Monday, February 15, 2010
Curse of the Spider King, the first in the Berinfell Prophecies, was co-written by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. It is an allegorical Christian fantasy fiction with many moral themes.
Seven Lords of Allyra, the Elven world, were taken by the Spider King, a wicked enemy bent on eradicating the elves from existence. They were then lost to earth where they were adopted into normal human families. Soon later, Sentinels were sent out to find them and guide them home, before the chiefs could kill them. They must band together, each finding his own powers, and return to Allyra to lead the battle against the Spider King.
The Curse of the Spider King does not get very compelling until about 40-50 pages into it. The writing, description, character development, and overall excitement and buzz is excellent. However, there were too many main characters to keep track of, especially when they are not at first together. Then there are the Sentinels that guarded each, and some prominent Elves and enemy chiefs in Allyra. Overall, the book was well worth it, and I look forward to the second, Venom and Song, due out in the summer of 2010.
Isle of Swords is a pirate fantasy written by Wayne Thomas Batson. It has a sequel called Isle of Fire. A young boy awakens on a beach with no memory at all. A pirate ship passes by, and upon finding the boy, brings him into their crew. This ship, captained by Declan Ross, is heading toward the supposed location of great riches which will insure the retirement of he and the prosperity of his daughter, Anne. The treasure is also sought by an infamous captain, the deadly and ruthless Blackthorne, who wished to eliminate whatever obstacle gets in his way. The treasure on an island is protected by a sacred order of monks, who would rather die than give up it’s location. The pirates must also beware the frightening creature of the deep, as well as the active volcano located on the island. Isle of Swords is well written, with many skillful integrations of moral lessons.
The Final Storm, written by Wayne Thomas Batson, is an allegorical Christian fantasy fiction with many moral themes and lessons. Aidan Thomas, a mid-teen boy, is in Maryland, planning to visit his friend, Robby, to convince him to ally himself with the one true King. Meanwhile, his other friend, Antoinette, has been captured by Kearn, Robby’s twin in Alleble, but he has been impressed by her skill at the sword. She has been trying to turn him to the True King, but hopes look dim. Aidan gets through to Robby, and soon Robby is also called to come to Alleble. Meanwhile, the dark prince Paragor, has unleashed the full forces of his army to conquer Alleble, King Eliam, the fabled Three Witnesses, and the people’s hope. The story of the three Witnesses is doubted by many, and as Paragor unleashes the also fabled Wyrm Lord and Seven Sleepers, almost all doubts are replaced by hopes.
Rise of the Wyrm Lord, by Wayne Thomas Batson, is an allegorical Christian fantasy fiction with many moral themes. Aidan Thomas, a mid-teen boy, is back on Earth after his adventure in the Land of Alleble. He sets out in search of his old friend Robby, in order to turn him to allegiance with the true King. He meets a new friend at school, Antoinette, who he finds to be Gwenne’s twin on Earth. They talk about his adventures, and Antoinette wishes to go to Alleble herself. She gets the chance when a poem appears on the back of her copy of Alleble’s history. Aidan asks her to find Kearn, Robby’s twin on Alleble, and to convince him to follow the King. She leaves, and Aidan finds out he has gotten an opportunity to go to Maryland, where Robby lives. Antoinette, now in Alleble, finds herself assigned to a mission to set in stone the allegiance with Yewland, for they have been told of things Alleble has required of them, when in fact there were no such things. She must decide whether to complete her mission, or fulfill her promise to Aidan before it is too late.
The Door Within is an allegorical semi-contemporary Christian fantasy fiction in which are many moral themes. It is the first in the Door Within trilogy, written by Wayne Thomas Batson.
The Door Within begins after a family has moved, and their son, Aidan Thomas, is upset about leaving friends and familiar surroundings. He becomes bored and explores their new basement, in which appears scrolls bearing a captivating history of a land called Alleble. Aidan consults his Grampin, who informs him about the land, stating that it is real and he could believe by finding a key within, by imagining crossing a rope bridge across a bottomless chasm to a door. After entering the door in his mind’s eye, it becomes all too real and he ends up in the evil land of Paragory, named after it‘s ruler, Paragor. He is rescued from the evil mountain on which he appeared, and is taken to Alleble, where he finds he has been chosen to be the twelfth knight in a diplomatic group destined for Mithegard, to persuade them to ally with Alleble, before they side with Paragor.
The book was written in a very captivating manner, with cliffhangers at the end of nearly every chapter, and many fantastical elements incorporated into this mythical world. The explanation of scripture and the decision of men is a very clear link to the Bible and Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.
The Lion Vrie, written by Christopher Hopper, is the second in the White Lion Chronicles. It is an allegorical christian fantasy fiction that contains many moral developments.
It takes place after the great battle which submitted most of Dionia to Morgui’s control. Luik is taken to Mount Dakka, a mountain fortress, to recover. After he has healed, he sets out to Ariel’s now barren ruins to search for the missing Dibor. There, he instead finds Anorra, and they return to Mt. Dakka. At that point, he organizes the inhabitants to fortify the city further to prevent Morgui’s destruction to continue. Luik receives a mysterious summons to the city of Ot, and he and Anorra embark on a quest to find the city, as well as the Knights of the Lion, the Lion Vrie, which may be Dionia’s only hope in defeating Morgui.
The book is written much better than the first. Although the book is a bit slow, there are some very interesting morals being introduced all throughout the story. The use of Dionian language is reduced quite nicely, eliminating much confusion. Morals discussed are friendship, loyalty, honesty, honor, and all the other frequent morals of a medieval society.
Rise of the Dibor, by Christopher Hopper is an allegorical christian fantasy in which many moral themes are present. The plot line in a couple sentences would be, “What if Adam and Eve had never sinned? What if mankind knew no wrong? Would we still have an enemy?" The answer is a very strong yes!
Luik, son of king Lair, has been selected along with others to be trained by a seasoned fighter for special combat against the evil being Morgui, who is bent on destroying all that is good. This group, the Dibor, has been chosen to defend Dionia, and it’s people.
Rise of the Dibor is a long and slow book at first. There are many words in the Dionian language, and footnotes must repeatedly be sought each time one is repeated. The editing is also poor, as the spell-checker was relied on a bit heavily, as most of the typos were homophones. The cover could have been a little more interesting, in the sense of drawing in the reader, but the layout of the book was effective. The writing was weak near the beginning, but improved enough near the middle; some characters were not followed through very well also.
Despite the criticism, most of the characters were well developed, his scenes were great, and there was great focus on spiritual warfare, and how we need, and cannot do anything without, Jesus Christ.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Shade is a young Silverwing bat, a runt. He starts out on the annual journey to Hibernaculum, the location of their hibernation caves, but gets caught in a storm along the way. He meets Marina, a solitary Brightwing bat, and Goth and Throbb, large jungle bats, who accompany him as he finds his way to Hibernaculum. He must decide which of them are friends or enemies, and who he will put his trust in. For more information, go here.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Isle of Fire is an adventurous pirate fiction, the sequel to Isle of Swords. It displays many moral themes, with great plot precision. Declan Ross and his daughter, Anne have teamed up with Commodore Blake to hire his pirate friends to help hunt down the enemy pirates, including Bartholomew Thorne, who has escaped his prison. Cat is asked to join the Brethren’s quest against the dreaded Merchant, and accepts, and gives Anne the opportunity to join him on the sea. She is given permission by Declan, and they track the Merchant to the Isla Secreta, his hideout. Meanwhile, Thorne has sailed to the Raukar tribe, an ancient surviving Viking clan. He enlists their aid and their fiery cannons, which no one could have been prepared for. He sets their fleet out for an attack on England, which Declan has picked up a rumor about. Declan warns his friends and they set out to disrupt Thorne’s plans.