When Roric was born little did he know that his family would die violently as he watched and that his world would crumble only to later find himself chained into the life of a slave forced to survive in the world of the arena where every match meant death for someone, but he survived and one day he escaped.
A Warrior’s Redemption is the beginning of a family saga that starts with a boy named Roric. He lives on a distant world that is full of unrest, where disputes are settled by the sword. Little is known of how they came to this world, only that they came from a place known as Earth, in the distant past. How they came is a mystery that some want to discover again while others would gladly die to keep those secrets from ever seeing the light of day. Roric’s father tired of keeping the secrets of his ancestors, from the people of his nation, forsakes his family’s oath, and leaves to find peace in another land. Little did he know that the wickedness of the land that he settles in would kill him and all his family, except for his oldest son, Roric. Roric, embittered by seeing the death of his family, finds himself sold into slavery. He becomes a survivor in the arena, where man is matched to the death against man and beast alike. He escapes only to pursue a life of vengeance against those who afflicted him and killed his family.
Tormented by a life without peace, he remembers the guiding words of his mother, which open up a path of redemption that becomes the guiding influence of his life. Through acts of intrigue and deception he is lead to the awareness of the darker menace within a spiritual world that is unseen, but that he is no less involved in. He travels to the land of his ancestors, a place of majestic mountains and the valleys that lie between them that are settled by a people that exist in peace only because of the warriors that have fought and died to keep them so. It is in protecting these people that Roric finds a reason worth fighting for. He grapples with the long held secrets of his family and unlike his father before him, decides to fight so that his people can remain free. He rises above his humble past to become a leader that inspires a nation in its fight for survival and becomes a legend.
An author friend of mine contacted me informing me that Guy Stanton had asked him if he knew of anyone who would be willing to review his books. My friend mentioned my name, and my friend contact me and gave me Guy's details. I checked out his books. As soon as I read the blurb for A Warrior's Redemption, I knew this was a series I had to read. I have not been disappointed.
When I started reading, I was instantly impressed with Stanton's writing style. It is not overly descriptive (as some author's are), but it is well constructed yet simple in its execution. His descriptive style lends well to this book, and I presume this series. I remember stopping reading, being stunned as how beautiful his writing style is.
It is addictive and forms a great backbone to the plot and character development. This novel would lose the richness Stanton's description of the environment, numerous scenes, plot twists and especially to the well developed characters. Without this, it would one very weak and mediocre novel.
Stanton is a master at adding depth to his characters. It is a hallmark of a talented writer who provokes emotions in you where you relate to those in distress and want to protect them such as Krista, respect, admire the strength of character and humility of Roric and want to aspire to be like him, admire the loyalty of Roric fellow slaves, Rolf being one of many, who he set free and who became brothers in arms and fellow warriors. You hate and despise the demon possessed Marfoul, Esmeralda, the sex slave mistress who exploits Krista, the many men who treat the slaves including Krista and Roric so badly, and in humanely. These are just a few of the many and varied characters where the reader finds themselves experiencing a wide variety of emotions.
Stanton is also a master of describing the richness and complexity of the different environments of this novel, such as The Valley Lands, the Plains of Zoar and The Attorgron Forests. But on the whole, Stanton succeeds in transporting the reader to this world, and it is this as well as what I have outlined above that is all absorbing and enthralling. So many times, I was not aware of my surroundings and nearly missed my train station! You can definitely become part of this world and not want to return to reality.
If there is one thing that Stanton really shines in is the spiritual elements. This book and I presume the entire series is very God and bible focused, and that is one of the strengths of this series. Stanton has depicted God as not only as he has experienced Him in his life but also as the God of the Bible. There does not appear to be any difference between the two. I have said before in other reviews that one thing that impresses me about a Christian author's writing is that it reflects the depth of their relationship with God. Many of my favourite authors have this characteristic in their novels and for me that is an assurance that their writing will have depth, be biblically sound, honour God, strengthen a Christian's faith and not lead a reader who does not have a relationship with God astray. Stanton ticks all those boxes in this novel.
There are some wonderful orations from Roric about the goodness of God, of His many characteristics and of His mercy, love and forgiveness. These can be found when Roric states to his band of brothers that he is giving up the life of revenge against his former masters/tormentors and for killing his father and brother, and his declaration to follow God and His ways only. The hairs on the back of my neck raised. This oration/declaration is very powerful and so is the one when he declares victory over the Zoarinians at the end of the book. I had the same physical reaction to this latter declaration as well. Very inspiring indeed and well written. These make your faith soar and reinforces the belief that we really do serve a victorious God in any battle,and His victory is our victory when we do battle in our lives His way.
Roric could be seen as a Christlike figure from the many examples in this novel, from being a warrior in battle, from being tender and loving towards his fellow Valley Landers, for accepting Krista with no judgement or condemnation for her being treated as a sex slave, from leading his band of brothers in the way of the Lord leading to their acceptance of Him as Lord and Saviour. There are many more, and I encourage any reader to seek these out as they read this novel. Truly a blessing!
Stanton has also shown his characters to have flaws, Roric struggling with sexual temptation, but not giving into, despite his commitment to God to remain sexually pure until marriage. He depicts this with much realism that I am sure most male Christian readers would identify with. He also shows many characters, including Roric, having doubts about God's faithfulness in times of despair and dire circumstances, but it is here in some of these instances where he has included an angelic visitation to encourage Roric or a supernatural event when all seems lost. Again, Stanton's writing shows in all these instances the omnipotence of God, God's Sovereignty, His victory over sin and death can be ours in our doubts/temptations and human weaknesses. He also shows that these characters follow through with God again after this. Even the depiction of an angel when they visit to deliver a message from God is very uplifting and encouraging to the reader's faith and this is very biblical as well.
There is so much more in this epic and enthralling novel that it did not surprise me to think that there could be a study guide to accompany this work to enable the reader to get the best out of the many and varied Christian themes that I am sure readers could apply to their lives.
I did not want this novel to end, but it is very comforting to know there are 4 more books to escape to and continue to be blessed by this author and the much loved characters and more to be introduced. Continuing in this series is to be in a reader's heaven!!