Where Readers & Writers Connect
Review by Pauline Creeden
Another little known genre among general readers is Christian Allegorical Fantasy. Some hate it, even among Christians, because the genre takes the well known tales of the Bible and twist them at the author’s fancy. Many people loop all Christian Fantasy as allegorical, including Tolkien and CS Lewis. But the definition of allegory has become too broad today. These authors would disagree with this lumping.
J. R. R. Tolkien said, “I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”
C. S. Lewis describes allegory, “By an allegory I mean a composition (whether pictorial or literary) in which immaterial realities are represented by feigned physical objects, e.g. a pictured Cupid allegorically represents erotic love (which in reality is an experience, not an object occupying a given area of space) or, Bunyan, a giant represents Despair.”
So in this respect, it is very arguable as to whether Aslan was an allegory for Jesus or something else. My mind is quite blown by this twisting, personally.
Anyway. Yes, I’ve read both J. R. R. and C. S., but today, I want to introduce you to another set of initials, R. J. Larson. Prophet (Books of the Infinite) is a feigned history (according to Tolkien’s definition) rather than an allegory. Either way, it’s a retelling of the Old Testament prophet’s experiences as seen through the eyes of a young female called by God in the setting of an alternate reality or other world.
R. J. Larson brings the biblical stories to the present and makes it easy for a younger reader to relate to. The author has an excellent use of concise prose, and draws the reader in with her multifaceted characters. The cover is beautiful, and the story of a young girl who deals with her unworthiness of being called as a prophet is believable and not overdone. Personally, I loved this book and will be reading the rest of the series as they are released.
Prophet (Books of the Infinite) is available for Amazon Kindle