A fascinating re-imagining of biblical Eve in a world where ALL the ancient gods exist and where they are constantly negotiating ways of maintaining their territorial holds and, basically, not annihilating each other. A world where Eve is determined to save the world after Adam falls. A world where Adam is unpredictable and often, quite frightening.
Intrigued? You should be. Forged by Fate by Amalia Dillin, is the first in a fascinating fantasy/alternate history trilogy that brings together some of your favorite gods from the ancient world. My favorite is Thor, the Nordic God of Thunder. Dillin re-imagines him as a complex god, torn by duty, and not just an anvil-spinning hot-head.
Dillin weaves several story lines--as well as several epochs--together into a fascinating re-imagining of familiar biblical characters and ancient gods. My only complaint is the cover--I don't think it does the story justice. It looks too much like bodice-ripper, which it is not. It is an intelligent, well-researched foray into alternate biblical history with a compelling story line.
I found Eve's re-imagining particularly fascinating and asked the author if she would share with us her process for developing Eve's character. Here is her response:
It always seemed to me that Eve was getting an unreasonably large share of the blame for the fall of man. I think that’s what it all comes down to, really, and like so many other women in history, misunderstood or villainized to make men look better, I wanted to believe better of her. I wanted to give her a reason for taking the actions she took, beyond just a certain level of gullibility.
Because, let’s face it. Adam and Eve were both pretty naive before they ate the Fruit. God had told them “No,” but they were practically just children, and it always seemed to me that they didn’t really understanding right or wrong or any of those kinds of subtleties. As unsupervised innocents, they would have been easy pickings for the serpent. And what child doesn’t like to test the limits of their parent? Isn’t that part of growing up? Part of coming into adulthood and reaching independence?
|Thor in Forged by Fate: Complex and Fascinating.|
In some traditions, Eve has been lumped in with this idea of deliberate deception. But it seems to me that neither Adam nor Eve were really capable of that kind of behavior before they ate of the Fruit. It’s far more likely and understandable that Eve was being used by the serpent. Maybe to get back at God for whatever reason. Maybe just because he wanted to inject a little mayhem into God’s ordered world. Maybe to test his own limits, and his own skills.
But even that wasn’t really a satisfactory enough answer to me. It seemed like just another way in which agency is taken from women. Another justification for keeping them under the control of men in a patriarchal world. A cautionary idea of: “See what happens when you let a woman think for herself?” The first woman, the greatest pioneer of them all, she had to be more than that. More than a tool, more than a prop, more than an easy excuse for men to remain blameless.
So what if Eve had agency? What if she understood what she was doing, and all the ramifications, all the consequences? And what if, even knowing all that, eating the Fruit was still necessary? What if what was happening around her compelled her to consider that option and make that choice, eyes wide open and heartsick?
And what if it is was a sacrifice, rather than a sin?
You’ll have to read Forged by Fate to find out!
Purchase Forged by Fate at your local independent bookstore (find the closest one to you here), or at B&N or Amazon.