“Finding out what it is we’re meant to do can be the most challenging riddle we face in life.”
A quest. A girl searching for her place. Captives waiting to be freed. Darkness and light, friendships born and broken, truths wrapped up in adventure and spun into a story. Bailey Davenport offers us a tale of coming of age. But it isn’t the average tale of angst, rebellion, or mishaps. She takes us on an adventure. And she takes us deep inside every human heart.
The fantasy novel, Eilinland: Through the Wall, opens with a classic in the genre; a man who has had a vision. Some of you know this is one of the things in the genre I’m opposed to, I do not agree that it is harmless to toy with such things. Why I take that stand is fodder for a different blog post. I will try and pound it out for you when I get the chance. But, for this genre, Bailey Davenport’s was very mild, and the only thing in the book that I didn’t like.
“It is something that the King has had planned for you although it would have been better for you to have come by it in his timing.”
Her world is unique, and a thought-provoking setup of the “South side,” where the King’s people live, and the “North side” where the traitor Rundyl runs rampant. I wouldn’t call it an allegorical tale, but it’s close; perhaps walking the line between Christian fantasy and allegorical. We are introduced to the sniws early on in the tale, the tempters and pawns of Rundyl.
“Don’t believe anything those groveling creatures tell you. There’s always a shred of truth in what they’re saying to make them sound believable, but they’re always just trying to manipulate you.”
I think this is the main thing that makes this coming of age story stand out. It is pointing to a truth we too often forget in our skeptical, humanistic Western culture. We don’t just make up our minds about the important questions. There are infernal influences constantly trying to turn us to their purposes, and a conscience given to us by the King. There is light and shadow, inside of us as well as all around us. Eilinland hands us a quest, an invitation to get up and join in the fray.
“What are we supposed to do, then?” asked Rheen.
“Fight back the shadows,” said Gillio, “in ourselves and in our surroundings.”
“Aenin would disagree,” said Jekka. “He would say that it’s not just about fighting shadow; we also need to be light.”
This book is a journey, and one I am glad I went on. I’m eagerly waiting for the next installment of Eilinland. And, a note to the author, I’m watching your website for the rules to Dragonlord!
“If the road takes you far from the place you call home
“Wherever you wander, wherever you roam
“May your King be your armor and wisdom your guide
“And in victory come and return to our side”