As someone who doesn’t believe in gods, I must sheepishly confess that I find them fascinating. I think it’s because, in my own way, I consider myself a person of faith—it’s just that my faith, the thing that gives me comfort and joy in this world, is the belief that there are no gods. And it is absolutely a belief, straight up. I’m not a rationalist. I’d much rather flop around in the subjective, and that’s what I look for as both writer and reader. I’ll show you my world (through Rachel-coloured goggles), and you show me yours.
I like gods in fantasy, but even more than that, I like characters who struggle with belief and with proximity to the divine. It’s a struggle I’m familiar with, godless though I am, and one of the most stubbornly human things we do. Here, then, are five books that dig into the theological in a way I’ve enjoyed. Are they the best ever? I’m going to say yes. Subjectively, of course.