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Sword in the Stars (The Myridian Constellation) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 16, 2017
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About the Author
Batson’s writing career began in 2005 with the publication of fantasy epic, The Door Within. Since then, The Door Within, The Final Storm, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire have all appeared on the CBA Young Adult Bestseller List, including #2 for The Final Storm Fall 2007. To date, Batson has penned or coauthored seventeen novels and has sold well over half a million copies. Batson’s works have garnered many awards and nominations including: Mom’s Choice, Cybil, Lamplighter, Silver Moonbeam, ACFW Book of the Year, and The Clive Staples Award. Mr. Batson and Isle of Swords, his pirate adventure novel, were featured on the front page of The Washington Post, and he was interviewed live on Fox’s nationally televised morning show. But most importantly, all of Batson’s works are “student approved,” meaning that, over the years, the middle school kids in his classes have given each novel a rigorous critique and enthusiastic thumbs up. Wayne Thomas Batson gives thanks to God for the abundant life he’s been given. He continues to write for the kids he cares so deeply about because he believes that, on a deep level, we all long for another world and yearn to do something important.
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The story of the main character is a lot like our own. We all have things in our lives, whether large or small, that we are ashamed of. Many of us find it hard to accept forgiveness, even if it is freely given. The flawed main character makes this book so much more real and easy to relate to. The love story that takes place may be a little predictable, but this only makes it more endearing. Sword play, a good story with a deeper meaning, good vs. evil, and even some hard truths at times. This book/story is worth your time.
As for the AudioBook, I'm just going to say -- if you have children, or if part of you never grew out of the thrill of hearing a book expertly read by a good strong voice that rises and falls with the story, this audio is worth your investment. You can see the story in vivid colors as your ears are stimulated with the story taking place. Both the author and the reader are experts at their craft!
The only thing that made experiencing this book better is having the AudioBook to listen to as well, so that I was fully engaged in the story. I've followed this author for years now, every since I happened upon his Door Within Trilogy, his writing never disappoints.
As for the characters, Morlan and Cythraul are certainly the best villians Batson has ever created. I mean, Bartholomew Thorne was mean and all, but at least we felt a little sympathetic for him (with his first wife's death and all), and Paragor was messed up, but he wasn't in the story much until the ending of the Final Storm (and his plotting in The Door Within). Alastair is an extrememly capable swordsmen on a quest for forgiveness. Abbagael is determined and compassionate- and her response to Alastair in a certain scene ("It's okay, Alastair"... "but you will.") made me laugh out loud.
The Shepherds are the closest things to wizards. And they aren't. Their abilities are gifts from the First One and have nothing to do with spells and potions. For example, Mosteryn the Old can bring up storms, and Sebastian (hope I spelt it right) can control plants. But not through chants and stuff. It's just what they do. Like a bird can fly, or a fish can swim. There's also more to the Shepherds, but just in case someone maybe wondering about 'magic' in this book. There's a little with the willowfolk- such as an enchantment in the area that throws off sense of direction and stuff. Morlan and Cythraul use a Vaskerstone table to see things in other places.
This book also had a few humorous mess-ups. In one scene, Alastair says that he knows about many paths that few in Allyra know anything about. I bet he does considering that Allyra is the wrong world. That one's from the Berinfell Prophecies. And (here comes a spoiler) two characters that are said to have died in battle are present at a certain wedding a few years later. These mistakes are sort of funny, but jolt the reader out of the story.
I was thrilled to see Aidan Errolson's name (from the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers) and a "quote" in here and La-Saide of Ot (from The White Lion Chronicles by Christopher Hopper) even throws a line or two in. Lebrettowit (from The Dragon Keeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul) as well. I thought that was pretty cool. I'm sure there were more little camios but I probably just didn't know it.
I'd recommened it for ages 13+ because a couple scenes are a bit creepy and voilent and Alastair's struggle Witchdrale (I guess an acholic sort of drink.)
Anyway, Sword in the Stars will leave you eagerly awaiting the next book in the Dark Sea Annals- The Errant King (due out sometime in 2011).
Allegory is strong here. As well as insanely creepy antagonists, heart wrenching romance and the best, most intense battle scenes Wayne Thomas Batson has ever written. I found myself wincing more than a few times at Alistair's incredible skill with a blade.
Now for the criticism. Sword in the Stars spans several years, with characters coming and going and dying so fast they don't get half a chance for any development. Also, and maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, but the Myridian calendar made absolutely no sense to me. I was in a constant state of wondering when things were happening in comparison to everything else.
Make of that what you will, but this book still definitely deserves a read. Fans of Christopher Hoppers' White Lion Chronicles will especially love this one. Apparently a bit of that "co-authoring" business rubbed off.
Complete side note: pay attention the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I recognized quite a few minor characters from other Christian fantasy novels. How cool is that? Oh, and don't you think General Triebold Swiftfeld is the most awesome character ever?