First Lines: The Key to Creation

In The Key to Creation, Book Three of Kevin J. Anderson’s Terra Incognita trilogy, the inevitable is about to happen. Two decades of religious hatred from two opposing continents and religions is about to explode into the violent orgy of violence to end the mother of all religious violent orgies. Something like that. There can only be one outcome, and that’ll be a very nasty affair.

Meanwhile, unknown to each other, two competing ships are racing to their destination, the Holy Island of Terravitae, the homeland of Ondun, the Creator of All Things, and the island from where his sons, the founders of their respective religions, once set sail to explore the world and to find the lost Key to Creation.

Of course, in the end all works out. Both ships meet just before reaching Terravitae, and because both are badly damaged, forcing the opposing factions to cooperate. And then it turns out that the Holy Books from both their religions have nothing to do with what really happened and with what is actually, you know, real:

It bothered him to think that the beliefs that shaped a persons soul were more a result of geographical circumstance than proof or truth. Shouldn’t devotion to the Book of Aiden, or Urec’s Log, be based on the values of the teachings themselves, and noth whether a baby happened to be born in Tierra or Uraba?

Then the long dead Ondun rises from the dead, and they all race home to save the day. If that’s not a Deus ex machina, I’m the pope.

As I said in my comments on the previous parts of this trilogy, the religious angle that permeates everything annoyed the living daylights out of me. So concluding your trilogy with the discovery that both religions aren’t actually all that different and that it would be, like, totally awesome just to be nice to each other for a change is a bit of a cop out. And asking me to accept that this would work as an solution to years of bloodshed and violence is a bit too much, even for a fantasy trilogy. In an ideal world people would just get over themselves, but in the real world it’s not gonna happen.

Book read
Kevin J. Anderson — The Key to Creation (Book Three of Terra Incognita)
First Line
As he rode across Tierra, the constant pounding of hoofbeats echoed the pounding of his heart.