Tag Archives: Christian Fantasy

CSFF Blog Tour- Dragons of the Valley, Day 3

Before I dive into the spiritual elements found in Dragons of the Valley, I want to revisit what I mean by that. There is a lot of debate out there (for writers and authors) about how much of our faith we should put into our books. Is there too much gospel? Not enough? Should there be an altar call? Or should there just be a moral theme for our readers to take away?

After thinking about this debate (and reading what others have to say), I think I will say yes. Yes to it all. Because we need all kinds of books. We need books that lay out the gospel. We need books that show what it means to follow Christ. We need books that slowly introduce Christ to people who would never otherwise darken the doorway of a church.

We need all kinds of books that will bring the reader into a deeper understanding of God (more specifically, an accurate understanding of God; there are books out there that are not theologically sound).

So for those of us who write out there, we should write the stories God has impressed upon our hearts. For some of us (like me) there will be strong Christian elements. For others (like a friend of mine), God will not even be mentioned in the first book. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t there.

Okay, jumping off my soapbox now :).

Wulder is the name given to the personification of God in Dragons of the Valley. He created the world, is an intimate part of the lives of the races he created, and loves unconditionally. One of the spiritual themes in Dragons of the Valley is the people of Chiril had forgotten Wulder. Their ancestors failed to pass down the writings and knowledge of Wulder, which resulted in this generation knowing nothing of him. It isn’t until the artist Verrin Schope returns from Amara with the wizard Fenworth and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit that the people of Chiril are reintroduced to Wulder.

This is an important point. Later in the book, the race of Kimens realize it only took two generations for them to completely forget Wulder. He was still there, in their songs and dances. But the moment their ancestors stopped talking about Wulder, they forgot.

We as humans can easily forget too. How many of us forget birthdays or anniversarys! I think that is why God admonishes us to teach our children about Him, to read His word, and why there is communion (In Remembrance of Him…). We do this so we do not forget Him. We pass on what we know so the next generations know what God has done for them.

I highly recommend Dragons of the Valley for anyone looking for a light Christian fantasy full of good spiritual truth 🙂

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

CSFF Blog Tour- Dragons of the Valley, Day 2

Today I want to cover the Writing Factor of Dragons of the Valley. In the Writing Factor, I take a look at how well the writer built their world, conveyed their plot, and how engaging was the story. But before I begin, I need to point out something: I was under the impression that this book was for young adults. A kind friend showed me that this book is actually advertised for all ages. My goof 🙂

Dragons of the Valley is set in a fantasy world filled with rich history and races. Donita has done a wonderful job of creating all these different races (fourteen total!) each with their own particular uniqueness. The Kimens (imagine light pixies) are small, wear light for clothing and love to be merry. The Tumanhofers enjoy nice clothing (they kind of remind me of hobbits). But I think my favorite race is the Emerlindians. They are described as tall and slender (like elves in my opinion). But what made this race fascinating to me is they are born pale (hair, eyes, skin), but as they age, they darken (darker eyes, darker hair, darker skin). I thought that was cool!

A+ on world building!

Plot: Donita keeps it light and simple. Yes, there is a war going on, but she does not go into the more violent details (remember, she writes for all ages). Her characters go on a quest, which keeps the plot moving. The humor is great and keeps the story light. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “I do wish one’s figure did not reflect the love of good food. It’s so annoying to butter your bread and find rolls around your middle.” (Lady Peg Schope, pg. 236-237). Yes Lady Peg, I absolutely agree!

The only thing I found annoying is there were so many races and characters that I could not keep them all straight at first. I absolutely hate having to go to the back of the book and look at the appendix. It takes me out of the story. But after a couple chapters, I was able to remember what a Tumanhofer was or what a Bisonbeck was and no longer needed the appendix. But that’s just me personally 🙂

Tomorrow I will take a look at the Spiritual Factor of Dragons of the Valley.

 

 

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

CSFF Blog Tour- Dragons of the Valley, Day 1

Hey everyone! I’m back with the CSFF Blog Tour and this month we are reviewing Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul (you can also find her blog here). Donita K. Paul is one of the forefront writers of Christian fantasy for young adults. I first saw her book (Dragonspell) in a Christian bookstore about five years ago and couldn’t believe what I saw: a cover with a dragon on it… in a Christian bookstore no less! I bought the book and read it.

I’ll admit I did not realize it was for young adults (it had been placed in the adult fiction section), so when I read it, I was disappointed. It wasn’t the quality of the book but my expectations for something more along the lines of Terry Brooks or Terry Goodkind. This time around, I readjusted my expectations. I approached the book as my younger, twelve year old self. And loved it!

Cool Factor: There is cool stuff all over in Dragons of the Valley! From tall O’Rants, to beautiful Emerlindians who begin life with pale skin and hair, but as they age, they grow darker, and Kimens (I like to think of them as pixies of light). And of course, you can’t forget dragons! I think my favorite are the minor dragons (tiny dragons about the size of a house cat who serve multiple purposes such as healing, singing, and organizing).

Tomorrow I will take a look at the Writing Factor. Until then, click on the links below to see what other CSFF Bloggers are saying about Dragons of the Valley:

 

Gillian Adams

Noah Arsenault

Amy Bissell

Red Bissell

Justin Boyer

Keanan Brand

Grace Bridges

Beckie Burnham

CSFF Blog Tour

Amy Cruson

D.G.D. Davidson

April Erwin

Amber French

Andrea Graham

Katie Hart

Ryan Heart

Bruce Hennigan

Becky Jesse

Cris Jesse

Jason Joyner

Julie

Carol Keen

Dawn King

Emily LaVigne

Shannon McDermott

Matt Mikalatos

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Joan Nienhuis

John W. Otte

Donita K. Paul

Sarah Sawyer

Chawna Schroeder

Tammy Shelnut

Kathleen Smith

James Somers

Fred Warren

Phyllis Wheeler

Dave Wilson

 

 

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

 

Book Review: Hero, Second Class

Let me start off by saying this isn’t my usual category of book. I’m usually a more dark, gritty, intense, character driven kind of reader. So when I was given Hero, Second Class to review, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. After the first few chapters, I was blown away (or maybe laughed away). I loved it!

Hero, Second Class is about a young man named Cyrus Solburg who is apprenticed to Crimson Slash. Between P.L.O.T. Devices, narrating Heroes, and Villain Monologues, Cyrus has a lot to learn before he can become a proper Hero and join the Heroes Guild.

Quick wit and puns run rampant in this book. Imagine Monty Python and the Holy Grail, only clean. If you love to laugh, but tired of the same old trashy humor out there, Hero, Second Class is the book for you.

For more information on Hero, Second Class, click

http://www.marcherlordpress.com/books/hero_second_class.html

 

* I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in order to review.