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Shardik, by Richard Adams (1 Viewer)

wowzer77

Senior Member
I finished reading shardik a few weeks ago, but for some reason haven't gotten around to reviewing it until now. Shardik, in short, is the best book I have ever read. It is about a hunter named Kelderek, a simple man living in an almost-barbaric society on an island called Ortelga. He leads a simple life and has a reputation to play with the town children, earning him the title 'Kelderek Play-with-the-Children'. But one day, out hunting, a giant monstrous bear saves his life. This bear is extremely big, unnaturally big. But he is not just a bear. The religion of a cult of priestesses who live on an island of the coast of Ortelga believe the bear, Shardik as they call him, is the divine power of God come alive as an animal, and worship him. This religion actually used to be the religion of the entire empire until the first bear died. Now they believe he is back, and prophecy fortells that he will choose two vessels to aid him in unveiling the ultimate truth and power of God. The lead priestess, whose name and title is The Tuginda, and a few of her priestesses, along with the simple hunter Kelderek begin to follow Shardik through the woods and live alongside him. But he is a dangerous animal who will attack randomly. Eventually, after a good deal of influence and promise, Kelderek becomes reshaped, first becoming a divine leader, then being broken and born again as the prophecy fortells. The novel is a standalone story, but considered epic fantasy nevertheless. There are no dragons, no monsters, no magic. In fact, all this could have actually happened long ago somewhere in the middle east at the beginning of the iron age. The setting, the Beklan Empire, is supposed to be seen as a place that could have existed but hasn't been dug up, and is home to marvelous structures and cities spanning many miles. The book is an insight into human interperatation of faith, it shows what religious beliefs can drive people to do, and explains how everyone should appreciate the little things in life. Whether the bear is the Incarnation of God is never truly told in this book, and is left up to the reader to consider. But the effects the bear has on the characters are undoubtable and certain. If you wish to be moved, to cry, to love, to hate, to be thrilled, to read for hours without stopping, and to ask yourself a few questions about your life, this book is for you. It is purely and simply brilliant. :read::thumbl:
 

wowzer77

Senior Member
Hodge said:
There's a sequel called Maia.

Yes, a prequel actually, but it doesn't relate to Shardik's storyline except that it involves one of the wars talked about in Shardik. Supposedly its very good, but I'm having a hard time finding it.
 
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