By Karen Hancock
For eight years Abramm has trained and disciplined himself in order to devote his life to being a priest of Eidon. All that’s left before beginning his service is to touch Eidon’s Sacred Flame and feel His presence.
When Abramm touches the flame, instead of feeling the awe and devotion he expected, he feels dread and isolation. Even after everything he’s done, he still isn’t good enough to serve Eidon. And when he foolishly listens to his heretic brother, a string of unfortunate choices quickly leads to him being betrayed by a mentor and sold into slavery as a gladiator among infidels in the southern lands.
Where was Eidon when Abramm needed him? And why couldn’t he ever be good enough for Him?
The Light of Eidon is a solid piece of Christian fantasy, which is perhaps somewhat of a rarity these days. I confess that I don’t care for most published Christian fantasy works. Although I like a couple authors, I think that a lot of Christian fantasy tends to have poor storytelling and poor thematic elements. Also, since the cover of this book is a bit cheesy, I worried that the content might be too.
But any concerns I had about this book were causeless. While the book might not make it into my top ten favorites, it was a legitimately sound piece of Christian fantasy, which earns high marks from me. Abramm’s faith struggle felt very realistic and natural to his character, and Hancock developed it beautifully and without much cliché. The Christianity analogue likewise suited Abramm’s world and was a natural extension of how people in such a culture would worship God.
The story was enticing and compelling, the characters were interesting and flawed, and some good plot twists were thrown in. The world-building got a little confusing at times, but I could still follow the story.
Overall, this book is good Christian writing and good fantasy writing. In my opinion, that’s rare to find these days, and this is probably my favorite work of Christian fantasy that I’ve read in the past three years. I wholeheartedly recommend that you check it out.
Hancock develops the Christianity analogue in such a way that a fair amount of culture surrounds it. Christianity can look different from culture to culture, and this should be present in a fantasy analogue of Christianity. How does the Christianity analogue in this book differ from Western Christianity? If you’re writing a fantasy novel, how could you follow similar tactics for your own story?
Examine Abramm’s conversion. How does Hancock avoid cliché as she describes his conversion, and what makes it so compelling? Did his conversion seem realistic? Why or why not?
Content Advisory: [spoiler] At one point in the story, there’s a scene where Abramm chooses to sleep with a female character. The act is depicted as wrong and the scene “fades out’ before anything happens, but the story spends some time delving into his (unsuccessful) struggle against temptation. Younger readers may prefer to avoid this scene.