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Literature / Ravelling Wrath

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A pair of teenagers get caught up in a conflict between the gods.

Rinn Akatura has never really cared about the gods, any more than she cares about "obeying school rules" or "being nice to jerks". But when she – and her girlfriend Yali – are chosen to represent the gods in the Ravelling, they get caught up in a decades-old conflict they could never have imagined. In the magical Otherworld, the Blood God enters Rinn's mind and turns her very emotions into a battlefield, leaving her torn between her love for Yali and an ancient enmity that almost brings them both to the brink of death. Can she find a new kind of strength before the Blood God's wrath consumes her?

Ravelling Wrath is an ongoing Web Serial Novel, which launched in March 2017. It can be read here.

The novel provides examples of:

  • Badass Boast: After Justicar No Sells being stabbed in the face:
    Justicar: ...the Stern has granted me the power to do what must be done. None of your grasping has had the slightest chance to change this. Do you imagine that you have been cheated of a victory, only for want of a more powerful weapon? ... A Justicar is not simply a human who will fold over when struck with a blade. Even if you find a way to pierce my defenses, even if you tear my heart from my chest, the will of the Stern God will always carry me forward.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yali spends the entire first half of the book trying to make sure everyone gets along and no one has to hurt each other, even when the gods are trying to make them fight. But when someone hurts Rinn...
  • Brutal Honesty: Rinn rarely holds back from saying what's on her mind – especially to Morrow. After Morrow falls too far under the Seeking God's influence and starts attacking everyone with his magic powers, and the others have to work together to stop him,
    Morrow: I did something wrong… didn’t I?
    I sized him up, deciding how to answer that. Alchemist would probably have wanted me to soften the truth. But if I did that, I would feel like I was bullshitting him. And even if I did, he would probably just keep digging until he got the truth out of me.
    “You pretty much did,” I said. “You fucked up real bad, and you hurt all three of us. And it could’ve been a lot worse if we hadn’t all worked together to save you. But –” I grabbed his shoulder and made him look at me. “– it’s over now. You don’t have to hurt anyone anymore.”
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Once you are chosen to participate in the Ravelling, you can't get out of it. Even if you die.
  • Content Warnings: At the top of each chapter.
  • Divine Conflict: The main plot.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    Rinn: That couldn’t be right, could it? She wasn’t afraid, it was just a reaction, like when I’d first summoned a Blood Blade. She knew I wouldn’t actually hurt her, right? I was just blowing off steam! And besides, she had looked way more scared when the Blood Blade thing happened! And then she’d gotten back under control right away, because she knew it was just me and I wouldn’t hurt her! Obviously! So obviously, THIS time, maybe I did some stuff I shouldn’t have, and she got scared, but then I started backing off, and then she was… still acting scared… because… that meant…
    I had made her afraid of me.
  • Good Versus Good: Justicar has many virtues, and she genuinely believes that she has to fight against Rinn in order to stop the violence of the Blood God inside Rinn. Meanwhile, Rinn is struggling internally with the Blood God in her own way. There's even another layer of this trope when they learn that the Blood God itself was only trying to fight back against another god that was the original aggressor.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: The Stern God (which is the closest to stereotypical "holiness" among the gods) values personal sacrifice and uncompromising commitment to principles – and its magic reflects that, for better or for worse.
    Justicar: If need be, the Stern God will grant me weapons capable of damaging the fabric of the Otherworld itself. But it has always been my duty to minimize the harm that is done.
  • Ms. Exposition: Yali can access all of the memories of dozens of former Farseers, and doesn't hesitate to share this information.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: For most of the story, Rinn would've been happy to have sex with Yali, while Yali held back because of her past trauma. But in chapter 16, it's Yali who initiates this trope, and Rinn who stops her because Rinn can tell something's wrong.
    Yali: I – I – I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die before I ever have sex consensually!
    Rinn: Yali, I don’t understand! I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is fuckin’ hot, but, I thought, you always said –
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Whenever Yali shows negative emotions.
  • Our Gods Are Different: The gods have titles like "The Blood God" instead of names, they perceive the world much more slowly than humans, and they are referred to as "it".
  • The Power of Love: Averted. Yali explicitly states that Rinn's love for her would not be enough to stop Rinn from killing her under the Blood God's influence.
  • Preserve Your Gays: From the author's notes for Chapter 1:
    I can't tell you too much more because SPOILERS!!!!, but there's one thing I can promise you: Rinn and Yali will both survive the entire story. We're purposefully defying (TV Tropes link) that trope where gay characters die instead of getting a happy ending together. Seriously, that trope is awful.
  • Punch a Wall: Wall punching is one of Rinn's go-to ways of venting frustration:
    I slammed my fist into the wall, putting a new dent alongside all the old ones.
    But it doesn't turn out so well for her in chapter 13, where she punches a stone wall and breaks her hand.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Rinn and Yali each intend to go against the will of the god who chose them.
  • Speculative Fiction LGBT
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Discussed.
    Rinn: Haha, yeah, how likely is it that we'd both be chosen? Everyone will think we're the star-crossed lovers for sure.
    Yali: Actually, I think we might literally be star-crossed lovers.
    Rinn: What?
    Yali: 'Star-crossed' means the fates are against us. That definitely fits. Ironically, because –
    Rinn: But, don't you have to, uh, have sex, to count as 'lovers'?
    Yali: What? The word is 'lovers', we love each other, that should be enough! Besides, we're probably going to eventually, I, I, I –
    Rinn: But by then, we might not be star-crossed anymore! This is very important!
  • Super-Toughness: The Stern God's will protects Justicar from all physical harm. The first time we see her fight, her opponent manages to strike her face with a blade – and it doesn't even leave a mark on her cheek.
  • The Theocracy: The city is entirely organized around the temples of the gods.
  • Trapped in Another World: The Otherworld.
  • Urban Fantasy: Despite living in a polytheistic theocracy, the characters also have cars, cell phones, and the Internet.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Both Rinn and Yali, for each other. Near the beginning, Rinn cheerfully offers to beat up anyone who looks at Yali funny. Of course, Yali, being much more reserved and cautious, asks her not to. But by the end, Yali is also this trope for Rinn – when Morrow uses his mind powers nonconsensually on Rinn, Yali beats him so badly that Rinn specifically comments:
    Rinn: Yali had seriously fucked him up. Like, I’d beaten up plenty of assholes myself – and I had gotten beat up plenty of times too, when I picked fights with people bigger than me – but I had never seen someone messed up this bad.
  • Web Serial Novel: Currently ongoing.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Justicar.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The characters travel through vast magical worlds – and those worlds are merely parts of the gods. And the story repeatedly reminds you that the gods don't produce human words or human thoughts on their own. The characters have to interpret the gods' thoughts, literally reducing them to human comprehension.