“Go deep enough into the forest, and you’ll find the dark places where the Small Gods lurk. Billions of them, chattering away like mad, never being worshipped by anything larger than small bacteria”
In the land of Omnia, Brutha has no idea that he is the Chosen One, the eighth prophet of the Great God Om. The thing is, Brutha is a simple young gardener with an impressive memory, and the Great and Powerful Om is currently manifested in the form of a small, bad-tempered, tortoise. Not far from Brutha’s garden are the Furnaces of Righteous Piety (read: torture chamber) where Deacon Vorbis, the head of the Quisition (read: grand-high torturer) is a fundamentalist who disbelieves in the true make-up of the Discworld and orchestrates murder and war in the name of Om. Vorbis has his sights set on the infidels of Ephebe, a country of arguing philosophers and theologians who are trying to spread the message that the Discworld is not round!
Brutha’s true faith in Om means that he is the only person who can hear him and experience his - rather cute – tortoisey fire-breathing wrath. Recognising Brutha as illiterate yet faithful, and spotting his uncanny ability to memorise minutiae, Vorbis recruits Brutha in his mission to destroy Ephebe. What follows is what happens when human faith is set off like rocket fuel by a tiny spark: perpetual, scrapping over whose God is the right god and a bloody war over faith and reason.
Can Brutha save the day and bring peace? And will Om ever be able to transcend his Small God status? (Shhh to those back there who’ve read the book.)
Pratchett’s Discworld - a flat circular “plate” carried on the back of four elephants on a giant turtle floating through space – has always been a place where science, philosophy, theology, and cultural and historical events are clever, satirical reflections of our own spinning blue orb. This graphic novel is not the first time the Discworld has been captured by ink, cartoonist Ray Friesen’s re-imagining of Terry Pratchett’s 1992 novel features endearing angular characters and gorgeous watercolour swirls. Friesen successfully portrays Everyman Brutha’s deceptive simplicity and, as with the 1992 Discworld novel, the ending will hit you right in the heart. Compassion is all and that’s something always worth fighting for in troubling times.
SMALL GODS: A DISCWORLD GRAPHIC NOVEL / AUTHOR: TERRY PRATCHETT / ARTIST: RAY FRIESEN / PUBLISHER: TRANSWORLD / RELEASE DATE: 28TH JULY