Today's book is a new fantasy book, not even available in the stores yet. To get a copy, go to the author's website at www.hopewriter.com and follow the directions for purchasing there.
#1 - Bright Against The Storm by Ari Heinze, Hopewriter Publishing 2009
Target Audience: Boys and girls, though probably primarily boys, 14 and up
Subject: Faith in God, obedience to His calling even when it's hard, salvation, mourning for the lost, faithfulness to others
Summary: The threat of war looms and the people of Karolan are filled with rumors, but one young knight knows nothing of these. For some reason, since being adopted as a ward of the king and queen he has been sheltered in his training. The time for sheltering is over though and he is sent on a journey filled with mysteries. The king gives very little information as he sends him on his way. Then come those rising up to oppose him claiming the king's name even though the young knight knows it to be false. His companion, the son of the maker of the king's swords is chosen to accompany the knight on his journey. The young man, having no faith in God, but raised by those who did, comes with values a plenty. He's a great companion to the knight, but he is in much greater danger. His loved ones ache with the pain of knowing that if he dies, he is lost forever. Despite everything he sees he continues to persist in the belief that there is no God. However, this journey has the potential to shake up everything either one of them has ever believed.
Notes: Looking for a new fantasy series? Check out the Epic of Karolan series! It definitely has the elements of a fantasy book:
- paragraph after paragraph of descriptions (think about how much time Tolkien spends simply describing hobbits!)
- grand adventures
- a kingdom, a king, a queen, a prince, a princess, a knight, a maker of swords
- hints of romance
- companions becoming close friends on a difficult journey
The book almost feels like allegory, but describes God as God and humans as humans and earth as earth. It's just set in another reality.
The author's writing style begins with letting the reader discover for themselves what the character thinks and feels, but merges into more of a narration that makes it feel more forced. Outside of that one weakness, it is a very good book: adventurous, fantasy like, and very very spiritually challenging! I recommend it.
Recommendation Scale: 4.5