I read a thin fantasy novel about a city, where many gods were worshiped, each god had some type of temple, and one night each year all the gods roamed the streets and you'd better stay inside. I remember that a great frog-god hopped through the streets.

Anybody know this book?
I read it at least 25 yrs ago, it was an English-written Dutch library book. Not from a well-known writer I think.

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    Sounds a bit like Spirited Away :D When did you read this, in what country, and in what language? Do you remember anything else from this list? Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 8:04
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    Could also be something like Discworld to me.
    – Orange Lux
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 10:28
  • Welcome to the site, Steven. Thanks for the accept. I hope you enjoy the other books in the series. Pat also semi-regularly blogs at tagmeth.livejournal.com if you don't mind the occasional spoilers.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 16:53
  • Thanks Fuzzy. A friend has a download of 10000 sf and fantasy books including this one and 4 sequels. Memories of my young days when i read 10 books a week. Steven
    – Steven
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


This is God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell, a 1983 book now published by Baen (there have been several publishers until this one stuck), from which it is currently available in either print or electronic versions.

God Stalk - Book cover

In the first book of the Kencyrath, Jame, a young woman missing her memories, struggles out of the haunted wastes into Tai-tastigon, the old, corrupt, rich and god-infested city between the mountains and the lost lands of the Kencyrath.

For a long time, there were only a handful of books, Pat being busy with her job as a professor, but she's retired since and her writing has accelerated. The eighth book, The Gates of Tagmeth is currently being edited for release in 2017.

one night each year all the gods roamed the streets and you'd better stay inside

"Ha!" She started to flourish the vessel, remembered just in time that it was nearly full, and put it down with a thump. "I told Tubain that only ignorance or imbecility could have brought anyone out on such a night. The Feast of Dead Gods is what I expect you narrowly missed becoming. Once a year, on Autumn's Eve, all the gods who've lost or outlived their worshippers come back from wherever it is they've been and spend the night wandering the streets. Some are harmless enough, but most are hungry and out hunting for sacrifices—which is fine if they happen to relish potted begonias, but not so good if their people were fools enough to raise them on baby's blood or virgin's hearts. It's said they can't enter any building without an invitation, but most Tas-tigons seal up their windows and doors on that night just to be sure. Not Tubain, though; it wouldn't be hospitable, he says."

The frog god is a later evolution of his character, or possibly a return to what he once was:

"Well, this is more on the order of a spinach custard— just as messy but potentially more nourishing. As I was saying, the old attributes seem to have been kept, but not with the same emphasis . . . and that's where things began to go sour for poor old Gorgo—pardon, Gorgiryl. Instead of the tears of life—rain, that is—you have sterile salt water; instead of the world's salvation, endless sorrow. It's the whole myth frozen in the wrong place, with everything distorted to make its lowest point look like its proper end. What easier way to turn a simple, rather dignified religion on its ear? You're still looking blank. Come, I'll show you an example, the best one of all."
She took him by the arm and led him half against his will to the threshold of the inner chamber. Neither had entered it since the night its occupant had died.
The basins were still there, also the short scroll peeking over the idol's webbed fingers; but more vivid than either was the memory of the bowed, bewildered figure in its garish finery that had stood trembling before them for so short a time.
"As the man that Bilgore made him," said Jame, "he was ludicrous." Then she pointed at the statue looming dark and cool in the shadows. "But as a giant frog . . . ?"

Nine books have been released as of 2019, with the author stating there are only 2-3 more to go before the series is complete.

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    If this is correct (and I have a hard time thinking it's not), don't forget to click the checkmark by the voting buttons to accept it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 11:25
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    I knew this one because it was a beloved childhood book, frequently checked out from the library in Kentucky. It was college before I learned there were more books, and I've since kept up with purchasing them.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 11:30
  • Also, confirmed answers at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/40037/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6244/… but on different points.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 13:04

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