Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fantasy and Truth - a review

Disclaimer: Bethany House publishers provided me with a copy of Dragonwitch  by Ann Elisabeth Stengl to read and review.  However, the opinion and review is my own.

When I first began the book, I thought that I had made a mistake in taking this book.  The beginning language was odd and confusing to me. At the end of that small section, the tone changed and I quickly became engrossed in a tale of both human and mystical beings.

I found that I could not stop reading! I soon realized that the first section that I found off-putting was only one angle of the story.  The story contained several themes that seemed separate at first, but eventually they all become woven together in a compelling greater story.  In many ways this is a fairy tale, but also an adventure.  I am reminded in some ways of The Hobbit.  There are prophesies and legends, a mystical gate between worlds, a mysterious Temple of the Flame and many other intriguing things.  This was an adventure that pulled me fully into the story.  I know that I said "Oh no!" aloud several times while I was reading. I also  said "YES!!!" once or twice when something worked out well.

Interestingly, I found theological truths in the book that are far deeper than the story alone.  This was a total surprise to me.  Although if I had realized that the publisher frequently has books on the Christian best seller list, I might not have been as surprised.  I have found similar truths in the works of C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle.

I highly recommend this fantasy story, although I found much more that that in the pages.  The classical theme of good versus evil is well played and has some surprising twists.  I would love to tell the entire story, but I certainly could not weave it as convincingly as the author did.

This book is due to be released in August 2013.


Pat said...

What a great review, Gene. Bethany House seems, for the most part, to deal in books that are appealing to those who enjoy Christian fiction. The book you read doesn't seem like it would be one I'd I am not one to care for myths, legends, or anything that seems "far-fetched". does seem like the book you read has a lot of redeeming value and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Snoodles said...

This one sounds interesting...I'm a big fan of CS Lewis, so maybe I will find this at the library. Thanks for a thoughtful review, Gene.

Royce said...

it's on my reading list - I love fantasy and if it reminds you of the Hobbit it is certainly worth a look see