Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: The Thorn

I recently read the first book in a new fantasy\speculative fiction series entitled, "The Thorn," by Daron D. Fraley. I've always enjoyed fantasy novels; I cut my teeth on "The Hobbit," when I was about nine years old. =)

The Thorn introduces us to the fictionalized world of Gan, a planet where two suns and multiple moons are commonplace. The first chapter draws the reader into an ongoing conflict between three separate clans, descendants of three brothers: the tribes of Daniel, Gideon, and Uzzah. Daniel and Uzzah are allies, peaceful colonies that fulfill differing roles in their communities. Daniel holds the keys of leadership, Uzzah retains important priesthood keys, and Gideon was supposed to be the protector of both. Instead, Gideon's descendants are full of fury aimed at the clans of Daniel and Uzzah.

Twisted legends handed down from generation to generation have convinced the Gideonites that their neighboring tribes are troublemakers, intent on robbing them of their freedom and their lives. Led by a corrupt emperor, Gideon wages war with their brother tribes, causing untold heartache and pain.

At the beginning of the story, a Gideon war party wreaks havoc in the city of Hasor and slays the king. Moments before his death, the king of the tribe of Daniel implores his son and heir, Jonathan, to protect the Thorn, a scepter symbolic of the Great King, and flee before he is discovered. Jonathan manages to escape to safety, only to later learn that his father has been killed. Grieving, he prayerfully seeks guidance and is led to a small Gideonite war party that holds his longtime friend, Eli, a Uzzahite priest, captive. Jonathan frees his friend, and together, they wipe out the entire war party, with one exception, a young Gideonite who begs for mercy.

Pekah is a young warrior of the tribe of Gideon. He is saddened by the violence he had witnessed and he pledges to serve Jonathan and Eli if they will spare his life. Together, the three young men travel to Ain, a city where Eli's sister, also Jonathan's fiancee, is being held prisoner by a portion of the Gideonite army. As they travel, Eli and Jonathan teach Pekah the truths regarding their brother tribes. They also share their knowledge and conviction of the Great King, who will one day come to Gan to rule and reign in righteousness. Desiring to repent of his former misdeeds, Pekah agrees to be baptized, eager to begin a new life.

The Thorn is a well-written novel of intrigue and symbolism. Readers will note many similarities between the storyline of this new book, and The Book of Mormon. A classic tale of good overcoming evil, I predict this new series will appeal to most readers. You can purchase it by clicking on this link: The Thorn

Also, you can read other reviews of this same book by clicking on this link:


Daron D. Fraley said...

Thank you very much for this well written review. Your synopsis of the plot and themes found in the beginning of the book is spot-on. I am so glad you liked it!

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Daron. I'm so glad you liked the review. I thoroughly enjoyed your book. =) Can't wait for the next one.