The sands blow hollowly across the plains of time. Unseen by man an army was on the move, an army of darkness…….
Slowly over the course of centuries the truth has been eroded away within the courts of men, until few yet stand for the ways of El Elyon, the Creator of the beginning and He who foreknew that one day the end would come…….
Ayenathurim, a world poised on the edge of change. Chaos beckons as people fractured apart by ancient rivalries strive to hold on. The sounds of war echo on the wind, but who yet is able to stand in the gap for those who are blind to the signs of the times…………………the end, if so it must be, heralds the rise of heroes, even as monsters roar, and kings rise and fall. As Evil triumphs over the nations, even so it was foretold to come to pass and yet the end of darkness’s reign has already begun…….
I am going to start this review with my comments for my Goodreads status when I finished this book:
As usual, I am left on a high after finishing a Guy Stanton III novel. Epic fantasy, spiritual truths, highly entertained and my spirit edified. What more can I expect from a novel like this! Stanton always delivers!
Yes, it took me a while to return to reality. All Stanton’s novels are very positive, uplifting and action packed. His characters are memorable, admirable and relational. But it is the spiritual aspects where he as author shines and his books as well, this one included. He unashamedly presents the Gospel of the Bible, the supernatural, the attributes of God, the ministry of angels, many biblical doctrines, all interwoven into the plot and form the structure of the novel. He presents evil as it is, demonic and from the nature of sin, and his demons and fallen angels are as they are biblically and in reality, nothing withheld. When I look back on this novel, and the others that I have read, he seems to include certain elements in each one. A visit to his website showed me what they are:
- Exciting action blended into both dystopian contemporary environments and the realms of antiquity’s past.
- Romance that reflects the reality of life in all its glory, but in none of its over the top mainstream explicitness.
- Stories that feature characters who don’t have it all together and who have to learn to mature in order to become the people that God has intended for them to be.
- Facts of history and future events weaved into a fast paced plot line with the use of vivid imagination that evokes the imagery of the setting at hand as if you were there actually living it.
- Fiction that is Christ honoring and glorifies God as the Creator of all and the Master of the hearts of mankind.
I never noticed this on his website before and I found myself saying Yes to each one of these as I remember the novels I have read. And saying Yes, to these criteria in The Kingdom was not hard, all very obvious.
There is so much to like in this novel. I said that in my review of Fallen Ambitions as well, but this seems to be a characteristic of all Stanton’s novels, from those I have read and from reading the reviews of those I have not yet.
As usual, I am taken by the romance created by Stanton. It is honest, biblically based, it promotes healthy relationships and more importantly, it is based on what I was brought up to believe (and lived when I met my now wife) that the relationship needs to be based on God first and then He looks after your relationship. This is clearly shown in Benaiah being sold out for God, placing Him first and this then is the spark that ignites the desire of Susori for God as well for those reasons only and not primarily to be with Benaiah. This is the bible verse of Matthew 6:33 being lived out as we are instructed to do,
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. NKJ version
I loved the character of Benaiah. A relational man that has the heart of the Biblical David who is after God’s own heart and a perfect example of what being a Godly man should be. This seems to be displayed in all of Stanton’s main male protagonists and I pray that this will be an encouragement and inspiration to male readers who seek to see what a Christian, Godly man should be and what God can develop in them if only they will let Him.
I found it very uplifting the relationship between Kuri and Benaiah. Amazing to see the transformation that Benaiah undertakes through the involvement of Kuri and who he is. Very much like what happens when one gives their heart to Jesus and becomes a new spiritual creation as outlined in 2 Corinthians 5: 17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
One thing I must mention is the world building Stanton has created. This world of Ayenathurim is made up of many nations, divided into two religious belief systems, those nations of the Kingdomer nations unified in the belief of the one God, El Elyon, while those of the Nicationer Nations as wide-ranging, from worshiping the gods of stone and wood to the darks arts of the fallen Malachim (Angels). The hatred of the Nicationer Nations towards the Kingdomer Nations forms the basis of the spiritual warfare that manifests itself in bitter, physical wars, and it is this that Benaiah goes willingly into empowered with the spirit of El Elyon and his new found faith. He definitely becomes the spiritual leader and warrior of the Kingdomer nations leading to the ultimate victory against the demonic, spiritual forces of the Nicationer nations. It is here against this backdrop, that Stanton brings all the other aspects, those mentioned above, and more not mentioned here, together to make for one epic fantasy and spirit filled fiction. It is one very believable world and the spiritual warfare aspects can encourage the reader to adopt in their own lives. It is in this world of Ayenathurim that Stanton has created one wonderful tale of eschatological fiction encompassing God’s involvement with man and His plan for salvation, redemption and His return.
This is one very memorable stand-alone novel by the master of spirit-filled fiction in the Christian fantasy genre.
Highly recommended. 5/5
Peter Younghusband has been an avid reader from as early as he can remember. Since becoming a Christian in his early 20s, his passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on his blog. He loves reading new author’s novels or authors who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.