Friday, March 06, 2009
ERETZEL, by William McGrath
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (CFRB) has been touring ERETZEL, by William McGrath this week. Earlier in the week I posted an interview with Mr. McGrath which I hope you enjoyed. At that time I mentioned that I would be posting a review of this book later in the week. Well, this is that post, that review.
ERETZEL, by William McGrath is quite an achievement. It is book 2 in The Sword of Fire Trilogy following ASULON. Everything about these books is interesting, from the names he chooses to the anachronisms. The whole story seems to be both in the future and it the past. I say that because of the technology involved. An end times novel where swords, spears and arrows are the major weapons? Impossible, and yet McGrath no only makes you believe this possible, but normal. The difference between ASULON and ERETZEL, in my opinion, is the majority of the book actually takes place in and centers around Eretzel, while in the first book the origins took place in Asulon, but the rest of the book happened elsewhere. Also the focus was somewhat narrow, getting to know Daniel, Simon the priest, Moor, Rachel and the Sons of Anak, the death of Argeus and Anak, Daniel’s father and grandfather respectively. The cast of characters was large, and indeed there was much travel and therefore description of different lands, but it was still quite narrow, or focused. I suppose that would be a better word. Yet that word also describes ERETZEL and it is much more vast in scope than the previous book. This is interesting, since, as I stated, most of the book takes place in or focuses on events surrounding Eretzel.
It seems that McGrath is following J.R.R. Tolkien’s formula for his trilogy, but I will have to read his final installment to truly see if this is so. Yet while Tolkien begins with The Fellowship of the Ring, in which there is great action, but most of it centered around Frodo and his friends, and is about setting the stage for that which is to follow. We are learning something of the characters as we go along, and although we can see a darkness coming towards us it only slightly touches us. Oddly this is the same feeling we get with ASULON. Tolkien then brings his heroes into The Two Towers, a much darker, portion of his tale, one that is filled with action, most of which seems to be tilting against our friends. Eretzel has some of this, however it is far less dark, but the darkness that is coming we now know we cannot escape. Will McGrath follow Tolkien’s map to greatness as through the midst of darkness heroes are born, light shines through and victory is secured? One can only hope. I am not saying McGrath’s works are as great as Tolkien’s, although if seen in another context one might argue McGrath to be the superior, but I am bias towards Tolkien. I only mean here to show similarities between the epics.
Yet the similarities between McGrath’s fantasy and Tolkien’s epic is not the issue at all. It is McGrath’s ability to join future Biblical events to his work that makes his work so impressive. Indeed, had McGrath chosen Middle Earth rather than his own worlds, and hobbits, elves, dwarves and orcs rather than angels, giants and demons (okay there are dwarves here too) one might think Tolkien wrote only of the spiritual battle fought to seat Christ on the throne, through death as it were, while McGrath picks up the story at that point and talks about the events prior to Christ’s return. These two authors have simply chosen different periods of time in our lives with respect to the actions of Jesus Christ. I suppose one might find The Sword of Fire trilogy as an extension of an epic begun in another place at another time by another author. We find this work, ERETZEL to be of great importance, because, anachronisms aside, the events remind us of our world today. And if any would read the words of caution here they would say, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” - David Brollier
You can purchase his book at:
Barnes & Noble
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.
Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?
The book link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0800730429
Marilynn's website link: http://marilynngriffith.typepad.com/rhythmsofgrace/
THE 3RD COVENANT - a Comparison
times per month
Judge and Jury
The 3rd Covenant
The Camel Club
Web of Lies
The 12th Card
Words of Silk
Above and Beyond
No Second Chance