Long ago, and far away, an apprentice blacksmith named Joran is tormented by nightmares. He claws his way up a sand-strewn cliff battered by ocean waves, desperately trying to reach his imprisoned wife. Every night, he fails, sucked under the dark, roiling water as a baleful moon looms overhead, mocking him.
It’s just a dream, isn’t it? That’s what Joran thinks, until he discovers that the wife he sent back to her relatives in a nearby village after a heated argument never reached her destination. She’s vanished without a trace, and Joran sets off to find her. His quest will take him to the very boundaries of his world, in the company of an extraordinarily strange ally, to grapple with forces beyond his imagination. He needs all the help he can get–Joran will soon discover that the most merciless, relentless enemy of all lurks closer than he ever thought possible.
In the tradition of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lakin brings us a fairytale and an allegory rolled up in one. A Christian fairytale. I was really excited when I got this book to review. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. It just makes you want to read the book that much more. I have long been a fan of stories akin to The Chronicles of Narnia or Hind's Feet on High Places. Books that tell the Christian story of Jesus, but from a fiction and fairytale like point of view. Lakin, has done a wonderful job of making her true point very obvious while still giving the reader a fairytale.
Joran is trying to save his wife, who has been taken captive by the Moon. In his pursuit of her, he meets the wolf, Ruyah, who stays with him regardless of the situation. He is never really alone. Through the greatest difficulties of his life, he has someone to lean on, someone who has his back no matter what the obstacle. Joran is forced to make a terrible decision when he reaches the shore of his dreams. His very survival depends on the death and sacrifice of Ruyah's life. Not only that, but it must come from his own hand. The wolf he has come to trust and love must give it's own life to protect him and save him from certain death. A true picture of Christ in our own lives. He never leaves us even when it seems everyone else has stepped out, He steps in. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us, just as Ruyah does for Joran.
I was really captivated by this story for many reasons. First and foremost I was interested to see if Lakin could pull off a fairytale with a message. I was certainly not disappointed. I look forward to the second book in The Gates of Heaven series, to see what happens next. This is a good book for young readers, as well as adults, since the book delves into a lot of issues adults struggle with in their own Christian lives.
The Wolf of Tebron is available NOW at your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! If you liked The Chronicles of Narnia, you'll love this one.
Here is additional information about C.S. Lakin. In her own words. (taken from the author's website. cslakin.com)
I come from a family of successful writers, i.e.: they have actually made a living writing books and television scripts. I have finally landed my first fiction contract, after winning the Zondervan First Novel contest at Mount Hermon in April 2009. But as a friend once said, "God doesn't call us to be successful; he calls us to be faithful." My prayer is to keep focused on God—it's all about Him, not me, and my dream is to reach people with hope and the means to extol my faithful and loving God to my readers.
Another friend encouraged me to keep on pressing forward. She said, "A life spent loving God is never a failure." I keep these comments fresh in my heart each day, knowing God has a plan. He always does. He doesn't tell me what it is, so I try to guess. (laugh). Sometimes I even ask him to please tell me his plan. He never does. He intends to show me. He wants me to wait and see.
Waiting has never been my strong point. My friend Renae says this is my favorite word: Sheesh. Sheesh. Just where did that word come from, anyway? My twenty-year wait has paid off, and now I see how God has been training me—not just in my writing skills but in my nature—to understand that success means nothing, but God's will is everything.
I love: hiking, backpacking, watching Star Trek reruns cuddled up on the couch in my husband's, arms, doing everything with my daughters (especially eating and baking), gardening (when I'm not writing or editing, I landscape for a living), taking my dog Sweetie for walks, reading, playing Zuma on the computer (OK, I confess my addiction), sleeping with my three kitties on the bed, and the list is endless. Most of all I love God and give him the glory for "He created all things, and by his will they exist and were created." I am just a little speck of dust in this vast universe. What do I know? Only one thing. (I am picturing Billy Crystal in "City Slickers" holding up his one finger to his buddies). When you hold up that one finger, it only points in one direction and to one Person. And that's all that matters. God is the creator of all things. God is in control. Thankfully, God knows what he is doing, and that makes me feel so relieved. So, I'll just keep on writing...