Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Review of Masters & Slayers

Fantasy is my favorite genre of writing, so I have been looking forward to reading Masters and Slayers. From the opening pages of the story, the tale captured my attention, making the book nearly impossible to set aside. (It’s a good thing I started reading it on a day off rather than on a lunch break!)
I found the narrative interesting and creative. The characters were real, so real that often their motives remained hidden and left you guessing at the true state of their heart and the source of their actions. I had not previously read any of the author’s youth series set in the same world, yet I found the worlds and settings fully explained. There were several characters that gave you only the briefest glimpses into their stories, so I assume they will be developed in later books.

This book is marketed as a Christian book. I would instead call it theistic and moral, but not distinctly Christian as it did not include the one message that is unique to Christianity, a God who provides himself as the sacrifice, offering salvation and redemption as a free gift that man can not earn or in any way contribute to by his own works. The book does include the presence of a creator god, a moral code, a high value of life, faith as central to life’s choices, an underlying belief in justice and the responsibility to protect and defend the weak and oppressed. The book deals with issues of evil and the corruption of power. It also touches on the unmerciful fanaticism of legalistic religion, as well as issues of truth and deception.

This book is marketed for an adult audience including the adult themes of murder, brutality, slavery, lust and rape, but it does so in non-graphic ways, presenting elements of evil in the story without dwelling on the details. I appreciate any author who is able to discuss evil without having to paint graphic pictures.

I would recommend Masters and Slayers as a fascinating story, with varied themes and engaging characters. I look forward to the release of book two and the continuation of the Tales of Starlight.

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