Saturday 22 February 2014

A Warrior's Journey (The Warrior Kind, Book 2) by Guy Stanton III

A Warrior's Journey (The Warrior Kind, Book 2)

It’s been over twenty years since the fateful day that the might of the Zoarinian Empire’s great army was destroyed within the Valley Lands. Since then it has been a time of peace and prosperity throughout the Valley Lands under the guidance of Roric Ta’lont, but is another war coming to the Valley Lands? A dark war not able to be won by the sword alone?

The past two years have been uneasy ones for Roric. Rumors of a dark cult and its increasing influence have been spreading throughout the Southern Settlements. Roric fears that it’s only a matter of time before it invades the Valley Lands with its darkness of belief. Will the people resist its dark influence? How can they? The people have already drifted from the faith of their fathers and are ripe for a takeover of their souls in a war of the spirit. Something has to be done, but what? A war has begun in which a sword might not even be raised to win the hearts of the people. How does one fight an idea that has the backing of a dark leader that endows his followers with powers that terrify the soul? The enemy has a complete work of dark import, while Roric’s people have but the tattered remnants of the word of God caused by a tragedy long ago in their past. How can Roric inspire faith in the people, when the people don’t have the instruction they need to resist darkness’s wiles and deceptions? A bold plan is called for, and Roric finds the means to accomplish it buried in a secret place far below the mountain that Thunder Ridge castle was built upon. A place of secrets as old as the time of Roric’s people on this world, watched over by a guardian that answers only to the house of Ta’lont.


I was so excited to get into this second instalment in this series. I had many weeks interval from Book 1 to this instalment (reviewing other books I had committed to). It was so good to be back in this story; back in the world of the Valley Landers! I did not realise how much I had missed this world that Stanton has so very successfully created. It is very addictive and very escapist!

I must confess that I had some trepidation when I learned that a large part of this plot involved certain Valley Lander citizens having to travel into space to the modern world of their ancestors (Earth). I wondered how they would cope with advanced technology that is very different to the technology that they had just been subjected to in their own world that enabled them to reach Earth, albeit many centuries before. But most of my trepidation was how they would cope with the different way of life and a world more devoid of manners, decorum, and a much more sinful and decadent way of life that is further removed from their Creator's standards than they are used to in their own world. 

Stanton has created a world on Earth where religion is banned, outlawed and a criminal offence to have any connection with it. I wondered how the Valley Land crew would find a Bible as these were destroyed when religion was outlawed and banned. I knew it would not be as easy as them coming across one by chance. That would make a plot line too weak and predictable. But what Stanton developed was a very creative way to intertwine a few plot lines to introduce a new character, connect this to how they acquire a Bible, show more of God's character of mercy, forgiveness and love and to add action, suspense and the corruptness of the degenerative society of Earth. 

Speaking of this new character, Evette, this is one very intriguing addition to this plot. It is well done how Stanton portrays her as a ruthless agent but as the reader progresses further into the story, this tough exterior is exposed showing a deep vulnerability from the hurts of her abused childhood and she uses her ruthlessness to cover up this hurt and protect herself from further pain. Stanton uses her situation to reveal a deep need for resolution and healing and that her healing can only be found in the Creator. This is shown in the behaviour and attitude of Larc and through a supernatural visitation by the Creator Himself. This is one very tender account and Stanton again shines in portraying God as a loving, merciful and forgiving Being who loves His fallen creation unconditionally and will give His creation a second chance.  

This forms a great love story between Larc and Evette that has a really sweet culmination in their marriage when they return to the Valley Lands at the end of the story. I wonder if we will hear from Evette in future books in this series? Stanton describes himself as a romantic, and he shows this very well in this and in the previous book between Krista and Roric. 

One factor I enjoyed discovering in this plot was introducing someone from Earth (Evette) who is from the descendant's of Noah's time to the people before Noah's time (the whole premise of The Warrior Kind series is that Roric's ancestors, the Vallian, left Earth before the Flood to colonise another world, being disillusioned with the decadent society at that time and wanting a better life for themselves). The gene pool before the flood would have been more diverse compared to the post Flood gene pool as this latter population had its origins from the Noah and his sons and their wives only. So in the plot line where Evette and Larc have a child (at the end of the story), we see these two gene pools mixed. Yes, this is poetic license of course, but it is still an interesting factor to consider even though this will never happen in reality. 

I loved the warfare scenes describing how Zevin and his team return to the ship. Action packed, suspenseful and thrilling as a scene like this should be and needs to be. As mentioned in the second paragraph of this review, I wondered how Stanton was going to explain space travel to a people who had not known such technology before and who had been told that this technology was destroyed centuries ago. But I applaud Stanton for his unique concept of space travel that is not what I was expecting. My main concern with this explanation was how would a very technologically illiterate society cope with learning about space travel when you consider what happens in real life? But, not to give away spoilers, Stanton delivers the goods in a very unique way, and I do wonder if this technology is entirely his imagination or how much is based on existing technology or knowledge? Doesn't matter, it fits in the plot very well and serves its purpose. 

Again, one of the things that I love about Book 1 is the spiritual aspects and the supernatural visitation of angels and of God Himself. Stanton does this again in this instalment and again it is well done and shows the heart of God towards us. I would hope that any reader who may not be a believer and who is seeking God would be touched by this and ministered to by His Spirit. Christian fiction is a great avenue for the Gospel to be shown here and this series is one great example of this. 

This is a worthy second installment in this entralling and escapist series. 

Highly Recommended.  

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