Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Voice of the Gods

by Trudi Canavan


Throughout The Age of the Five Trudi Canavan has been taking aim at blind faith and fanaticism. But it's not until Voice of the Gods that the gloves really come off. Auraya is growing increasingly disaffected with her own gods, whose demands come in the way of her role as the protector of the Siyee people. This conflict is causing a rift between Auraya and her own people, the Circlians. They don't know whether to regard her as an asset, or to fear her as a potentially dangerous traitor.

The Pentadrians, defeated in war, are looking for new ways to undermine the Circlians. Their new leader, Nekaun, always seems to have something up his sleeve. Even his fellow Pentadrian leaders, known as Voices, don't know whether or not to trust him.

Meanwhile Emerahl has been in touch with other Wilds, who need to be very careful to escape the notice of the gods and their followers. For some reason the gods want them dead and regard them as enemies. The Wilds are on the trail of the Scroll of the Gods which a group of scholars have been searching for. They believe it hold secrets that the gods want hidden, and it's a race to uncover the contents before they are found and destroyed.

Mirar meanwhile is travelling south, trying to keep a low profile. Rumours of his return are rife, but he doesn't want to expose himself or the other Dreamweavers to persecution. Already the suggestion that he may be back has caused fear and unrest.

Voice of the Gods is set in a rich and detailed world, which Canavan depicts so vividly that it's easy to lose yourself in it. The author has even created lots of unique flora and fauna for this world, so that the reader need never lose the illusion of being elsewhere. However, it's the same detail that tends to make the story too long, so that individual tales get lost in all of the depth. Characters, and indeed whole races who made up a significant part of Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds might barely get a mention in this novel. It's overcrowded with people who don't always have a significant role to play.

All of this leads to a story that's epic in scope, yet fairly slow paced. It does build up to a dramatic ending, although readers who have been paying attention will have guessed the twist long before the main characters twig. It does make you wonder about the intelligence of Auraya and Nekaun, along with the White and the Pentadrian leaders, when they are all so easily fooled. And perhaps that's the point.

Voice of the Gods charts Auraya's progress away from unquestioning belief into doubt and finally a clearer view of her religion. We get to see the religious conflict from all sides, and the remarkable similarities between the opposing groups of people. It's a world of mysterious, inscrutable and even fickle gods, reminiscent of the pantheons of Greek and Roman myth. This novel rounds off the trilogy on a wry and bittersweet note, a subtle and satisfying ending to an intense and intricate series.

Book Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Books

    Female Protagonist  

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Trudi Canavan