Posts Tagged With: Wheaton College

Beyond the Summerland – Worthwhile Fantasy

I love book series. Getting attached to the characters and the world depicted in a set of novels is one of life’s signature pleasures. Although finding a good author to follow is wonderful, discovering a great series is even more of a treasure. The Binding of the Blade consists of five books and delivers a complex story set in a vivid fantasy world. Not only that, but all five novels have already been published, so they can all be read with hardly a breath or potty break. This obsessive reading is certainly not required (or recommended), but to have the option is bliss. I read all the novels of the series one after the other: Beyond the Summerland, Bringer of Storms, Shadow in the Deep, Father of Dragons, and All My Holy Mountain.

A lively imagination is a gift and I have it in abundance. When I am reading, I am “in” the story, picturing details of each character’s hair, face, clothing. The landscape unrolls before my mind like a technicolor carpet. Movies captivate me too, but I don’t need them to do my imagining, and even find them distracting sometimes once I have already mentally created the story.

This fantasy series resides in my library’s youth adult fiction section, but as an adult, I enjoyed it thoroughly with its well-crafted world and characters. Undeniably, J.R.R. Tolkien set the bar so high that no one touch him, but that doesn’t mean authors shouldn’t try. The result is a wealth of wonderful fantasy stories that bring us variety. And to be honest, I can’t get enough of dragons, swords, evil overlords, and frightening forests. I don’t mind similar themes because the battle between good and evil underlies everything, so why not vicariously join another fight in a unique world? I will leave the plot of this particular series a mystery and allow readers to discover it for themselves. I will say that I enjoyed a series that has a benevolent and personal source of spiritual power.

Delighted, I discovered L.B. Graham avidly pursues his storytelling. The Darker Road, book 1 in the Wandering series will be released in July 2013. I first “found” Graham through my Wheaton College alumni magazine article. The fact that he is a fellow alum may have biased me a bit in the author’s favor, but that’s acceptable, isn’t it? We often have reasons for pre-judging authors. More information can be found on the author’s website, lbgraham.com. His website bio informs us that he “was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1971 and loved school so much that he never left, transitioning seamlessly between life as a student and life as a teacher. He and his family now live in St. Louis. They would like one day to have a house by the sea, which he wants to call “The Grey Havens.” He and his wife have two children. Both love books, which pleases him immensely.”
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Categories: Fantasy, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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