Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Redemption of Althalus

Go To
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:

  • Book Ends: The last section of the book is Althalus going back in time to revisit his adventure in Gosti's hall and his meeting with Ghend, and making it play out differently this time.
  • Broken Bird: Leitha
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: All the heroes are beautiful, strong, wise or great. All the villains are deformed, ugly, scarred and smell bad. Without exception, if a character is described in negative adjectives, they are minions of Daeva.
  • Burn the Witch!: Nearly happens to Leitha, before Althalus and crew save her.
  • 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.
  • Eternal English: When Althalus emerges from the House after two thousand years, he has no trouble understanding anybody, this may be part of his training.
  • Evil Counterpart: Everybody has one (Ghend for Althalus, Argan for Bheid, Koman for Leitha, Khnom for Gher, Gelta for Andine, Pekhal for Eliar and Daeva for Dweia).
  • Expy: Many, many expies for characters from Eddings's earlier books.
    • Althalus himself bears many similarities to both Silk and Belgarath from The Belgariad.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How Gelta is dealt with, by sending her to a room in The House. "It's a fairly nice room, it just doesn't have any doors or windows."
    • Given his reactions to it, Yakhag's life is this.
    • Koman's reaction to Leitha disconnecting his ability to read minds certainly suggests this is how he viewed it.
  • Fiction 500: Dweia leads Althalus to the location of an enormous storehouse of gold that he uses to hire all the Arum clans as mercenary armies.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Daeva's headquarters Nahgharash apparently looks like this.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Played straight with Deiwos, averted with Dweia.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Althalus returns to the past and becomes thieving partners with Ghend.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Andine, who spends the first part of the book trying to kill Eliar.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bheid has this after he kills Yakhag.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Deiwos to Althalus.
  • 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'.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Pekhal likes eating human flesh.
  • 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.
  • Invincible Hero: The Villains are, to a T, incredible stupid and incompetent compared to the heroes and in the over Five different war fronts, they never, ever so much as put a dent into the heroes plans the closest was when Perka nearly killed Eliar, cutting the heroes from the doors, and yet their armies were slaughtered over and over and over again with barely an effort.
    • Justified, as many of the villains are people who weren't recruited for competence, and include a cannibal from the stone-age, a merchant who was caught selling adulterated goods, and a pariah and lumberjack of an ancient stone-age village. They weren't brought on because they were good at anything, but because they had useful qualities and were willing to sell out the entirety of mankind in exchange for a seat at the table.
  • Language of Magic: Proto-Indo-European fulfils this role.
  • Loophole Abuse: Althalus occasionally uses very loose definitions of words to make magic work. Although it's pointed out that the Book wants to help them, it's Dweia who insists on exact terms.
  • Love Goddess: Dweia is the goddess of love and fertility.
  • Medieval Stasis: Averted, the story starts in the Bronze Age and ends in the Iron Age, and some characters are from the Stone Age.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Dweia and Althalus, minus the betrayal.
  • Negative Continuity: With Dweia appearance. The first time she was described as otherworldly beautiful, a level of perfection that left all the heroes speechless and was obviously beyond mortal ken. All her other encounters with mortals (Arums mostly), her beauty is unremarked by anybody or treated as any other woman in her real form. This is never explained in anyway.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Leitha thinks so anyway.
  • Painting the Medium: The scenes where the villains and Dweia try to change history or the future are printed in a different font than the rest of the narrative.
  • Parental Substitute: Althalus and Dweia take the roles of surrogate parents to the rest of the group.
  • Purple Prose : The "hey-let's-change-history" parts (in a different font, no less) are not as purple as most fanfiction, but more purple than the rest of the text. Lampshaded by the characters.
  • Revenge Myopia: Andine to Eliar over her father's death. She gets over it eventually.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: The witch-hunter who tries to burn Leitha. According to her, he specifically targets women he finds attractive.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Andine's relationship with Eliar starts out with her wanting to brutally and slowly kill him for the death of her father, and ends with them getting Happily Married.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Averted. While Althalus would prefer to die and the mines are considered the ultimate form of evil, most of the characters are indifferent to slaves or are quite ready to profit from it with war prisioners (Ghebel and Kalor).
  • The Starscream: Argan would kill Ghend and take his place in a heartbeat if he could.
  • 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.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Deiwos made the universe, but that doesn't mean he gives a damn about maintaining it in any way
  • There Are No Therapists: Andine and Leitha
  • Tragic Villain: Dweia laments at one point that Daevos was not always the villain he currently is. His duty of destroying things that had reached the end of their existence left him painfully lonely, so he reached out to find companionship. Unfortunately those he surrounded himself with were the worst possible influence, and set him on his current path.
  • Tsundere: Andine
  • Unsexy Sadist: Gelta is sexually aroused by blood and death, and is also described as very ugly, overweight and masculine-looking.
  • Vow of Celibacy: Celibacy is either required or recommended for at least some religious organisations. One village priest deals very badly with it, deciding that the women to whom he is attracted must be using witchcraft on him (since a moral person like himself wouldn't struggle so, otherwise). This results in them getting burned at the stake.
    • when the main clergy sets up a new order to counter the damage caused by the Red Robes scheme, they discussed making the Grey Robes take the same Vow of Celibacy as the other orders... but then decided against it, realizing that Dweia (Goddess of Fertility, remember) would Not Be Pleased.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The telepaths, Leitha and Koman, are vulnerable to people thinking lists of numbers and fractions- specifically, out of order numbers and fractions.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the good guys rescue Leitha from being burned at the stake, they leave without doing anything permanent about the priest. The man had killed countless other girls for alleged witchcraft, and would very likely continue to do so unless stopped, but once the heroes save the one girl they need, they don't care anymore.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Althalus robs somebody but doesn't take anything because he doesn't understand what paper money is.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Dweia and Daeva are fond of this when they're making and breaking prophecies. Althalus tends to make fun of it.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: played straight and inverted.
  • You Killed My Father: The reason that Andine wants to kill Eliar, though the good guys convince her to let it go.