Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Land of Darkness

The Land of Darkness, The Gates of Heaven, C.S. Lakin, Living Ink Books, Fantasy/Allegory, October 27, 2011, 272 pages.

Synopsis: It is not the land that is dangerous, Callen. The danger lies in your heart. Others have lost their lives searching for the bridge. Are you certain you are prepared to pay that price?” 

Jadiel is twelve and things couldn’t get much worse—or could they?  Not long after her mother is killed in a tragic accident, her father, Ka’rel, marries a vile and abusive woman named Huldah, but Jadiel sees how he simmers under Huldah’s intoxicating enchantment. Jadiel’s wicked stepmother means to get rid of Jadiel, and sends her off with a threat and an impossible task: bring back the leaves from the Eternal Tree by the next full moon or her father will die. Heartsick and hopeless, Jadiel sets out alone and afraid.

Callen, a woodworking apprentice for Jadiel’s uncle in Wolcreek Vale, discovers some weathered drawings of an exquisitely detailed bridge made entirely of wood and embellished with mysterious symbols that appear to be ancient script. Obsessed with finding this bridge, he sets off seeking clues to its possible existence, unknowingly beginning a perilous and mystifying undertaking. On his journey, he rescues Jadiel from brigands and learns their quests are linked—as the elusive bridge Callen seeks is crafted from the rare tree Jadiel must find. The trail of clues leads them to the forbidden Land of Darkness, where they must face the greatest dangers of all—what lies in their hearts.

My thoughts: So far, Mrs. Lakin has made each of her stories different. After The Map Across Time, I was afraid the rest of the series would either run with that idea, or be meager in comparison. While The Land of Darkness isn't the best of the series, it passed my expectations. The allegory didn't come in thickly until the end, and it was hard to take in because I felt rushed to see how it ended. Be ready for a few "Huh?" moments, and give yourself time to re-read those parts.

Lakin's characters were once again deep. They weren't quite as personal to me, though, as those from her previous books. That aside, lessons could be learned through their mistakes and triumphs.

*This book was provided free by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 3.5 stars

Buy The Land of Darkness!
Check out more Christian Allegory!

Upcoming reviews:
  • Illusion by Frank Peretti
  • The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead
  • The Silver Hand by Stephen R. Lawhead


  1. Thanks for the review! (Looks like a cool series). It's a good review. Keep up the great work!