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Light of Eidon (Legends of the Guardian-King, Book 1) Paperback – July 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 382 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hancock's intriguing Arena [BKL Ap 15 02] drew a great deal of praise for the originality and starkness of its alternative universe. In The Light of Eidon, she begins a fantasy series called Legends of the Guardian King that is more clearly a Christian allegory but is so crisscrossed with subplots and deceit that exactly where the light of Eidon shines may baffle the reader. It certainly baffles young Abramm Kalladorne, Hancock's hero. He is the little-valued fifth son of the king of Kiriath, a vivid kingdom that seems a bit like medieval England, with a bit of ancient Rome. Abramm is drawn to the religious life, but after eight years as a novitiate, he discovers that his spiritual leader is a fraud and that the true path to Eidon's light lies elsewhere. But upon leaving the monastery, he finds himself in the middle of court intrigues, and his brothers sell him into slavery in a faraway, barbarous land. For a while, Hancock's novel seems like a gladitorial epic, but then Eidon, or Jesus, makes his truths known. A great battle ensues, but victory is not complete and many questions remain. Readers will certainly return for the second installment. John Mort
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"...an exciting allegorical fantasy ...Hancock's writing, often eerie and suspenseful, is rich in sights, smells and sounds." -- Christian Retailing

"...the future should be bright for this promising novelist." -- Publisher's Weekly

"TOP PICK-Four and a half stars." -- Romantic Times
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764227947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764227943
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (382 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Karen Hancock is the real deal. I haven't been this excited about a relatively new author in a long time. Her debut novel, Arena, was fantastic, a stunning merger of science fiction and Christian fiction. Now, with her second book, she begins a fantasy series dubbed Legends of the Guardian-King, a storyline pitting good against evil in an otherworldly mediaeval setting. There is an element of sword and sorcery here, and I could not help but wonder just how effectively the author of Arena would deal with the grim realities of battle and bloodshed and mine the depths of evil in the hearts of men. Well, Hancock nails it - it's as simple as that. The Light of Eidon is just exquisitely rendered fantasy that keeps you turning the pages deep into the night. It's dark, grim, sometimes bloody, but ultimately imbued with an essential spirituality that places it on a far different plane than run-of-the-mill fantasy.

Hancock is a master of characterization, really taking us inside the hearts and souls of the novel's central characters and surrounding them with fascinating individuals who manage to surprise us no matter how well we think we know them. Good and evil exist on two planes, the external and the internal, and that gives this story great depth. On the face of it, this might look like one in a long line of fantasy plots - the young prince who repudiates his birthright, finds himself betrayed and sold into slavery, then fights to gain his freedom and inspire his people in the process. The framework is familiar, but the story Hancock tells goes far beyond the familiar and mundane.

For eight years, Abramm Kalladorne, the fifth son of the king of Kiriath, has dedicated himself to the service of his god Eidon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I understand that some non-Christians have a problem with this book because of the allegorical nature. I can understand that, although I think it's interesting that some people have problems because they think it's anti-Muslim and some because they think it's anti-Catholic.

My problems with it are much different. I got this book (the Kindle version) specifically because it is supposed to be Christian fantasy. My son loves fantasy, we love Christ, so I read the book to see if it would be interesting and appropriate for him. Boy, am I glad I didn't just hand it to him!

The first section that put me off was when the main character Eldrin prays to God (called Eidon in the book's world), "Please. Touch me with your goodness." In my Bible God says that when we seek him we will find him. This is what happens in this book:

"Gooseflesh prickled the back of his neck, and he squirmed, feeling suddenly, horribly like a fly in a spider's web, about to be cocooned in silk. Coldness seeped into his skin. He gritted his teeth as the ethereal embrace tightened. Rising fear and revulsion banged his heart against his chest, rapid-fire beats that powered the blood into throat and temples. His breath quickened; his hands clenched the railing.

"Then he flinched, crying out as a cold tongue of inhuman awareness slid into his soul, and terrified aversion erupted like molten rock.

"The tendril withdrew as swiftly as it had entered and the cold pressure on his skin vanished with it, leaving him sick and shuddering. Head swimming, he sagged forward, bracing his brow against the rail as he gasped back his breath and fought the rising gorge in his throat.

"Gradually his pulse slowed and the nausea in his gut subsided."

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9 Comments 127 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Fantasy and allegory are compatible shelf-mates in the world of fiction. Yet, for some reason, the Christian market has generally ignored them since the days of Tolkien and Lewis. Karen Hancock, Randall Ingermanson, and Michael Warden are leading the way to see that this changes.
Hancock's first novel, "Arena," was a wonderfully rendered allegory, full of interesting characters, landscapes, and inner struggles. "The Light of Eidon" is more fantasy than allegory, but spiritual truths abound. Again, Hancock introduces us to characters with deep doubts and allows us to witness their transformations. In this case, a religious student by the name of Abramm comes face to face with betrayal, loss of faith, and rebirth in the flames of violent struggle. He finds himself a slave, a gladiator, a pretender...But ultimately, Abramm must discover his true purpose.
Although the book has some fantastic sections and ends with a heart-pounding climax, I found myself plodding through a number of scenes. At times, I yearned for more of the colorful landscape and less of the political dealings. I'm glad I pressed on, though, because the overall result is worth it. Spiritual light is brought to bear on the ugliness of religious pretense, and Abramm's final decisions are moving and believable.
It's great to see fantasy writers rising up in the Christian market. Without Hancock's books, we would be deprived of some of the best new stuff available.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The description and imagery was well done and memorable, but the Christian content in this book was strange. As a Christian reading the book, I was disoriented by the combination of what I would call black magic with Christian teachings. The "good guys" could conjure light orbs out of thin air, etc., as opposed to the bad guys with their demonic self-replicating crystals and demon birds, or something like that.

I was most disturbed by the sexual content in the book. When the characters regretted it later, it seemed forced and not a natural change of heart, like it had been imposed on the story. I just wasn't buying that part of the story.

This was just not my thing. I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series.
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