Galen loved dreaming up stories, until he was drawn into a nightmare.
An irresistible Longing drags Galen to an ancient vault where, long ago, the gods of Order locked Chaos away. Chaos promises power to the one destined to liberate it, but Galen’s dreams warn of dark consequences.
He isn’t the only one racing to the vault, however. Horace, the bully who lives to torment Galen, is determined to unleash Chaos–and he might know how to do it.
Galen’s imagination always got him into trouble, but now it may be the only thing that can prevent Horace from unraveling the world.
Honestly it was quite difficult for me to read this book, but not because I was not caught up in the story or dislike the writing, but because my native language is Spanish, this book is in English and Glen, the author, uses many words that I did not know. At least it helped me to practice ?.
For example, at first I had a hard time understanding what “Longing” meant, as I thought I was mistranslating it. However, the story gradually clears up.
The book begins with Lorre. A woman, mother of twins, who is desperately following her Longing. This takes her to a strange cave where she met a black-cloaked man named Kooris, a priest from Evil.
The cave turns out to be the “temple” of Chaos and Kooris is a kind of guardian who is responsible for killing everyone who is called to the cave. The priest traps Lorre’s mind in a mirror, causing her to drop three dices that she found on her way and that helped control her Longing. These fall with the figures of a stalactite, an hourglass and a child. Out of nowhere the cave fills up with water and then Lorre’s body freezes with a giant statue at her side and with the dices, out of Kooris’ reach.
Honestly up to here I didn’t understand anything XD. But going a little further everything starts to make sense. Let’s put ourselves in context.
At the beginning of everything there was the time of the Dreaming, without consistent forms or content, but which generated two fundamental concepts: Order and Chaos. Order could not bear not having structure, so it tried to direct the flows of the Dreaming and was expelled by it.
Outside the Dreaming, with a place that did allow structure, each of the ideas that formed Order became a god. Each of these sent a Gift to human beings, which allowed him to communicate with the high priest of his religion, in addition to attracting priests, people who belong to his temple. Among the gods were Charity, Evil, Good, Law, War, among many others.
War’s philosophy is to present an overwhelming force. An enemy must never have to hope to prevail. The battle should be over before it has begun.
When a Gift from Chaos falls from the sky, the gods decide to lock it in a cave that can only be opened by them, to ensure that no one can access it. However, legend states that the Child of Chaos will arrive, get the gift, and make the decision to destroy it or free it to the world.
Now, for a person to become a priest of a temple, he had to pass a test that proves he felt Longing for the Gift of that god. Those who did not feel any Longing were known as the faithless and had to pay tribute. In case of not having enough money they could be bought by some temple as workers (slaves).
Now that the context of the world is clear (hopefully), let’s get back to the story.
Six years after Lorre’s disappearance. Her 12-year-old twins, Galen and Myra, prepare to take the Temple of Charity test. It is clear to everyone that Myra is meant to be a priestess of Charity, but Galen only goes to try his luck. In his mind he dreams of being a hero like those in the stories he wrote with his mother, instead of a simple fisherman like his father.
“Some rules stink. Actually, most do. They’re always making everything worse…” said Galen
Indeed, Myra is accepted as a priestess, but her brother is not. However, he begins to realize that he seems to have a Longing for a religion.
Eventually Galen understands that he is being called to the “temple” of Chaos and that his mother probably lived the same before him.
“Yes, your mind has bright, amusing notions tucked away.” Nobbin’s muffled voice rose from under the carpet of craziness at his feet. “But now your hidden darkness is also free to play.”
Meanwhile, Horace has become a priest of Evil. Horace was friends with Galen when they were little, but when his mother died he changed dramatically and became a bully who made Galen’s life impossible whenever he could. From his way of being, it was very logical for him to become a priest of Evil, however, he realized that he was still feeling another Longing. After learning the legend of Chaos, Horace understood that he was being called by his Gift, and he set out to get it at all costs, as the legitimate Child of Chaos.
In a world where the gods cannot directly intervene and the priests fully follow the orders of the high priests of their respective temples, no one is able to foresee Horace’s actions. Galen and his group must stop him at all costs, but the truth is that Galen is not a hero, he is just a boy with an overactive imagination that does nothing but get him into trouble. What can he do?
Your imagination is who you are. Everything in those dreams comes from you, even the dark, even your fear.
So far I feel like I already told more than I should have, but I couldn’t find a way to describe the story without explaining the context of it.
This book surprised me a lot. The construction of the universe is amazing. Now I know that Glen works in video games and the truth is that his knowledge of fantastic worlds shows. Reading it was like watching a movie. The characters themselves are well-developed, however, Horace’s personality has the most development. You don’t get to know characters like Gusset or Myra as much as I would have liked, but I suppose there is time in the rest of the saga. Anyway I am not, it is not something that makes the story less interesting.
The story is much cruder than I imagined. Knowing that the protagonists were around 12 years old, I imagined a lighter story, however it deals with quite serious topics, there are quite a few sadistic deaths and murders. Although this does not monopolize the story, but it seems important for me to warn about it.
He might only be a scared kid. He certainly was no hero. But he couldn’t let Gusset die while he did nothing.
Something that I found very interesting is the description of Chaos, in addition to the theory that excess of Order becomes oppressive. Apparently this is a recurring theme in other authors but it is the first time that I see it and I really liked it.
Finally, I highly recommend this book. It was a very entertaining read. Also, I love stories that include gods and this one is very original to me. In addition to magical artifacts. I will be waiting for the next books in the saga.
For me this book deserves 4.5 / 5 stars. I do not give it 5 simply because I feel that something was missing, however, the more I think about it the more I convince myself that this happened because of my difficulty reading it and not because of the book itself.
You can see the effort and love that Glen put into this story, in addition to the fact that he has some drawings inside, such as the dice, which are made by his (very talented) son.
Bye bye ?