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Friday, 10 April 2015

AtoZChallenge2015 - I is for Issa, Blind Io

Hello and welcome to day 9 of the AtoZChallenge 2015.

Issa

Issa is a god from the book series The Belgariad and The Malorean by David Eddings. These are two of my favourite book series ever and I always felt so sorry for Issa when he realised what had been going on.

Issa is the god of the Nyissans who live in land that is hot, humid and full of many, many poisonous things that can kill you. His totem animal is the serpent and Nyissans often have pet snakes that give them status as well as, in some cases, act as weapons of assassination. Nyissans revere snakes and employ poisons as lot.

When the gods left the world Issa left his beloved High Priestess Salmissra to rule in his stead, but, being human, she aged and eventually died. Subsequent rulers have all been chosen because they look like her and take various potions and drafts to stay young as long as possible.

Issa can be awakened and summoned by Salmissra to inhabit his grand statue that sits behind her throne. It is Polgara who reveals to him the truth about his beloved and I found it so sad. He departs allowing Polgara to retrieve the kidnapped Belgarion, asking only that she does not kill the current Salmissra because of her resemblance to the one he loved. Polgara turns her into a snake and she finally has what she wants: immortality.

Sources: Wikipedia | The books of the Belgariad

Blind Io

First let me say, Sir Terry Pratchett was a great author and a good man and he will be sorely missed.

Now on to Blind Io who is the chief of all the gods on the Discworld. He maintains this position simply by having the most followers at all times and he is sneaky about it.

While different parts of the Discworld have various gods for the same thing, like one set might have a certain goddess for the messy job of childbirth a different set will have a different goddess. Blind Io is the god of Thunder and it his alone. Various societies think they have different Thunder gods, but they are all Io in disguise, but with different hammers and such.

He looks like a well muscled old man with longish grey hair and he has no eyes in his head, just a scrap of cloth to cover them. However, he is not technically blind at all because he has lots of eyeballs that float around his head.

He is, of course, a play in Odin from Norse Mythology and, as with all of Sir Terry's adaptations, he's hilarious.

Sources: Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki | Wikipedia

Have you read the Belgariad or Discworld? Which is your favourite book?
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48 comments:

  1. I haven't read either of those books (gasp, I know about the Terry Pratchet book.)

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  2. I'm with Patricia, I haven't read them. Although, I have heard of them from a good friend that is another big fan. I liked Issa's story and might just check it out :)

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. Belgariad is awesome and so, of course are most things by Sir Terry,

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  3. Great post. I'm familiar with both series, but I haven't read a lot of either, so these two gods were a discovery for me.
    They both sound very interesting.

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    1. They are, one is kind of sad and the other is very funny :)

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  4. These two books sound interesting.

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  5. I've never read either of these...was Terry Pratchett the writer who died recently?

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    1. Yes - a great loss. His last book is coming out this summer I believe - he finished it last year.

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  6. Both of these authors must have had nightmares and kept a dream journal. It's the only way I can fathom creating characters with pet snakes and blind old guys with a circle of all seeing eyeballs.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. LOL - well I suppose that would be one way to come up with odd characters :)

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  7. I really, really need to pick up a Discworld novel. Maybe I'll binge read this summer! Thanks for enticing me more and more into these awesome worlds. :)

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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    1. You're welcome - enjoy Discworld, they are amazing books. Sir Terry had a genius imagination.

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  8. I really never got into Terry Pratchett - so many people adore him, I sometimes wonder what I'm missing out on.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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    1. I don't actually favour some of the really popular books, but I do adore lots of them :) His sense of humour really appeals to me.
      Tasha
      Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  9. I haven't read either of these books but they both sound really interesting. Especially Terry Pratchett's. A floating cloud of eyeballs? Madness! (And genius.)

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    1. I think madness and genius describe Terry Pratchett's imagination perfectly :)

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  10. Terry does write things that are amusing though I haven't read this book or the other one.

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    1. He had such a wacky imagination that his books are a delight.

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  11. Both of these books are new to me. But you know, you mentioned Watership Down some days ago and I just checked it out from the library. Your posts are good book recommendations. :)

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    1. :D I am glad to be of assistance. Some books simply deserve recommending. I hope you enjoy WD.

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  12. I'm going to have to check some of the writings of Sir Terry Pratchett; I have read on other blogs how good of a writer he was. I have not heard of either of these books. I do think after the challenge I will check out some of the book recommendations people have been writing about.

    betty

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    1. He wrote the most wonderful books. I am rereading Pyramids at the moment which was the first book of his I ever read. The AtoZ is a great place to find book recs, isn't it :)

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  13. RIP Sir Terry. Small Gods is one of my favorite books of his :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. It's so sad he is gone - I hope he and DEATH are living it up :)

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  14. Yay Eddings and Issa.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

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  15. I have to say Issa had his challenges cut out for him with that environment.

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    1. Yeah, but he's a god, so he rolled with it :)

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  16. Hi Tasha .. I really have to get to grips with Terry Pratchett ... I've learnt a bit about him from his obituaries and at some time when I'm less frantic .. I must research and spend some time reading him ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Some of his books are pure genius, others of them are just a huge amount of fun :) so win/win!

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  17. I will always remember March 12, 2015 as the day Sir Terry passed. It was also the day before my daughter was born, so the dates go hand in hand.

    He has quietly become my favourite author and I wish I had half of his ability to turn a phrase. His books always bring a smile to my face, though those smiles will be bittersweet from now on. I am so saddened that there won't be any more Discworld tales (at least not by him), and worst this is the second time I've been struck with this miserable feeling. The first time was a few years ago when it was announced he had severe early-onset Alzheimer's. I thought then that we may have seen the last Terry Pratchett book, but Terry was a stubborn bastard and he kept going even as his illness worsened. I admire and appreciate him all the more for that.

    Not everyone "gets" Discworld because unfortunately, the first couple of books in the series aren't very good. It takes him a few novels before he really finds the groove and the voice of The Disc. I usually suggest that people start with Mort, Guards! Guards! or even Small Gods. If you are meant to "get" Discworld, then one of those books will hook you in and you'll never let it go. It will become part of you, and Captain Carrot, Death, Rincewind and Moist von Lipwig will become like members of your family.

    (Tiffany Aching will be like that cousin no one can stand to be around for long).

    '"AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER."

    Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

    The End.'

    -published on Sir Terry's official Twitter feed, shortly after he passed away on March 12.

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    1. He knew how to live and he knew how to leave us too. It will never not be sad that he is no longer with us.

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  18. I know of the Discworld series of course, but I hadn't heard of the other one. It sounds really interesting.

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    1. Oh the Belgariad is awesome - it is my favourite book series ever.

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  19. I can only remember laughing out loud on London underground many years ago, it was about a gone/gun a genius but I didnt explore much further, discworld.

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    1. I remember sitting on the train with Pyramids and laughing out loud and with The Colour of Magic and almost falling off my seat with the bit about the big bang theory :)

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  20. I still find it hard to accept Terry's dead. My favourite author, I've been hooked since I read Truckers at eight (that's a long time!) I like the way the gods all bicker with each other. He was very good at bickering.

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    1. Oh yes, very and I always loved his notes at the bottom of the pages. The one about genetics and the fruit flies and pea plants ... LOL

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  21. I haven't heard of the books, or Issa's story, but I knew a woman online once who used the name "Polgara". She had a goddess-like avatar to go with it. Now I know where it came from! ☺ Other than Ann Rice, I've never delved much into the world of fictional deities and demons, but I do love Greek/Roman mythology and your stories are fun to read, Tasha.

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    1. Thank you :) Polgara is one of the best characters from the Belgariad - she is a kick arse lady!

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  22. I have read small gods. The little turtle god amused me, but I Death is my favorite character. Only He can get away with speaking in caps.

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    1. Totally - funny how when Death does it he isn't shouting, just very present :)

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