One of the big questions I wrestle with as I continue to write the Chronicles of the Third Realm Wars series is, where the hell are the gods?

Much like in our real world, Terath's gods can often seem distant and even apathetic in the face of great danger, horrors and tragedy. Do they just not care? Are they even paying attention?

These questions are woven throughout the books because they are constantly within me.

Maybe this is why, as I suddenly realized a few weeks ago, so many of the books I love also put questions about the gods and their engagement with our world front and center.

Over at Book Riot, I've compiled a list of them. If you love American Gods and its strange tale of a deity-level power shift, you'll get as much theological wrangling from these tales as I have.

Read the article here.

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Golems have not gained the massive popularity that, say, vampires and zombies have. But they still get around, a lot more than we notice most of the time. Golems and other golem-like beings of inanimate materials brought to life with magic are easy to find within fantasy worlds.

Here are some places you can find golems in books:

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The Golem and the Jinni, by Helen Wecker
In this story about immigration in 1899 New York City, a golem is left alone after her master dies on the ship on their way to America. Meanwhile, a jinni is set free after being locked in a copper flask for 1,000 years. As each struggles to find their place in a new world, these two supernatural creatures stumble across each other.

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Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
Part of Pratchett's renowned Discworld series, this story combines quality fantasy with sharp humor. In a city teeming with vampires, werewolves, dwarfs, and, yes, golems, a reluctant Head of the City Watch must hunt down whatever is murdering people all over the city, and determine whether it is responsible for its actions ... or if someone else is.

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The Golem, by Elie Wiesel
This novel offers a retelling of the traditional Jewish folk tale of Rabbi Yehuda Loew and his golem (more about that here), as seen through the eyes of a village gravedigger who witnessed the golem's deeds as a child.

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Mud (Chronicles of the Third Realm War Book 1), by E. J. Wenstrom (A.K.A. me)
Adem is a golem whose maker bound him to protect a small box at any cost, even murder, and Adem can't bear it anymore. When an angel offers Adem a soul in trade for a favor, he agrees to take on a quest to break into the Underworld and steal back the soul of the angel's long-dead human love--and could drag the entire realm into an ages-old war along the way.

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The Golem, by Gustav Meyrink
In this enigmatic twist on the same folk tale about Rabbi Yehuda Loew, the golem recreates itself every 33 years in a room without a door, has the same face as the narrator, and haunts the people of Prague--a city that manifests in this story as an eerie, claustrophobic and fantastical underworld.

 

Join my email list--In the coming weeks, we'll delve into golems in television, movies and comic books.

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