The Crystal Scepter

Monday, February 4, 2013
The seer spoke in a deep clear voice not his own. “The augury says, ‘What have you done, oh King? Great treachery leads to grim punishment. The sin of the father is visited on the son. As the son has done to the father, so shall be done to the son… You cannot run from your fate, oh King. You have set your heart as the heart of a god. You have stolen the heart of the king and therefore you will lose your own.”

Book: The Crystal Scepter (The Gates of Heaven Series) by C.S. Lakin, Living Ink Books, 2013

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 13+
Subjects: Love, Desire for Power, Life
Summary: A greedy king desperate to maintain not only his power, but his very life seeks out the land of Elysiel in hopes of stealing the power their kings have to live longer lives than most. He gets what he wants. But at a high cost. A prophecy declares his son will destroy him. He attempts to have the boy killed, but Perthin is saved and grows up under the good influence of a man who teaches him to follow the ways of Heaven. When a chance to save his people comes, he risks all he holds dear to take that chance. The journey will be long and sounds nearly impossible but he is the people’s only hope.
Notes: This, the 5th in Lakin’s Gates of Heaven series is loosely based off the stories of The Terrible Head, Oedipus, the story of Adam and Eve’s temptation in the garden and a few other Bible stories. But it takes off as an original, unique, story from there. It focuses primarily on greed, primarily the greed for more power and a longer life. The king’s desire causes him to do things that even he finds abhorrent and unthinkable. It contrasts this with the selflessness shown by Perthin as he leaves his comfortable, familiar life and the people he loves in order to try saving them, even though he knows it will be dangerous. One of the strongest characteristics of this story is how much we see the results of choices. The king starts off as selfish, but his choices lead him to do worse and worse things. Perthin starts off as timid but his choices lead him to do greater and greater things. As with others in the series, it personifies Heaven, almost using the word to represent God. It also makes reference to a Creator. But it’s clear throughout the story that something more powerful than the characters themselves is in control of their world.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Proverbs 21:1-4 – The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!

Thank you to Living Ink Books for sending me a free copy to review!


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