Karen Lord’s 2010 debut Redemption in Indigo is a standalone fantasy novel.
Paama finally has had it with her gluttonous fool of a husband, Ansige, and leaves. Ansige is unwilling to let her go, and hires master tracker Kwame to find her. Kwame cannot convince Paama to return to Ansige. What he does do is draw the attention of the Djombi to Paama.
These great spirits have vast powers, but they still have need of someone like Paama.
Before Paama left, she showed a rare ability to deal with the chaos left in the wake of her feckless husband. The Djombi believe that Paama is just the right person to wield the chaos stick, a magical item of great power (it can tilt chance and influence outcomes). Paama, once a victim of happenstance, should now be in charge of her own destiny. Should.
The chaos stick takes its power from one of the Djombi, an indigo-skinned spirit who was once a friend to humans but eventually tired of their foolishness. His fellow Djombi take away his power and imbue it in the chaos stick. The indigo godling wants his power back. How hard could it be? Paama’s just a human woman.
I was half-expecting a modern-day story of Job, one in which the godling subjects Paama to endless abuse and misfortune. But the indigo lord is flawed but not inherently malicious. He is just disappointed in humans, who are capable of better.
For her part, Paama is no long-suffering doormat. She is quick-witted and resolute. She is chosen for power because she can be trusted to do her best and because her best is very good indeed.
So, this is not a mournful tale of unlucky humans caught up in the affairs of gods. This is a comic tale of managing un-requested opportunity sensibly and responding to disappointment with magnanimity and forgiveness. This novel is not only funny, it is a useful lesson in dealing with reverses. Recommended.
Redemption in Indigo is available as part of the Black Narratives bundle.