Wednesday, May 16, 2012
My Review of QUEST FOR CELESTIA by Steven James
Photo Credit: Living Ink Books
In the village of Abaddon lives a sixteen-year-old boy named Kadin. After being visited by a strange man who gives him an even stranger book called the Book of Blood, Kadin begins experiencing intense pain from a large growth that develops on his neck, a growth that no one sees but him. Even stranger, everyone else in the village has the growth also, but again only Kadin can see it. The Book of Blood speaks of a marvelous city far away called Celestia, ruled by a wise and benevolent king named Kiral. Pulled by the idea of visiting Celestia, Kadin begins a treacherous journey that takes him through dangers that threaten his life at every turn. Joined by a fellow vagabond named Leira, Kadin discovers the truth about himself and the truth about his land’s history.
Over 300 years ago a man named John Bunyan wrote an allegorical story about the journey of the Christian life. In QUEST FOR CELESTIA author Steven James reimagines the story for a new generation. I have to admit that I’ve never read THE PILGRIM’S PROGESS, so I can’t really comment on the similarities between the two books. What I can say is that I loved this story. James throws Kadin into the midst of intense circumstances early on, and it’s in the midst of his journey that we learn more about who Kadin is and what motivates him. Leira is a very likable partner for Kadin’s journey.
I love stories that contain their own mythology, and James creates a compelling mythology in CELESTIA’s narrative about Celestia’s king and how the other villages outside of Celestia came to be. I’ve been a fan of Steven James’ writing for several years, and QUEST FOR CELESTIA is another example of his engrossing storytelling ability.
QUEST FOR CELESTIA is a thought-provoking allegory of what it is often like to walk with Jesus. If you’ve walked with Jesus for any length of time, you’re likely to find many points along Kadin’s journey that you resonate with. Our lives are a story, and James as a storyteller has captured beautifully the story of struggle that often is the Christian life.
I received this book for free for review from Living Ink Books, and the opinions contained within this review are completely my own