A young sailor eager to learn of life on the seas finds himself the keeper of a foreign stowaway. Despite the crew’s whispers of the goddess who demands to be given the lives of those found hiding aboard merchant vessels, the captain promises safe passage to the mysterious traveler. The young boy, Munny, struggles to understand why the captain would risk the lives of his crew to spare this strange man. As the enraged goddess tosses the ship about on enraged seas, Munny becomes caught between the captain’s order to protect the passenger and the crew’s plots to throw him overboard.
Fans of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series will recognize the mysterious stowaway as the adventurous Leonard from books two and three. Stengl weaves humor into the story through the language barrier between Leonard and Munny, who seldom understand one another, sometimes leading to hilarious results. Munny lives in bondage to the fear of the goddess who controls the seas, and yet through the story he learns of a greater power, one personal and benevolent and of the beauty of grace and its power to banish vengeance. Goddess Tithe is a beautiful story, though its length prevents it from developing the complexity of Stengl’s longer stories. Series fans will find the same lovely prose and deep spiritual undercurrents classic to all of the Goldstone Wood novels.
The sailors believe that a ruthless goddess lives beneath the waves of the sea and demands to be given any stowaways found aboard sea vessels. The story explores themes of vengeance versus grace and the value of self-sacrifice.
An older sailor boy bullies Munny. Brief fight scenes with few graphic details.