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Jennifer's Blog

I am a writer of science fiction and fantasy and also an avid reader of (mostly) the same. Expect to see reviews from me of speculative fiction books from well known and less well known authors. (Many of my reviews WILL be cross posted from Goodreads).

Light in the Gloaming (Book One)

Light in the Gloaming (Book One) - J.B. Simmons This is a really well written book with good characters and great pacing. It's short for a fantasy novel, but don't let that put you off.

One thing I would warn - this book is a Christian allegory, but it's not indicated in any way on the cover, in the blurb or anyone else. It's a self-published book (with which I have no problems), but I think the author should make a slightly more explicit indication - the cover reveals that it's a fantasy and on looking at it closely, I realize the building in the background is meant to be a cathedral. This is honestly why I'm not giving this five stars. I can't be sure the author didn't do this on purpose to try and "trick" non-Christians into reading it. (I'm not saying he did, but it can easily come over that way).

That said, the book itself isn't so preachy as to annoy this particular non-Christian, and can easily be read as a fun fantasy adventure.

And I give the author a ton of points for the political system he uses in his world. Most fantasy writers get caught up on the one true king thing, and you seldom see a fantasy nation that is not a hereditary monarchy (The Shire is an obvious exception, as is Fintha in Dead of Paksenarrion) - Simmons instead steals his political system almost whole cloth from the Holy Roman Empire, which is an interesting idea that he explores in a surprising amount of depth for such a short book.

Recommended, with the caveat I mentioned.