Christian book review: Paryn’s Gold, Chadash Chronicles Book 3 by David G. Johnson
I’m sad. I’ve read all the books I was anticipating. I saved Paryn’s Gold to the last, and it was worth it. This is yet another great book on Chadash.
But now I’ve got nothing on my iPad which I am excited about. That’s not a good thing.
Is this the best of the four so far?
That’s very hard to say. To prepare for book three I reread the first three: Saga of the Everking (a lil’bitty thing), Fool’s Errand #1, and Mystic’s Mayhem #2. They were as good as I remember. In fact, they were even better the second time through. However, they made Paryn’s Gold seem a little sparse. I’d still have to give Fool’s Errand the nod as the best so far. By the way, don’t let my slight gritching about Paryn’s Gold put you off. This is a wonderful book.
Fool’s Errand is a masterful entry into a new world built by Mr. Johnson. The descriptions are rich and lush—depicting this extremely complex world in all its glory. It well may be that Paryn’s Gold is just the extension of the tale moving through a world in which I’m already comfortable. As a result, many of the gadgets have already been described in earlier books. Having just reread the earlier books a couple weeks ago, this book seems a bit lacking in description. I suspect this might even be a problem if you read the first two more than a year ago. On the other hand, I remember feeling the same way about The Fellowship of the Ring. Two Towers was a let down for me. I suspect that the real issue is that I really love being introduced to a completely new world: culture, political structure, religion, spirituality, economics, clothing, tools, and so on. Once that excitement has passed, the rest of the books are slightly dull in comparison. That is almost certainly what is happening here on Chadash also.
The characters keep getting better
Several new characters are introduced in this book. The good guys and gals are as marvelous as the original heroes, and very well developed. This is where David really shines (although as a world-builder he is also exceptional). As in all the books, the evil characters are lacking a bit—probably because of an attempt to avoid offending the sensibilities of traditional Christian readers. That’s a little sad—sad that so many Christians demand insulation from reality. On the other hand, immersion in sin is certainly not edifying. It’s a fine balance and David has handled it masterfully—erring (if at all) on the side of caution.
Those of you who know me realize I dislike romances. However, I like them as they grow in a book like this. Book #1 seems pregnant with possibilities. Book #3 didn’t fulfill any of them, though at least three relationships have hints tossed out. The book left many things hanging, even though the basic story of the three books is satisfactorily concluded. I can easily see three or four more trilogies coming from Chadash. I hope that happens. It’s a wonderful place in which to escape.
Spiritually, fully evangelical
David’s roots as a missionary shine through well. The Holy Spirit is definitely missing from the action so it’s not Full Gospel at all. However, the working of the Lord is strongly present‚ much more than in most evangelical books. It’s wonderful to read a book like this about believers and how they relate within the real world. It is really well done and still very rare in publishing—especially in fantasy and science fiction.
I was given a free pre-release version for review purposes in exchange for an honest unbiased review.