- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Believing is seeing, as the title of this outstanding collection of fantasies proclaims. And "reading is seeing more than you've ever imagined when in the masterful hands of acclaimed author Diana Wynne Jones. Here are seven tales—seven doorways to bizarre, yet strangely familiar worlds—to transport one and all. In these worlds are a child born to an ordered society but preordained to spread Dissolution . . . a girl who so loves the sun that she renounces her humanity for eternity . . . a cat and a boy, held ...
Believing is seeing, as the title of this outstanding collection of fantasies proclaims. And "reading is seeing more than you've ever imagined when in the masterful hands of acclaimed author Diana Wynne Jones. Here are seven tales—seven doorways to bizarre, yet strangely familiar worlds—to transport one and all. In these worlds are a child born to an ordered society but preordained to spread Dissolution . . . a girl who so loves the sun that she renounces her humanity for eternity . . . a cat and a boy, held captive by an evil magician until they can find a bigger magic of their own . . . a woman imprisoned in a strange country dominated by three ravenous wolves . . . and many other characters and stories just as exceptional. These richly drawn, razor-sharp stories showcase the skills and sheer narrative power of one of the most esteemed fantasy writers of our time.
There was a world called Theare in which Heaven was very well organized. Everything was so precisely worked out that every god knew his or her exact duties, correct prayers, right times for business, utterly exact character, and unmistakable place above or below other gods. This was the case from Great Zond, the king of the gods, through every god, godlet, deity, minor deity, and numen, down to the most immaterial nymph. Even the invisible dragons that lived in the rivers had their invisible lines of demarcation. The universe ran like clockwork. Mankind was not always so regular, but the gods were there to set him right. It had been like this for centuries.
So it was a breach in the very nature of things when, in the middle of the yearly Festival of Water, at which only watery deities were entitled to be present, Great Zond looked up to see Imperion, god of the sun, storming toward him down the halls of Heaven.
"Go away!" cried Zond, aghast.
But Imperion swept on, causing the watery deities gathered there to steam and hiss, and arrived in a wave of heat and warm water at the foot of Zond's high throne.
"Father!" Imperion cried urgently.
A high god like Imperion was entitled to call Zond Father. Zond did not recall whether or not he was actually Imperion's father. The origins of the gods were not quite so orderly as their present existence. But Zond knew that, son of his or not, Imperion had breached all the rules. "Abase yourself," Zond said sternly.
Imperion ignored this command, too. Perhaps this wasjust as well, since the floor of Heaven was awash already, and steaming. Imperion kept his flaming gaze on Zond. "Father! The Sage of Dissolution has been born!
Zond shuddered in the clouds of hot vapor and tried to feel resigned. "It is written," he said, "a Sage shall be born who shall question everything. His questions shall bring down the exquisite order of Heaven and cast all the gods into disorder. It is also written-" Here Zond realized that Imperion had made him break the rules, too. The correct procedure was for Zond to summon the god of prophecy and have that god consult the Book of Heaven. Then he realized that Imperion was the god of prophecy. It was one of his precisely allocated duties. Zond rounded on Imperion. "What do you mean coming and telling me? You're god of prophecy! Go and look in the Book of Heaven!"
"I already have, Father," said Imperion. "I find I prophesied the coming of the Sage of Dissolution when the gods first began. It is written that the Sage shall be born and that I shall not know."
"Then," said Zond, scoring a point, "how is it you're here telling me he has been born?"
"The mere fact," Imperion said, "that I can come here and interrupt the Water Festival shows that the Sage has been born. Our Dissolution has obviously begun."
There was a splash of consternation among the watery gods. They were gathered down the hall as far as they could get from Imperion, but they had all heard. Zond tried to gather his wits. What with the steam raised by lmperion and the spume of dismay thrown out by the rest, the halls of Heaven were in a state nearer chaos than he had known for millennia. Any more of this, and there would be no need for the Sage to ask questions. "Leave us," Zond said to the watery gods. "Events even beyond my control cause this festival to be stopped. You will be informed later of any decision I make." To Zond's dismay, the watery ones hesitated-further evidence of Dissolution. "I promise," he said.
The watery ones made up their minds. They left in waves, all except one. This one was Ock, god of all oceans. Ock was equal in status to Imperion, and heat did not threaten him. He stayed where he was.
Zond was not pleased. Ock, it always seemed to him, was the least orderly of the gods. He did not know his place. He was as restless and unfathomable as mankind. But, with Dissolution already begun, what could Zond do? "You have our permission to stay," he said graciously to Ock, and to Imperion: "Well, how did you know the Sage was born?"
"I was consulting the Book of Heaven on another matter," said lmperion, "and the page opened at my prophecy concerning the Sage of Dissolution. Since it said that I would not know the day and hour when the Sage was born, it followed that he has already been born, or I would not have known. The rest of the prophecy was commendably precise, however. Twenty years from now, he will start questioning Heaven. What shall we do to stop him?"
"I don't see what we can do," Zond said hopelessly. "A prophecy is a prophecy."
"But we must do something!" brazed Imperion. "I insist! I am a god of order, even more than you are. Think what would happen if the sun went inaccurate! This means more to me than anyone. I want the Sage of Dissolution found and killed before he can ask questions."
Zond was shocked. "I can't do that! If the prophecy says he has, to ask questions, then he has to ask them."
Here Ock approached. "Every prophecy has a loophole," he said.
"Of course," snapped Imperion. "I can see the loophole as well as you. I'm taking advantage of the disorder caused by the birth of the Sage to ask Great Zond to kill him and overthrow the prophecy. Thus restoring order."
"Logic chopping is not what I meant," said Ock.
The two gods faced one another. Steam from Ock suffused Imperion and then rained back on Ock, as regularly as breathing. "What did you mean, then?" said Imperion.Believing Is Seeing. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted June 26, 2002
I love Diana's work, she puts out that touch of extra work to make her books amazing, however when i got this book i was a little dissappointed. I thought that this book would be as amazing as her others, but to tell you the truth i think she put out 7 stories that wasn't her best and called it a book. Some of them are worth the read though. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2013
No text was provided for this review.