Christian Book Review: The Venture Books Trilogy by R.H. Russell
Venture Delving is a wonderful, though quite messed up, hero. This is an unlimited fighting wonder man, but the story has heart, great characters, bigoted noble bad guys, and wonderful relationships.
This is a radical martial arts fantasy
Our hero is a member of the lowest class of society with no rights—a bonded servant. His master had done that for his mother to protect her and her son. His best friend is the Master’s daughter Jade. He’s a gifted fighter with no real hope. This is the story of his coming of age as he becomes the national unlimited champion. Their love is a long complex overstory to his fighting career. On that level, it was an enjoyable book. Venture is absolutely not allowed to have a marriage relationship with his master’s daughter.
The nobility have a strong arrogant scum branch who want to kill Venture because he has moved out of his proper place in society. One of his best friends is a champion fighter who turns out to be truly noble. It has all the pieces for a very intriguing story.
It’s a barely Christian series
It was sold to me as a Christian novel. It’s really not. Venture has a vague faith which somehow sustains him in no known manner. He’s an honorable, noble man but the spiritual content is barely religious—not nearly evangelical. It’s a light enough touch so that the heathen might not even notice it.
So, for me it was a mixed bag. As the hero goes through his troubles, there’s no sense of the Lord helping him, encouraging his efforts, or giving him wisdom. Because of this, there were several times where it dragged a bit—simply because of the stupid decisions made in the flesh by Venture or Jade. On the other hand, it was a positive, uplifting story of love, brotherhood, sacrifice, and the triumph of good.
If you like the martial arts and unlimited fighting, you’ll like this book. For the rest of us, it’s enjoyable, but a mixed bag.