Monday, April 16, 2007

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour - Karen Hancock

Hi all:

Welcome to my first participation in a blog tour. What's a blog tour? It is a group of bloggers who unite for a period of time to blog about one subject to generate discussion and awareness of the subject.

In this case, the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) blog tour posts about and discusses a different SF&F author or magazine each month. This month we're all discussing the award-winning author, Karen Hancock, and specifically the fourth and final book in her excellent "Legends of the Guardian King" series called "Return of the Guardian King."

I just finished reading this book over the weekend and am gathering my thoughts for my review for Title Trakk. So I can't comment specifically on this title until my review appears over there.

But I can share my thoughts on the first three books in the series:

  1. The Light of Eidon

  2. The Shadow Within

  3. Shadow Over Kiriath

Today I'll post my review of Book One, which first appeared at Absolute Write. Here are my thoughts on "The Light of Eidon":

This exciting new story by Christy-award-winning author Karen Hancock is the first book in the “Legends of the Guardian-King” series. Like J.R.R. Tolkien did for his “Lord of the Rings” series, Hancock has created a whole world with map included in which readers can lose themselves for hours of heart-stopping adventures. This is a world where battles between good and evil are still being fought, where darkness and light stand side by side, yet the truth is not as black and white as it may seem.

Our hero in this epic world is Abramm Kalladorne, a lowly prince of the northern kingdom of Kiriath, who is so far down the line of succession and so puny compared to his brothers that he decides to join the religious order Guardians of the Sacred Flames of Eidon. For eight years he toils in the rigors of the religion only to be betrayed by his spiritual mentor on the eve of his installation as a Guardian.

This betrayal sets him on a long series of grueling adventures that includes slavery on a galley ship and the equally miserable life of a gladiator. Like Joseph in the book of Genesis, however, he appears to be blessed in all of his experiences and turns into the most famous gladiator, known as the White Pretender, and eventually is pegged to be the Deliverer of the downtrodden Dorsaddi race.

Along the way he finds love, strength, and loyal friendship. And every step of the way, his spiritual battles mirror the intensity of his physical confrontations. Hancock has created a tale that combines elements from Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, and Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, which was the first breakout Christian novel.

Hancock’s archetypal world includes the familiar motif of twins destined for greatness, but she gives it a unique twist in having the sister, Carissa, be the one who sets out to rescue her beloved brother, Abramm. Hancock writes with confidence, perfect pacing, and a welcome economy of words. (I often find books of this genre to be somewhat florid and lengthy.)

Though this tale begins a series, its main story comes to a definite ending at the end of this book. Several other storylines are left open to be explored in future novels. So the promise is there but not the frustrating gimmick of the cliffhanger. The Light of Eidon is a swashbuckling tale that satisfies on its own terms while pointing to further exciting adventures from a talented new writer.

If this peaks your interest, and you're interested in reading what others have to say about the series, check out these other bloggers, who will be writing about "Legends of the Guardian King" April 16, 17, and 18:

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

Enjoy a whole new world of adventure with Karen Hancock's series!



Sharon Hinck said...

Beautiful review of the first book! Welcome to the blog tour!

Yes, even though Karen is richly descriptive, you're so correct that it's NOT florid and over lengthy. Her writing is LUSH...which I confess tempts me toward envy. I see my writing style as much more "pen and ink" rather than gorgeous oil painting - so I marvel at what Karen is able to do with words. I'm so delighted that this blog tour may introduce some new readers to her amazing books.

Karen Hancock said...

Glad you've joined the tour, Heather, and thanks for reposting this very kind review. As Sharon pointed out, it's a great way to get others interested in the series.

Becky said...


Way to get started with CSFF! A very nice post. Well, I pretty much had to say that because I did NEARLY THE SAME THING. Hahah--and I thought I was being so original.

Seriously, great job.


Cheryl said...

Hey Heather!

Welcome to the tour! Great review of the first book. :-) Can't wait to read your review at Title Trakk. :-)

hrh said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! This is such a great series for a tour. I love promoting it. :)