Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy magic’

finding-angel-coverHaving written stories for several anthologies, Heckenbach launched her debut novel “Finding Angel” on Sep 1, 2011. As a homeschooling mother, fantasy lover, and self-proclaimed science geek, Heckenbach put her skills into creating the Toch Island Chronicles. There are currently two books released in the series, with Seeking Unseen (Book 2) published a year after the first. Finding Angle is available as a Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook.

Story overview:
Angel knows that her family isn’t related to her by blood, but she loves them just the same. Particularly her younger foster brother. Having been adopted at a young age, and lost her childhood memories, she often wonders what her birth parents are like.

Fascinated by the world of fantasy, whether books or pictures, Angel feels a close connection to otherworldly elements. Not only is she smart for her age, but her recent curiosity over a beetle that her brother found sets her to task. Her mission: to find out what type of beetle it is.

Before exhausting the library’s resources on the subject, Angel meets an oddly dressed boy by the name of Gregor. Little did she know that the beetle was magical, and the boy had been searching for her for years. But most of all, Angel was soon to discover that her love for magical worlds wasn’t based on fantasy at all.

My thoughts:
Cleanly written in the third-person limited narration, I quite enjoyed this story. Some elements of it made me think of Inkheart (by Cornelia Funke), with Gregor’s personality a bit like Farid’s. Only, instead of obsessing over Dustfinger, his eyes were fixated on someone else. Some reviewers likened this book to Harry Potter while others to The Lord Of The Rings. But, magical and elven elements aside, I thought it followed its own path fairly well–standing on its own two feet. If you like a good young adult fantasy, don’t hesitate to give this one a look.

Things to consider:
There is no foul language or sexual situations (considering two teens of the opposite sex live alone together for some time). No excessive violence to speak of, but there are a few scenes regarding death and a few that contain some gory elements. Overall, nothing objectionable that I could detect. I’d recommend this for preteens and older, with a slight emphasis toward girls as the protagonist is female, but boys should also come away feeling significantly satisfied.

Opportunities for discussion:
Like Angel, who dreamed of being in another world, Christians believe that we were created for something better. Something beyond what we see before our eyes. It is this longing that sometimes leads us into obsessing over fictional worlds. We know things have gone wrong, and we know they need to be fixed; therefore, many authors have sought to create environments in which they can express such struggles. Fiction is a wonderful place, a place where we can be more than who we are, and the world can be larger and better than the one we live in now. Yet these are only shadows of the true thing which is to come–as C.S.Lewis speaks to in Narnia’s The Last Battle. Remind your youth that the wonders of fantasy and fiction are an important part of a bigger picture, one with which we can all be a part of in the hereafter.


Wondering what book to read next? Considering a fantasy novel geared toward teens and young adults? Do you like the Harry Potter and Eragon genre? Want something wholesome to read that has a 5-star rating? Well, here’s the book for you, and best of all, today it’s free on the Kindle.

A fifteen-year-old boy is the son of a great and powerful wizard, but for some reason, both parents refuse to let him study the craft. It isn’t until a year after his father’s death that Traphis comes across a secret collection of magic books. While hidden in his cave, Traphis immerses himself into the text. But as soon as he brushes against the two sources of power (one from darkness and one from light), he learns that the path of a true wizard isn’t as safe as he originally thought.

Click here to get your free copy of Traphis: A Wizard’s Tale today »

MagicA common question I hear from Christians is whether or not it’s “evil” to use magic in stories.

To quote a fellow writer: “I think a lack of understanding and the continual problem of confusing fantasy magic and myth with the real world continues to plague many Christians. Pretty much every fantasy book I’ve read deals with a fantastic sort of magic that absolutely has no real world component.”

I look at fantasy magic as just another tool. If I pick up a rock I have a decision to make: Do I drop it; do I keep it for decoration; do I throw it at someone walking by? The rock itself is just a rock, a tool. How I use it is based on my “will to use it”. As the rock leaves my hand and cracks the skull of my victim, what becomes evil is my will to throw it.

Magic’s appeal is that it provides a more powerful tool for exercising one’s will, and in a fantasy setting, it adds depth to the story. The main difference between using fantasy magic and a rock is the source of its power. One can throw a rock by their physical body; flexing their muscles and tendons. How one manipulates fantasy magic is really left up to the author. In my Wizard story, I intend to demonstrate the power behind magic from two different sources: evil and good. In doing so the character may find that the power of evil is easier to tap into, but it corrupts, contorts and darkens the individual’s soul. But in the end, the character will discovery that it’s all about doing the will of God, not their own.

It is the responsibility of each and every parent to inform their child/children of the difference between real-world and make-believe situations. Stories teach our kids important lessons in life, and they have the great advantage of being able to use elements unnatural to our world. Christ told stories—parables—so that people could understand the ways of God in a format they would relate to. So let’s stop looking for the next “witch hunt”, where we point fingers and say, “it’s evil, it’s evil! It uses magic!!”, and start to use these opportunities to expand important lessons in our Childrens lives.