Four Stars 
 

A little lightning from your fingertips sure has a way of changing things.
 
Eighteen year old Zaiden Tyler has his future all planned out. He will graduate, marry his girlfriend Losha, and start building a life with her. Blessings seem assured. They did everything right, waiting for marriage like the holy book said. That is, until Losha tells Zaiden she is leaving him for Zaiden’s brother Rayder- and is pregnant with Rayder’s child! Somehow it happens. He has no idea how, but in his anger, fire flies from his fingertips and kills Losha and his unborn nephew. He didn’t mean to be, but now he is a murderer. More than that, he is now regarded by the inhabitants of Rada Loka as an unholy wizard, and to top it off, his parents have been poisoned and no one knows how to cure them.

He had no idea how, but in his anger, fire flew from his fingertips and killed Losha and his unborn nephew.

Weighed down by guilt, Zaiden sets out to find his uncle Johan – and Rayder and Zaiden’s best friend Robin come with him. Rayder is not motivated by love for Zaiden – he wants to find a cure for his parents.  Johan tells Zaiden the secret of his true heritage- and the heroic destiny Jeha (an obvious allegory for the God of the Bible) has planned for him. Zaiden’s faith has been shaken, and he’s not sure if he wants this heroic destiny, but at the moment there’s nowhere else to go.
 
This book does have the hero using magic, but it differentiates between good magic (which comes from Jeha) and bad magic (which is demonic). Most of the time the good magic involves prayer to Jeha. The nomenclature did get a little confusing, especially since the inhabitants of Rada Loka regard benevolent magic as a myth, so any actual magic, regardless of its connection to Jeha, must be evil. Good magic is practiced by wizards and sorceresses, who are born with their magic, and bad magic is practiced by witches  (which apparently includes both genders). There is also a lot of demonic activity and talk about children being sacrificed, but we never actually see that happen. One of the things I would use to decide whether my child was mature enough for this book is to see if they understand that though sorcerer/sorceress is used negatively in the Bible, its use here is more akin to the Biblical idea of a prophet who can do miracles, and that the book does not endorse the idea of sorcerers as they are understood in general literature.

This is an epic novel, with many of the things fantasy fans wish for. Fairies, portals, secret histories, and a handsome stranger who appears one night without warning. The ongoing tension between Zaiden and Rayder is a classic warring brothers, love/hate scenario, and a great feature of the book. Zaiden was a compelling character, but my favorite character was Robin, a character with strong faith in the face of persecution and pain. I also really liked the dragon and the griffin. I did think that the villains were a little too ultra-evil – I would have liked to see more character development there. The plot also seemed to meander at times- sometimes I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going.

 

this is an epic novel, with many of the things fantasy fans wish for. Fairies, portals, secret histories, and a handsome stranger who appears one night without warning.

This is a fantasy-style spiritual warfare story, inspiring, but too dark for kids, and it has mature content themes including religious hypocrisy, suicidal thoughts, adultery, teen pregnancy, and murder, including murder of vast numbers of people (although gore is avoided). I would recommend this book for readers age 16+ who enjoy fantasy and books like Peretti’s This Present Darkness.
Category: Adult Christian Fantasy

Content Ratings:
Heat: There are two instances that imply states of undress. In one, a woman changes her outer clothing right in front of several men..but it does not say that she ever took off her under layer. In fact, it is described as little as possible. In another, a man removes his outer robe and is bare chested, but he is injured and definitely not portrayed in a romantic way. There is a very, very minor romantic plot thread and another instance where one character has a crush on another.

 

Violence: There are a LOT of people who die, some horribly. Some of them are children. Regardless of that, we don’t actually have to watch them die. The writer uses fade to black to spare us from that, and gore is avoided. One of the things this book seems to do well is realistic portrayal of what violence does to the one using it.

 

Profanity: None.

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book with a request for an honest review.

 

This book is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

 

 

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