Crystal because she hoped that this "spare" would attract the attention of demons and thusly be a living, disposable shield for her precious Zandakar.
    • His efforts to win Hekat's love are even more doomed by the fact she had to lie with a man she absolutely hated and despised, the high godspeaker Nagarak (due to having earlier gelded Vortka on a spiritual level to avoid future competition for Zandakar), in order to conceive him. That he was an agonizing breach birth, requiring an unspeakably painful caesarian that she never fully recovered from, is just icing on the cake.