“As the flames consigned to dust the last existent written prophecy about the Light Bringer on the planet of Corylus, a shadowy figure watched the words vanish with satisfaction … In the thirtieth generation, the Light Bringer will come from the blessed line. In his sixteenth year, he will cling to the One, and he will grow in wisdom and strength to fulfill his destiny and seal the living darkness. He will bring light to the people of the worlds of Ochen.
The words burned into the consciousness of the dark one. A thousand years to eradicate one vexatious family line.
And yet the One-blessed line persisted to the twenty-ninth generation.”
–The Sorcerer’s Bane by C.S. Watcher
The Sorcerer’s Bane is the first book in a four book series. It is Christian fantasy fiction with a solid gospel message and creative multi-world setting that makes the story fun and interesting.
The novel starts out quite dark with the young child, Rayne/Wren’s capture, torture, and training as an assassin, but we then get to see the power of the “One” as redemption is worked out in his life. Multiple characters, both good and bad, influence his life. The characters are well-developed and the spiritual journey is compelling.
It is obviously part of a series so it has a bit of an open ending, but not a horrible cliff-hanger. Just plan on diving into the next book when you finish. All four books are now out so you can binge read them all as fast or slow as you like.
This book reminds me a lot of R.A.Salvator’s Homeland except there is a Christian hope underneath Rayne/Wren’s strength. The inter-planetary worlds with a medieval culture is both fun and interesting. The villains are truly horrible and the heroes are very good. Still, there are plenty of characters who are trying to figure out which side their loyalties belong.
I am a little conflicted to what age range to recommend this book. I would classify this as a clean read, but emotionally, I found it intense. It has no sex. no cussing, and no gore. The main issue is the verbal and physical abuse Rayne endures for more than half of the book. I think many 14-year-old boys and perhaps girls would have no trouble with this book, but I was a bit squeamish at that age. I think it would depend on the taste of the young teen. Still, depending on the taste of the reader, it would be fine for 14 years old and up.
I have not yet read the rest of the series, but I have heard good things about them. I think this a gritty, yet solid series for young adults and adults that I recommend.
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Some sneak peek quotes from The Sorcerer’s Bane:
Warren: With heavy rain pounding against the windows, and lightning flashing wildly, Warren knelt in the secluded alcove and prayed for wisdom. Was he here for some specific purpose? Had the One designed this set of circumstances as a way of placing Warren here at this particular moment in time?
It would have been easy to just cry out, why have you let this happen to me? He could find a curious pleasure in wallowing in self-pity at being plucked from a successful career as a well-respected teacher of the noble class. Instead, Warren felt a small internal pressure to pray. I can’t change my circumstances, Lord. So, please help me to see your will and purpose in placing me here. And, Lord, please give me wisdom to serve you well where you have placed me.
Although he would have liked to hear a voice of thunder with specific instructions, he cherished the gentle peace and warmth rising in him as he softly sang from one of his favorite hymns. Though I the cup am drinking, which savors now of bitterness I take it without shrinking. For after grief God gives relief, my heart with comfort filling, and all my sorrow stilling.
He was still unsure. Was the One calling him to escape from the madman who had enslaved him or telling him to take this opportunity and avail himself of the treasures the library offered. He felt a comforting peace in the stillness of his surroundings while the storm raged and flashed beyond the windows. Bowing his head, Warren thanked the One for being present with him, no matter the circumstances.
Three days later, Coronus brought a boy to him.
* * *
Wren (Rayne): His world tilted; everything changed. He saw a child leaning against the very wall he leaned against, waiting to jump out and surprise his mother. The vision shifted. The child was crying. He had fallen from a tree Wren knew was just ahead and to the right of a sweeping path. The vision altered. He was the child, now sleeping curled into a ball, under a bush he knew was farther up the path just before a building. Irresistible exhaustion after a day spent playing and picking apples clawed at him, calling him to sleep. Another shift. Again, he was the child, his head resting on his mother’s lap as she sat on her favorite bench along the path to the building, singing him a lullaby.
He remembered? No. These visions were false. Lies. They weren’t real. Or were they? He shook his head to dispel the compelling images. He couldn’t comprehend their source, but they had nothing to do with the past he knew. His mother never sang him lullabies. She cursed the day he had been born. His own mother had hated him, sold him to Sigmund. He rubbed his neck as a burning ache started to grow there, a throbbing searing sensation similar to the one he felt where Sigmund marked him.
Then Sigmund plowed into his consciousness with compelling power. Wren strove to reinforce his internal walls of protection, but Sigmund’s mocking presence forced his walls, and skewered his spirit.
* * *
Wren hesitated. Talons pierced his right shoulder where Sigmund had marked him. The darkness covered him like wings, threatening to engulf him in its desire for blood and carnage. Sigmund’s raven invaded his mind, strengthening the image of Wren as a helpless bird clutched in the grasp of a beast of prey.
“I can’t,” he whispered. “Without you I can’t. Please help me.”
Let go. The voice spoke into his spirit. Release your hold; release your protection to me. Trust me. This fight is mine. Remember the truth is in your heart. I have placed it there. You are mine. Trust me.
Wren did the most terrifying thing imaginable. He lowered his shields and laid open the deepest part of himself holding nothing back, trusting the One in complete submission.
* * *
In the fullness of time the Light Bringer will arise. The lost will be found and he will bring to light my seven words hidden on the seven worlds, and I will guide his steps.