This month's book is One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul. (I got a late start reading, so the review is coming Tuesday or Wednesday.)
I've read several books by Mrs. Paul (see my review of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball). I enjoyed them all, in spite of two biases I have. Now, given this is the Christian Science Fiction and FANTASY tour, these biases are a deep dark secret...but I thought it was fair to share them, in light of the subject matter of Mrs. Paul's works.
- I'm not a fan of dragons. That doesn't mean I hate dragons or think they're inappropriate in Christian fiction. (And I can't see why ANYONE would think dragons shouldn't be featured in any form in Christian fiction, given Revelation.) I don't even mind them being portrayed as positive figures in Christian fiction. Wolves are generally portrayed as negative in the Bible, but I take that language figuratively. But personally, I just don't see any special appeal to dragons in particular.
- I'm even less of a fan of wizards. I read the first 5 books of the Harry Potter series and I enjoyed them, but I never really loved the idea of wizardry, even in a fantasy world. Characters with mutant powers? Love them. Characters casting spells? I can read it and I'm not horrified, but I don't love it. I agree with Rebecca LuElla Miller and others in there can be spellcasters in Christian fiction, but I still get a gut reaction against witches/wizards and sorcerers.
(That said, in the modern world, we are at the point where many people can simply say a few words to their phone or television and it will give them directions to a restaurant, connect them with a person, or display moving, talking images--all of which is every bit as impressive as quite a bit of "wizardry" portrayed in books. Can you imagine showing that technology to people who lived a couple hundred years ago? I imagine you'd be called a wizard for sure.)
I know from reading several other books by Mrs. Paul that her wizards tend to be using science/etc. and of course her dragons aren't evil. In some ways, she reminds me of C.S. Lewis, taking mythology and redeeming it for Christ.
(One Realm Beyond also features a large group of characters in a line, each touching the person ahead of them, and going through a portal, just like in Prince Caspian from Lewis' Narnia series. That was either a homage or else an unbelievable coincidence.)
Do you have any speculative mainstays that you're biased against?
Here are the other blog tour participants!
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Donita K. Paul
*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book.