Review- By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson

So I finally finished the CSFF Blog tour book for May, By Darkness Hid… and I’m finally getting a “proper” review done.  The book is the first of Jill Williamson’s “Blood of Kings” series.  I have to start by saying I’m not surprised this book won the 2010 Christy Award for the Visionary Category!

The book follows the stories of a few young heroes, and the characters Jill creates are amazingly engaging.  I think Achan, one of the main characters, is one of my favorite characters in all the fiction I’ve ever read.  Even the supporting characters are great, and not a second spent on them is wasted.  And this review would not be complete without a nod to another of my favorite characters, Jax.

Again, I’m a huge sucker for quality crafted fantasy worlds, and the world of Er’Rets has definitely captured my interest.  Level upon level of depth is added to this world in the book, and I hardly think we’ve seen all Er’Rets has to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing many other cultures, lands, and plots played out in the stories Jill can so obviously tell.  I’m ready for a series of series in Er’Rets, and hopefully the main characters of By Darkness Hid will play a big part in many of them.

The story of redemption is an obvious influence in this work, as is the importance of every soul to God.  There are many other spiritual aspects brought to life by Jill.  Job well done!

Thank you so much for this book Jill!  I pray you will be able to write many more books, and that God will be glorified through them.  Hopefully as a fellow fantasy fiction author from Oregon we’ll cross paths someday.

You can pick up a copy of the book here!

Check out Jill’s website at http://jillwilliamson.wordpress.com/

 Here are some more reviews…

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Gina Burgess
Beckie Burnham
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
R. L. Copple
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Sarah Flanagan
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Leighton
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher

Review- Starlighter, by Bryan Davis

So I’m a little late on this review, but July’s CSFFBT book was Starlighter, by Bryan Davis.  The book follows the stories of a few young heroes in a generation denied the truths of their pasts.  Our heroes face death head on as they dive head long at unknown dangers and foes.  Surrounded by greedy power seekers, the heroes of this generation will not allow the sins of the past to continue into the future.

Seeking truth can often reveal unexpected friends and foes alike, and can reveal truths about one’s self that could never have been known by just accepting what we’re told.  Starlighter is a brutal journey, but one that is worth the efforts.

The only major complaint I can remember having about the book is the sawcut ending.  It makes you wonder if someone simply tore the last pages out of the book.  Starlighter is a good book, but it does not stand on its own in my opinion.  I don’t know what others think, but expectation for the next book in a series is far greater for me when the previous book ends really well.  Hopefully we’ll see an actual ending to the next book, because the 1st book deserved a good one.

Here’s some links for more on Starlighter, by Bryan Davis…

Starlighterhttp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310718368/ (or an alternate link of your choice)
Author blog – http://dragonsinourmidst.blogspot.com/
Author Web site – http://www.dragonsinourmidst.com/

Fellow CSFFBT members said…
Brandon Barr
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
R. L. Copple
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Leighton
Jane Maritz
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
SarahFlan
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Review- The Wolf of Tebron, by C.S. Lakin

I had the pleasure of being sent a copy of The Wolf of Tebron, the 1st book released in C.S. Lakin’s “Gates of Heaven” series.  As a big fan of the little bit I’ve read of Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, I was more than happy to join the author as she brought to life a fantasy tale filled with quotes from these men.  Most of all, I’m a fan of those men because they write about the true Author of Life, and C.S. Lakin has chosen to attempt the same in The Wolf of Tebron.

This book is filled with allegorical truths that all Christians face, set in the adventurous tale of Joran the blacksmith.  It reminds us of the Love and truths of Christ.  It reminds us of the adventure called life which God will not yet allow us to escape, though we desperately seek to abandon it (and Him) and blindly cling to fading comforts.  We should all thank the Lord that He pursues us so!!!

As with most books I read, there were a few places where I disagreed with the author about the truths of God.  It appeared as though seemingly true statements from men may have been regarded as more absolute truth than they really are.  That’s a hard thing to wrestle with though, we often take our own thoughts and beliefs as absolutes at times that we shouldn’t.  Let God be true and every man be a liar.  However, I think that most of theology that drove this book on was sound and I very much appreciated C.S. Lakin bringing that theology to life.

The end of the book didn’t really make sense to me when I read it.  I think I get it now, but I’d have to read it again to be sure.  I do plan on reading this book again, Lord willing the CSFFBT will be touring it later this year.  I hope to have another fresh look at it by then, and I’m also hoping to get a bit more information about the author and the “Gates of Heaven” series by then.  My plan is to share that information with all of you.

Overall I would recommend this book to fans of fantasy, as well as to those who appreciate allegory.  Having just read Pilgrim’s Progress for the 1st time not too long ago, I’m learning more and more about the power of allegorical writing.  I don’t know if C.S. Lakin meant this book to be completely allegorical or not, but I am looking forward to seeing how she uses the platform in the rest of the “Gates of Heaven” series.

Thank you for sharing this tale with us C.S. Lakin.  And praise the Creator for making us all in His creative Image!!!

For more information, check out www.cslakin.com, or www.wolfoftebron.com

To pick up your own copy, click here!

Check out the publishers at www.amgpublishers.com

I received a copy of this book as part of a review campaign, courtesy of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists.