Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Musings

"Silent night, holy night..."
"Away in a manger, no crib for a bed."
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come..."
It's Christmas afternoon, the presents are unwrapped, and I'm sitting here thinking. Christmas isn't just about the presents. Even the best ones get broken...or lost...or just plain aren't interesting anymore.
And the nativity scene in the corner--Mary and Jospeh kneeling by a manger, shephards and wise men circling in reverent worship--that's not how it was at all. It was a stable. It probably stank. There likely was manure and droppings in the corners. Th shephards probably were rough, burely men. If I was Mary, I would have cried at the idea of giving birth in a stable.
And even if everyone had been clean and neat, it wasn't a night of peace. No, this was a D-Day of supernatural proportions. God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, sent himself down to Earth--into the heart of the enemy's lair--as a helpless infant. It's not the quiet, silent night we sing about.
The angels sang of peace and goodwill towards men, but we tend to forget about the end of the story. Because it didn't end there. It went on--on to the cross. And without the cross, there would be no point in Christmas.
In the song "Did you know?" by Todd Agnew, the chorus goes like this:
Did you know?
Did the cross cast a shadow o'er your cradle?
Did you know?
Did you shudder each time Your hammer struck a nail?
Did you know?
How much heaven and how much earth
were present in this baby at His birth?
Did you know? Or did you wonder?

It's something we'd all do well to remember.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Final Storm

Adventures are funny things
They always begin with the unexpected,
but they always end with the promise
of adventures yet to come

~The Final Storm

All books and series must come to an end, and the Door Within is no exception. But what will the future hold? Will Robbie succumb to Pargor’s promises of power? And will Antoinette and Aidan remain true to their king in the face of death? The ending is amazingly powerful.

The Door Within

This fantasy tale is amazing. I loved reading about Aidan’s adventures in The Realm. The characters are realistic and the plot line creative. Instead of just swords, it’s more of a spiritual battle for the hearts of people.

Eternity's Edge

I've been waiting for this book since prereading Beyond the Reflection's Edge. Davis does not disappoint.

As interfinity approaches, the stakes get higher for Nathan, Kelly, Daryl and Francesca. Can they trust Patar? Will they discover the secrets of Sarah’s Womb? This book kept me laughing and crying all the way through.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Three years of strife have passed since Kale and Bardon freed Paladin’s knights. Now, fiery dragons scorch their beautiful countryside as an evil husband-and-wife wizard duo battle one another for supremacy. The people of Amara just want to be left alone, hoping the conflict with disappear. But Paladin is dying, and Bardon and Kale–now married–must accept fateful assignments if their land is to survive. Will their efforts turn the tide against their adversaries?

They face a deadly threat–and a challenging choice.

Kale’s responsibility is to find, hatch, and train an army of dragons, and she tackles the daunting task–until she is shocked by a betrayal. As the Amaran countrymen seek escape, she must search for her husband, family, and friends while organizing an underground movement to weaken the enemy. But when the end draws near, Kale must choose between two dismal destinies.

Prepare to experience breathtaking adventure and mind-blowing fantasy as never before in this stunning addition to Donita K. Paul’s popular Dragon Keepers fantasy

This was my favorite book of the series so far.


Kale is now a servant at The Hall. But after less then two weeks, she is sent off to help Wizard Fenworth deal with his meech dragon. On the way, she also gets tangled up with a doneel orphan and two women claiming to be her mother. This book is a delightful fantasy for families to enjoy together.


Now a full-fledged wizard with several minor dragons, Kale prepares to take over for Wizard Fenwick. Brendon, almost a knight, is enjoying some peace and quiet before taking his vows. But the plans of both are shattered when two emerildens request Brendon’s aid in locating twelve knights that had been captured by Risto several years ago. Will Kale finally find her father?


Kale, the village slave for River Away, is nobody special—or so she believes. After discovering a minor dragon egg, the village elders send her to The Hall for training. But Paladin’s servants send her on a different quest: to recover the meech egg Wizard Risto stole from Wizard Fenworth. One of the best aspects of this book was how the sentient races differ from the traditional elves, dwarves, etc. The doneels and kimens are particularly original.

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord

Even though this is the second book of a series, I found it easy to understand. Like Narnia, it focuses on another world that is linked to our own. Instead of talking animals, The Realm is populated with Glimpses, each of whom mirrors someone in our own world. More than just the typical sword-and-helm fantasy, Rise of the Wyrm Lord weaves spiritual warfare and realistic characters into its enthralling tale

Secrets of the Swamp King

Young Aidan now serves at the court of King Darrrow. But his popularity also makes him dangerous enemies. Things come to a head when Darrow receives an anonymous letter claiming that Aidan is maneuvering to overthrow Darrow. Furious, the king sends Aidan into Feechiefen Swamp on a perilous quest. When Aidan reaches the swamp, he learns of a feechie war band led by the WilderKing. Who is this imposter? This second installment raises the stakes from the first book.

The WilderKing Trilogy: The Bark of the Bog Owl

Fantasy=dragons, wizards, and talking animals, right? Wrong! In The Bark of the Bog Owl, readers are introduced to the country of Corenwald, a land of swamps, gators, and feechiefolk. Aidan, the main character, will appeal to anyone who loves exploring unknown lands, fighting imaginary foes, and getting dirty. It is a rare fantasy book that can interest people who would rather be outside. This is that sort of book.

Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword

This fast-paced story is a great way to introduce fantasy to young readers. The author firmly grounds his tale in the real-life town of Mount Dora before his characters enter the fantasy realm of Aeliana. Talking animals, brilliant colors, and supernatural visitors will delight even the most reluctant readers

Beyond the Reflection's Edge

I had the great privilege of pre-reading this book. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s surprise, so I will only say that after being enthralled by the world Bryan Davis created in Dragons in Our Midst and expanded upon in Oracles of Fire, I eagerly anticipated his new series, Echoes from the Edge. The characters, like those in his first two series, are realistic, relatable teens that readers of all ages can identify with. I see echoes of myself in Daryl, who constantly alludes to and quotes from such favorite fantasies as Lord of the Rings and Narnia, as well as The Wizard of Oz.
My good intentions to read only a chapter of Beyond the Reflection's Edge daily evaporated. I read the whole book in less than four hours. The first chapter contained more emotion and action than some books ever reach. From there, the story builds in depth and action to an extraordinary conclusion. Unlike some books, Beyond the Reflection's Edge yields more excitement with each re-reading. I can't wait for the next installment!

Last of the Nephilim

A talking dagger? Bones as instruments of rebirth? Flying a plane into a dimensional portal? Yes, Bryan Davis is at it again. Picking up where Enoch’s Ghost left off, Last of the Nephilim effortless weaves old friends and new characters into a gripping tale of betrayal, trust, justice, mercy, friendship, enemies and more. Surprises and prophecies emerge at every turn as Second Eden is threatened by evil.
Readers of the previous books will be amazed at how Davis finally answers the question about Bonnie’s wings without revealing her choice from Tears of a Dragon.

Enoch's Ghost

As evil forces seek to merge heaven and earth, the former dragons and their allies seek to stop them. Events build to a climax in three different worlds, with an unexpected, heartrending conclusion. My personal favorite of all Davis’ books.

Eye of the Oracle

This book is great for both newcomers and old fans. If DioM was a movie, Eye of the Oracle would be the behind-the-scenes documentary. It’s great for all those wishing to know more about such characters as Merlin, Morgan, King Arthur, Palin and all the dragons, as well as introducing wonderful new characters. You’ll get a whole new perspective on the original books

Circles of Seven

Bonnie and Billy are sent into the Circles of Seven to rescue prisoners. But in a land of deceit and temptation, whom can they trust? From an abandoned town to an island castle to a deep chasm, this story is a feast for the imagination and emotions. The climatic battle is better than any movie because of the realistic characters whom you can identify with.
This book contains elements from Arthurian legend, Dante's Inferno, and even bits of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. A great story that can be used to introduce others--I actually read Dante's Inferno because of this book.

Tears of a Dragon

After the release of hundreds of Watchers from Hades, the remaining nine dragons prepare for war against overwhelming odds. But when Billy and Bonnie enter Dragon’s Rest in search of Billy’s father, tragedy strikes. Even when the battle’s over, dragons and anthrozils face the toughest choice of their lives. Remain dragons, or become fully human? This ending made me cry. I really enjoyed the whole series and was sad to see it draw to a close. But the adventures continue with Oracles of Fire.

The Candlestone

Billy and Bonnie are resting after the action in Raising Dragons when the return of Bonnie’s father signals the beginning of a new adventure. Can Bonnie trust the man who betrayed her mother to the slayers? The amazing scientific process of translumination creates a vibrant world inside a light-absorbing gem known as the candlestone. Want to know more? Enter The Candlestone and explore a world of danger, mystery, and sacrifice.
I liked how this book emphasized faith, trust and truth. It contains a nice blend of emotions, humor and action.

All My Holy Mountain

After over a year of waiting, I finally was able to read the final installment of the Binding of the Blade saga. All the frustration, aggravation, and waiting was worth it. Every death, every sacrifice, every struggle, built toward the climatic finish when Malek was defeated once and for all. If you just couldn’t stand the thought of another tragic ending, hold on. It’s all worth it in the end.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Motiv8 Video

Time for another update on the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour. The following video was posted on the offical website. The co-authored story is growing rapidly and is well worth reading.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Raising Dragons

One of my favorite authors is Bryan Davis, author of Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, and Echoes from the Edge [DioM, OoF, and EftE to fans] His books are well-written modern Christian fantasy, some of the best I've ever read. You can buy books directly from the author at
And now, my review of Raising Dragons:
Billy Banister is a typical teenage boy; trading tall tales with friends, occasionally late to class… and breathing fire. When Billy’s breath sets off the fire alarm in the restroom, his dad must tell him the truth about his past. This incident sparks a wild adventure full of unknown dangers. Together with the new girl Bonnie Silver, Billy is caught up in a centuries old danger. But how is his principal involved? And what is Bonnie hiding in her backpack? Read this book, the first installment of the Dragons in Our Midst quartet, and find out!
I loved how this book blended dragons, King Arthur and modern-day life. It made it seem like adventure may be just around the corner!

Father of Dragons

The lonely hero is about to die. The army is facing annihilation. And far off, wings of hope sped to the rescue. Can they get there in time?

Is this a scene from Return of the King—or the ending of Father of Dragons? The fourth of five books in the series, Father of Dragons ends with a monstrous cliffhanger. But the book is more than just a buildup to All My Holy Mountain. With new characters introduced and old friends brought back, this book increases the stakes in the war for Kirthanin. As I finished it, I felt a strange excitement, a longing for the day when all things shall be made new.

Shadow in the Deep

After the fall of Valzaan on the beach of Col Marena, the army flees Wethanin by ship, hoping to find aid in Suthanin. But Aljeron must follow a different path. Bound by a promise to Valzaan, he sets off on a quest across the wilds of Nolthanin in hope of awaking the legendary Sulmandir, Father of Dragons. But the cold and beasts aren’t his only enemies. Synoki, the secretive castaway from the first book, shows up with a friend who claims to have traveled in Nolthanin before. Can they be trusted?
While traveling, Benjaih is invited to the Tarlindraal, where he receives a vision from Allfather calling for the union of four great peoples. Who are they, and can the army hold out until then?
Readers of the first two books may be expecting a dramatic ending, but Graham raises the bar by having TWO shocking cliffhangers. Who is the man in the golden cloak? And what will happen as the army crosses the Kalamin?

Bringer of Storms

Although this book opens seventeen years after Beyond the Summerland, the author manages to naturally weave in an outline of the interlude. For seven years Aljeron has led the men of Shalin Bel against the city of Fel Edorath in hopes of bringing Rulalin to justice. But unforeseen events reverse the tables. Malek, about to launch his third and final attack on Kirthanin, offers Rulalin a position in his army. Will Rulalin abandon his beliefs and accept?
Meanwhile, Valzaan rides to Ammon Sul with shocking news. How will Wylla react when she learns her son, like his father, has been appointed a prophet? Can she let him go into the face of danger with no certainty of surviving?The conclusion follows its predecessor in hitting readers with an unforeseen ending. I was shocked, yet couldn’t resist opening the next one. These books have a way of gripping you even as you can’t stand some of the plot twists. In a way, that’s part of their power.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beyond the Summerland

One of the authors in the Motiv8 tour is L.B. Graham, author of The Binding of the Blade series. The first book is Beyond the Summerland. Visit the author's website at ttp://

Here is my own personal review:

This book starts off as a rather normal fantasy, complete with the standard average-young-man-who-discovers-he’s-got-a-destiny main character. But the author skillfully builds the story into a gripping fantasy with a touch of romance. Joraiem’s struggles are believable and relatable for fantasy fans of both genders. Tense battle scenes are balanced with emotional struggles. The only problem for first time readers is the shocking plot twist at the end. Those who preserve through the entire series will come to understand it, even if they never are satisfied with the ending. My only other recommendation is to check the entire series out at one go. Once you read the first one, you won’t be able to sleep until everything is resolved in the fifth book

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Welcome to The Worldsmith's Shelf, my own little place for talking about those books I like best. I prefer fantasy, but almost any genre may attract my attention. Someday, I want to write my own books.