Blackdog
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Blackdog

by K. V. Johansen
Release date: August 23, 2011
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

Long ago, in the days of the first kings in the north, there were seven devils...

In a land where gods walk on the hills and goddesses rise from river, lake, and spring, the caravan-guard Holla-Sayan, escaping a bloodily-conquered lakeside town, stops to help an abandoned child and a dying dog. The girl, though, is the incarnation of Attalissa, goddess of Lissavakail, and the dog a shape-changing guardian spirit whose origins have been forgotten.  Possessed and nearly driven mad by the Blackdog, he flees to the desert road, taking the powerless avatar with him.

And long ago, after the days of the first kings in the north, the seven devils, who had deceived and possessed seven of the greatest wizards of the world, were defeated and bound with the help of the Old Great Gods...

Moth was once Ulfhild the King's Sword, wizard and warrior of the north. And she was once Vartu Kingsbane, one of the seven devils of legend. Moth cares little for the fate of a minor goddess of the earth like Attalissa, but at the command of the Old Great Gods she is hunting down her former comrades, though how her enemies have compelled her obedience is a mystery even to her lover, the bear-demon Mikki.

And perhaps some of the devils are free in the world, and perhaps some are working to free themselves still.

Necromancy, treachery, massacres and rebellions, gods dead or lost or mad, follow hard on the devils' heels. But it is Attalissa herself who may be the Blackdog's — and Holla-Sayan's — doom.

"Interesting and absorbing; Blackdog takes as its heart, and its strength, a subject that most fantasy writers shy away from — the Gods themselves." — Tom Lloyd

"I'm hooked. The mix of magic, Tibetan-style religion, and Harold Lamb-style adventures is pretty addicting." — James Enge

(updated 2018-08-17)

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