In spite of a weak title and an abysmal number of typos throughout the proof copy which made for some stop-and-go reading, J. E. Lowder's "Tears of Min Brock" soars above its shortcomings to offer a captivating read. In fact, I haven't been this excited about a Christian fantasy book/series since Karen Hancock's "Light of Eidon" series."
In "Tears of Min Brock," the first book in his new War of Whispers fantasy fiction series, Lowder has created a layered world full of despair and danger as well as beauty and hope.
In a land where darkness has defeated the light, 14-year-old Elabea (El-a-bay) is a young girl whose spirit is not quenched. She and her best friend Galadin are social outcasts in their vanquished village because their fathers betrayed their brothers in arms at Min Brock. Shunned and taunted by other villages, the pair escapes frequently to a tall oak where old legends say children used to hear the whispers from the King of Claire who was defeated at Min Brock.
When Elabea sees a mysterious rider in the moonlight, she and Galadin receive strange parchments in an unknown tongue. Elabea hears a whisper at the oak, and her life is forever changed.
Thrust into unimaginable danger and pitted against dangerous, supernatural foes, Elabea learns her destiny is to become a storyteller, a deadly calling prohibited by the Oracles. She must journey to a land so thoroughly destroyed, it has disappeared from maps and is forbidden to be spoken of -- the mysterious land of Claire.
So begins Elabea's dangerous quest, a quest that will take her across strange lands full of alien creatures and covered with darkness.
The characters were nuanced, believable and easy to become invested in, the dangers frightening, and the story interesting enough to make the book hard to put down. Although "Tears of Min Brock" is aimed at YA readers, it should appeal to all fans of inspirational fantasy. I await the next book with eager anticipation.
The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock -- Book Review