Just finished this book, the third in the Wayfarer Redemption fantasy series by Sara Douglass. If you don't like fantasy, this won't convert you, but I personally got hooked quick and tore through it, couldn't put it down or turn my thoughts away while reading it - one gauge of a good fantasy book for me.
There are two interesting themes in this series that give it a bit more ooomph. Over a thousand years previously, the god Artor converted one race in the land to his following. Among his key tenets, that the other races were evil, "Forbidden", and that the forests that those races loved were also evil and needed to be destroyed for farmland. So:
- The land is now more vulnerable to an evil threat because of the loss of the trees.
- Artor built his following and his church on hatred of the Forbidden, primarily because the gods they worshipped constituted a threat. After time had passed the church fed this hatred as a way to sustain its cushy role in the realm.
Interesting thoughts, each.