Monday, September 17, 2007

"The Door Within" review

I've posted on this book before, but seeing as there's a new book out by this author, Isle of Swords, I figured I'd do more substantial reviews for his past books.

The Door Within is a compelling fantasy novel by a Christian author who's getting bigger by the day: Wayne Thomas Batson. In it, he tells the story of Aidan Thomas, a teenage boy whose life has just turned upside-down. No, he hasn't found out he's king of the trolls or something ludicrous like that. No, he has instead moved hundreds of miles away from his old home and his best friend, Robby Pierson. He doesn't know anyone, and so has suffered a crushing emotional blow. In his new home he is living in with his grandfather, he decides to go searching through the house one day. That's when he finds the scrolls.

The scrolls contain the story of a magical kingdom called Alleble which exists parallel to our own world. Alleble is part of the Realm, where King Eliam reigns in peace. But one of his trusted men, Paragal, betrays him and murders him in front of his people. His name is then changed to Paragor, and he and his servant, Rucifel, go to make a kingdom in his own image: Paragory. But in Alleble, Eliam's influence is still strong, and his spirit still abides in his kingdom.

Aidan is stunned, and rightfully so. These stories, he feels, are true, although his parents say otherwise. Angry, he shuts himself away from them and sees the scrolls have more written on them. There is a poem, a riddle, and with the help of his grandfather, Grampin, Aidan figures it out. He then finds himself in the Realm where it seems he has a mission waiting for him. He is the twelfth in a group of Glimpse knights. (Glimpses are the "humans" of the Realm. They each have a twin on Earth, and each is affected by the other. Their eyes change from blue- servants of Eliam- to red- servants of Paragor- to green- undecided- depending on where their loyalties lie.) In this group are characters such as Captain Valithor, Grampin's Glimpse, and Gwenne, whom Aidan takes a liking to instantly. And he journeys to win over the Glimpses of the neighboring kingdom for Eliam.

There isn't a slow moment in this story, and for this I'm grateful. Only occasionally does the story show the trappings of a first-time author. Wayne Thomas Batson certainly has talent, and he uses it to create a whopping good yarn, one that makes one wish to instantly progress onto Book II, The Rise of the Wyrm Lord.

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