Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: Champion in the Darkness by, Tyrean Martinson

By M. J. Joachim

Please take a moment to read my post on St.Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which is part of the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest this week. While you’re there, I hope you’ll take time to look at some of the other participant posts in this special blog hop, designed to raise awareness about hunger and fill the food bank shelves. Thank you.

Champion in the Darkness is a story with so many elements, many which ring true in daily life on multiple levels. It is a story about family, the human spirit, embracing destiny, growing up, accepting limitations and overcoming failure, only to rise to the challenge and conquer defeat within ourselves.

Set in a mystical world that alternates between fantasy, fiction and reality, Tyrean’s book takes us on an adventurous tale of magic and chivalry, much of which takes place on battlefields, where loyal servants fight to defend their kingdom. 

The Dark Sisterhood is a force to be reckoned with – not just in the story, but also in our own hearts, as we decide our fate to stand with good or evil through the characters presented. Sometimes we don’t know which is which; at other times it’s all too clear. So it is true for all of us, regardless of where or when we live our lives in history. 

The unwritten story (what’s not written, but can easily be read between the lines) is what intrigues me most about Champion in the Darkness. The reader can easily identify with each and every character, at some point in the story. Put the mirror aside and see yourself from a new perspective, as your strengths and weaknesses are unveiled in the depths of your reading. See your family, friends and neighbors too, and recognize the human spirit at work, interacting with each other on small and grand scales in community.

There is power in seeing ourselves and others through the books we choose to read. A wide range of emotions overcomes us, as we realize we are the demon, soldier or champion capable of affecting the lives of those around us and beyond. Of course, it’s much easier to do in a dramatic physical setting, so unreal and imaginary, that we focus on the adventure, while the subtle messages chip away at our souls. Okay, it’s not always so subtle. There were a few times I put the book down to digest what I was reading, pondering the message and what it meant for me.

Champion in the Darkness will definitely be added to my Recommended Reading List. There are a few typos and minimal awkward phrasing, but nothing so much that could alter my opinion of the book. In saying this, I find it disappointing to read published books with typos and other editing problems in them. Yes, the story is important. However, presentation of the story matters and is vitally important, so readers are not distracted by common mistakes that should be left in rough drafts, and not included in finished, published manuscripts. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. 

The standard is high, and the bar should not be lowered, especially at a time when self-publishing is so easy to do. Anyone can publish a book these days. Those who take the time to thoroughly go through their manuscripts and make them top-notch should rightfully rise to the top. Unfortunately, the rush to publish and desire to finish, seem to take priority at times. Not to mention, writing a book is the fun part. It is grueling, tedious work to reread that same work and find every little mistake, until it shines with the glow of perfection.

Tyrean tells a committed story meant to touch our hearts and souls, but also designed to make us think about who we are, and ponder the decisions we make in relationship to ourselves and others. There is no black or white, but rather numerous shades of gray, as we journey through the phases in our lives. Each one comes with its own joy and hardship, testing our faith in God, life and humanity. It’s up to us to chart the course, drawing on gifts of strength from powers within and beyond our control.
Thank you so much for taking time to read this review and consider picking up your own copy of Champion in the Darkness. I hope you find my post helpful in making your decision, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about this review and Tyrean’s book in the comments. 

M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved
No part of this blog may be copied or distributed without written permission from M. J. Joachim. However, links to this blog are more than a little appreciated. Thank you.