Monday, September 5, 2016

If You Love Narnia, Read These Three Authors!

Recently at a club retreat, we did an ice breaker where we told someone our life story in five minutes, and afterward my partner told me with a laugh that I mentioned C.S. Lewis twice.  Facepalm.  Now that I have established my obsession, I think it appropriate to mention a few recommendations for anyone who loves Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia as much as I do.

Source: tudor-rose (
The world has a lot of fantasy fiction out there, but a rarer find is a fantasy story that incorporates Christian elements or themes.  If that's what you're looking for, here are three authors you should check out:

1. Wayne Thomas Batson
A prolific writer, Batson has done six series and counting.  Some are finished, some are ongoing.  If you read only one thing from him, I highly recommend The Door Within trilogy.  Featuring an adolescent overweight boy named Aidan, the series recounts his (and others') journey to Earth's parallel world known as "The Realm."  It has the classic fantasy elements: knights to sword-fight, dragons to ride, The Great Evil to defeat.  The Aslan figure is King Eliam, and although his presence is not strictly visible in the action, you know he's behind the scenes.  The Door Within has lots of fun and intrigue and mythology and character arcs that make a compelling read.  The first book ends in such a way that you don't have to read the other two, although I'd be surprised if you didn't want to anyway.

2. Christopher Hopper
Make no mistake, Hopper is a quadruple threat: recording artist, youth pastor, motivational speaker, and author.  I'll focus on the last one here.  He co-authored The Berinfell Prophecies with Batson and wrote The White Lion Chronicles.  The Berinfell series has a good mixture of fantasy adventure and Christian themes, although its much larger cast of main characters (the elven Lords of Bernifell) can become a lot to handle.  The White Lion series imagines what the world might have looked like if Adam and Eve hadn't sinned.  The trilogy has an emotional intensity that left me winded when I read it.  Hopper steeps the characters in deep tragedy and suffering that refuses to let up for most of the ride.  A relatable book series if you've ever wondered where God was in a hard season in your life.

3. Chuck Black
Okay, so out of all of them, this author is the most obvious about his Christian influence.  The Kingdom Series translates the Bible into allegory, showing knights in a medieval-ish world.  I recommend Black mainly for book clubs or for introducing the Bible to young readers.  I liked pulling out the parallels between the books and real life biblical people while seeing familiar stories play out in a fantasy context.  If you don't want to commit to reading that whole series, The Knights of Arrethtrae has individual installments that have their own characters/plots/themes.  The only exception is Sir Dalton, which spills into Lady Carliss - the only book out of the series with a headlining female character.  Both Kingdom Series and Knights of Arrethtrae have questions in the back to help you pull out the symbolic Christian elements.

Hopefully one of the series I mentioned appeals to you for your next fantastical journey.  If so, you can click the links to the authors' websites to see what else they've got, or you can go to Amazon to order something now!