Last weekend, quite by non-intent, I spent several hours rereading a good portion of the end of The Light of Eidon.
It started with a reader’s email informing me he’d gotten LOE free on his new Kindle and started reading it. At first he wasn’t sure he would like it, but by the time he’d reached Section 3, he LOVED it and downloaded the next three books in the series right then and there.
Curious as to what was happening by Section 3, I got the book down and checked it out. Section 2 ends with Abramm’s first battle in the arena where he becomes the White Pretender and Section 3 jumps ahead 2 years to Carissa’s finally catching up to him in Xorofin. I read/skimmed from there and in so doing came upon what I’m pretty sure are the problem passages that moved some disgruntled readers to leave one-star reviews on Amazon complaining about being “slammed by Christian theology at the end”, or “tricked into reading about Jesus.”
Take this exchange between Abramm and Trap on p 383:
“Of course not,” Abramm said dryly. “Nothing is ever enough with you nor will it be until I wear your shield upon my chest.”
Trap regarded him soberly. “Eidon is the only answer in this world, Abramm, and life is not about settling scores or being respected by people. It’s about his power and his worth and what he did on that hill outside Xorofin. You must come to him as nothing. But you don’t like that. You want it to be about you. Your sacrifices, your efforts to make yourself worthy.” He paused, studying the horses without really seeing them. “It’s pride, Abramm. That’s why you won’t believe.”
As soon as I read this I thought, Oh wow! Yeah, that would hit some people right between the eyes. The flesh hates the notion that it has nothing to offer, that salvation really is all about Him and His work and His worthiness while we are nothing.
Here’s another a some twelve pages later, Abramm’s viewpoint as he recalls the above-quoted conversation:
You want it to be about you. Your sacrifice, your efforts to make yourself worthy.
It was true. And yet it seemed with every decision he’d made, every action he took, he’d only made himself more unworthy. Almost as if he couldn’t help himself, almost as if some part of him insisted upon showing him how weak and helpless he was. Now he was trapped like a fish in a bowl, every good thing he might have accomplished wrenched from his grasp. He couldn’t deliver the Dorsaddi, couldn’t deliver Carissa, couldn’t deliver Kiriath — couldn’t even deliver himself.
I don’t remember having written this, and was kind of surprised how it went so straight to the point. I was pleased, though. Yeah, those people with the 1-star reviews, they were being convicted. Whether they responded or not’s another matter, but who cares about 1-star reviews if something you’ve written has rattled them enough to react as they have?
Because another thing I’ve noticed is that the book is 432 pages long. Yet the parts that had provoked such offense are measured in paragraphs, not chapters and, with one exception, not pages. Okay, so his spiritual conversion does make for the resolution of a major plot line, but still…
Ms. Hancock, I have purchased all of the books in the Guardian King series. When I found out they were available on the Amazon Kindle, I bought them there too! On the Kindle, I can highlight the lines that mean the most to me. I can also add my notes. And I can share them with others in the Amazon Kindle world. But best of all, I can carry all four books with me and find those passages when I really need them. Some folk have songs that speak to them of God’s mercy and love. I have your books – and the words that convict me and encourage me and draw me nearer to my savior. I have read the series through at least three times. It is like water to my parched soul. I have several e-versions of the Bible too, and I read them faithfully. But your stories have encouraged me. You should know that. You have made a difference in my life, and I suspect the same is true in many other lives as well. Thank you. (I await your new book!)
I love this series, I have all the books and have downloaded the first 2 on my nook. I have read book 1 at least 4 times and i never get board with it. Aren’t you writing alagory? and aren’t your books reflective of Christ? That’s the point. I wish you would make a fifth book to this one and a second to the Arena. You are one of my favorite Christian writers.
Karen, I love your books! I am on the 5th reading of the Guardian King Series and it never fails to show me something new that I hadn’t seen in the previous readings. I started out reading Arena many years ago and when I found out you had written the Guardian King Series, I had to have that too. I have shared it with the teens in my church and they have embraced it also. You are a truly gifted writer that God is using to spread his Word.
This is the gift God put in you for His purpose…it is what makes you an OUTSTANDING writer and a tool in Gods hand. Well done….
I loved the series and I loved the way those truths were interwoven. That is why I read allegory. There were well done.
Everything said in the previous comments, I want to say, too! I thought maybe it was a little odd that I’m reading through the books for the third time now–and usually finish book four only to pick up book one and start right away on it–but not anymore! So, so encouraging in my walk with God are these books.
And, by the way, how would one pronounce Gillard? : )
Thanks, everyone, for your very kind words. They are very encouraging to me.
As for Gillard, I pronounce it with a soft g, like jillard. I like the look of Gillard better than with the “j”.
I shared the series with my brother and he is convinced there will be a fifth book. I told him that the “The Return of The Guardian King” was the last of the series. It that right? Anyway, a huge THANK YOU for writing the Guardian King Series and every other book you’ve written because they really help me see things clearer and they draw me closer to Christ. You put so much detail, effort, and care into your books that they feel very very real and relatable. I will most definitely be buying every book you put out there in the future. And if the world didn’t hate you for the books you’ve written, you would have to take a step back and wonder if you were writing about the right things. 🙂