review | the light of eidon by karen hancock
Lemme keep this simple: I flippin’ loved this book.
I’ll be honest, getting started was slow-going. It piqued my curiosity enough for me to want to continue reading, but it didn’t thoroughly captivate me right off the bat. Beyond that, I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Light of Eidon. I’ve never heard of this classic Christian fantasy—even though I’d thought myself at least somewhat well-versed in the realm of Christian fantasy—but I knew if it was considered a classic, surely it was worth that title.
At least worth the absolutely gorgeous new cover provided by Hannah Linder Designs. 😍
But once I committed to sitting down and taking this chonky book one page at a time, BOY HOWDY! This was literally all of my favorite things (okay, not all—there was no Mr. Darcy, after all—but most) and piled them all into one epic fantasy. The Mark of the Lion vibes are strong with this one, paired with some Lord of the Rings and maybe even some Dune. I detected Dune…
It’s literally the perfect mashup of Biblical/ancient times adventure with 17th-18th century royal/political intrigue with ✨fantasy✨. There’s a hero who can root for and witness his redemption. There’s a frenemy-style sidekick who is pure gold. There’s enemies and allies and traitors galore, creating a dramatic and intriguing adventure spanning kingdoms and years that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first chapter.
That’s not to say this is a fast-paced book. It’s not. But it’s not slow either. It’s the just-right balance you need to keep you on your toes without sacrificing development. I will say this: it did skip past things once in a while without all the explanation I wanted, but it was never so bad that I couldn’t follow along with the story.
Really, the only actual qualm I have is that I DON’T HAVE THE NEXT BOOK. In fact, trying to find a copy is almost as hard as trying to find a needle in a haystack. So I’m being forced to wait until Enclave republishes it next year. NEXT YEAR. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT THAT LONG?!
In all seriousness, my actual actual qualm is that I didn’t like Carissa. I couldn’t really connect with her, so whenever her POV came around, I was already looking forward to when we switched back to Abramm.
Now, a lot of other reviewers (most of whom are friends of mine) have expressed several other qualms or concerns...so y’all know I gotta share my thoughts on those issues.
Was the content within anti-biblical?
No. No, it really wasn’t. As far as the 100% fantasy religions go, they act as a well-done allegory for Judaism and Christianity and other world religions—not in a way that seems to bash one or the other, but in a way that weaves them all together to create unique but familiar religions and cultures.
As far as the sexual content and heavier elements, if you’ve read Mark of the Lion, this will literally be a piece of cake. There is slavery, violence, gore, death, etc., but it’s all realistic (in terms of the real-world versions of those issues) and tasteful. Never gratuitous or horrific. If you are considering this book for a younger reader (i.e., younger than 15), I’d pass. But for older teens and adults, this was a-okay.
And the premarital sex. If you pay attention, you’ll see how biblically this was handled. There is remorse and repentance, and overall the issue was handled very well.
Again, everything in here, on a scale of squeaky clean to Francine Rivers, is about like a 7. 😉
Leave your preconceived notions and defenses at the door, friends. Because if you take it one page at a time, chances are you’ll fall headfirst in love.
Now, back to our regularly schedule non-content review…
Y’ALL. TRAP WAS THE BEST. As much as I loved Abramm...Trap was perfection. He was the best. Just...so good. Most of the side characters, honestly, were fabulous in every way. And even though Trap dominated every way, I still so enjoyed following Abramm’s journey.
Like...y’all. The world-building was fantastic. The writing was *chef’s kiss*. The twist at the end was epic. The vibes were perfection.
But the very, very, very best part?
Just...the allegory. The mark of a good one is that you know it’s an allegory, but it’s not a carbon copy of the real thing—so you’ll immersed into the story as the story, and when you close the book, you walk away looking toward the Lord, knowing He was found within that story.
Soooo...long story short, this was easily one of my top favorite books of the year. The Light of Eidon more than deserves the title of “Christian fantasy classic.”
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Publicity. All opinions expressed are my own.
~ the book ~
Special Hardcover Edition of a Classic Christian Fantasy
Abramm has dedicated the last eight years of his life to becoming worthy to touch and tend the Sacred Flames of Eidon, and he expects to be blessed for his devotion and sacrifice. But on the eve of taking the vows that will irrevocably separate him from the life he was born to—as Abramm Kalladorne, fifth son of the king of Kiriath—he is betrayed by his spiritual mentor and sold into slavery by his brothers.
Swept along by the winds of a new destiny, Abramm is forced to compete as a gladiator. When the oppressed masses rally around his success, he discovers his suffering has molded him into something greater than he ever thought possible—to serve a purpose he never imagined.
Set in a world of swords and cloaks, of glittering palaces and mystical temples, of galley ships and ancient mist-bound cities, The Light of Eidon is the first volume of an epic series, Legends of the Guardian-King.
~ the author ~
Karen Hancock has won Christy Awards for each of her first four novels—Arena and the first three books in the Legends of the Guardian-King series, The Light of Eidon, The Shadow Within, and Shadow over Kiriath. She graduated from the University of Arizona with bachelor’s degrees in biology and wildlife biology. Along with writing, she is a semi-professional watercolorist and has exhibited her work in a number of national juried shows. She and her family reside in Arizona.
~ the giveaway ~
To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a hardcover copy of The Light of Eidon!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
~ the tour ~
Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, July 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 23
Texas Book-aholic, July 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 25
Romances of the Cross, July 25
Aryn the Libraryan, July 26
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 27
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 28
The Book Club Network, July 29
Blogging With Carol, July 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 31
Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, August 2 (Spotlight)
Through the Fire Blogs, August 4 (Spotlight)
Of Blades and Thorns, August 4
Have you read The Light of Eidon yet? What's a Christian fiction classic you think lives up to the hype? What book do you think will end up on your top books for this year? Let me know down below! 😊