book cover of The Breath of the Sun

The Breath of the Sun

A novel by

Lamat Paed understands paradoxes. She's a great mountain climber who's never summited, the author of a tell-all that didn't really tell anything. For years she guided pilgrims up the foothills of the Sublime Mount, leading them as high as God would let them go. And then she partnered the apostate Southern priest Mother Disaine on the most daring, most blasphemous expedition in history--an attempt to reach the summit of the sacred mountain, the top of God's head. Disaine returned in triumph, claiming to be the first person since the prophet to have summited and lived. But Lamat went into hiding.
Now, late in life and exiled from the mountain, Lamat finally tells her story to her partner, Otile. It's the story of why she really wrote her first book all those years ago, how she came to be cast out from the mountain-dwelling Holoh people, and how she fled to the anonymity of the city to hide from her fame. Most of all, it's the story of her bond with Mother Disaine--the blasphemer, charlatan, and visionary who stole Lamat's life to serve her own purposes--and what really happened on their last, greatest expedition.

''Not since The Left Hand of Darkness has any book conveyed to me the profundity of the winter journey and the intensity of relationships forged in it. But where Le Guin was always evasive about religion in her sublime mountain landscapes, Fellman is direct about it. She creates an immanence in her mountain, The Body of God, that her characters respond to with an authentic and credible religious passion, one that gets mixed up with all other passions in their lives.
''The creed of Asam is elegantly crafted, beautifully quotable: 'Your bodies are the compaction of stars and your minds are the compaction of history. Be decent to each other; pity each other, for it is not an easy state to be made of so much and live for so little a time.' The prose throughout is simple and luminous, with many sentences that hang in the mind: 'Sometimes I think there is nothing sadder than a toy. They usually have faces, but they have no use.' Altogether a book that is about much more than ambition to scale a peak.'' Sarah Tolmie, author of The Stone Boatmen and Two Travelers

Genre: Fantasy

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