In a complex fantasy world on the very edge of human history, Engibil, the easy-going god of the city of Gibil, is threatened by the gods of other cities who do not allow their human subjects to be as creative and autonomous.
Young Sharur is the scion of a merchant family in the city of Gibil, loyal - he thinks - to his city's god, Engibil, and to that god's human deputies. But like his fellows in Gibil, Sharur is less interested in gods than in progress in invention and trade. Then, on a routine trading expedition, he learns that the gods of the other cities, resentful of Engibil's relaxed attitude toward his people, are uniting to punish Gibil and squelch the growing power of human creativity, epitomized by the city-state's easygoing ways. Now only Sharur's wits can save the city from the aroused divinities...and he's going to need all the inventiveness he can muster.
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