Diviner, by Bryan Davis, is the third book in the Dragons of Starlight series. In the first two books, a few brave heroes leave their planet to travel to a world where they seek to free people who have been cruelly enslaved by dragons. They meet up with other humans and a few dragons who are working toward the same goal, and find that some from both worlds have special powers. While learning how and when to use these powers, various wrong choices are made, leading to more and more trouble along the way and separation of the team. We find our team of heroes coming back together in Diviner, but still not sure of each other or of their powers. They must rely on each other, but complications over romantic feelings, competition, and mistrust could threaten their mission.
The spiritual implications of this book are very strong. Just like those who are enslaved to sin and don't even realize life could be different, the slaves on this dark planet seem oblivious to the freedom they could experience. As the warriors work out plans to end the slavery, they find that the slaves themselves aren't on board with a fight for their liberation. Fear of the unknown, of possible failure, of not knowing how to survive without their cruel taskmastersâ€”all this keeps them from rising up to break their chains. One of the characters sums it up this way on page 333,
"How could someone who had never known freedom understand the reality of living without chains?"
There are also similarities between the well-meaning members of the team and modern-day Christians. These fighters are warring against an unseen evil, something that goes deeper than the shackles and whips that control the slaves, just as we war against powers and principalities. They lose sight of this often, though, and engage in battle against specific people, or more often, dragons. Their hearts are in the right place, but misguided attempts to do the right thing without seeking guidance from the Creator ends up hurting people in the process of trying to save them. I was reminded of how many times this happens to us in the modern world.
Even though this is geared towards teens, it's an enticingly complicated book (and series) that kept me turning pages in the wee hours of the night. It is written for ages 13-16, according to Zondervan, but I'd advise caution if your teen is sensitive to violence. Several people are burned by the dragons, and the depiction of the cruelty the slaves endure is pretty graphic. You also won't want to read this one without having read the first two, or you'll be lost from page one. If you feel your young reader is up to the challenge, this would be a great book for parents to read around the same time, as the themes touched on could lead to some very good discussions. And if this sort of high-paced adventure interests you, check out the companion series written for adults, Tales of Starlight.
DIVINER picks up where WARRIOR left us. Koren has entered the castle of the White Dragon in search of Exodus. With her, she is carrying the stardrop she removed from Cassabrie's sanctum. When she finds the fallen star she enters through its wound and finds another Starlighter. Within Exodus resides an injured Starlighter called Brinella. But because of condition Koren's appearance Brinella rejects Koren as a Starlighter and instead accuses her of being a sorceress! After Brinella's rejection Koren goes in search of the White Dragon.
Jason and his father Edison have traveled into the dangers of the southern forests where they find Elyssa. When Edison is captured by a dragon Arxad's wife Fellina and his daughter Zenith agree to help Jason rescue his father. But instead Jason rescues a young slave he names Solace. Tibalt finds his way back to Starlight from Major Four and joins in the search for Jason.
Koren again seeks out Brinella and tells her story. Brinella convinced by Koren's words that she is indeed a Starlighter accepts her offer of help. Brinella prays to the Creator for release from Exodus and Koren is left to tend the fallen star. Using the stardrop, Koren seals Exodus's wound trapping herself within Exodus. As she raises the fallen star she joins Elyssa, Fellina, and Tilbalt in their search for Jason.
On Major Four Randall, Arxad, and Magnar are attempting to gather a human army. An army that will travel to Starlight to battle Taushin. As they work in stealth they discover that Marcelle is already at work gathering an army. When Randall and Arxad go through the Northland portal they bring Orion along as incentive for the soliders and they leave Magnar behind so as to not bring the curse down upon him.
When Jason and Edison are found they are badly injured so Fellina and Elyssa take them to the Northlands for healing, but with only one stardrop available Elyssa must make a choice. Will she swallow the stardrop risking her life so she can save both men or will she choice to use the stardrop to save just one? Elyssa decides to take the risk. While they are in the Northlands Petra is reunited with her body.
Koren tries to bring the slaves into rebellion against their dragon masters and escape to freedom on Major Four, but Taushin convinces the slaves that they don't want sudden freedom. They want it slowly, a little at a time, as he promises to give it to them. As Koren tries to reason with the ''lost ones'' the ancient spear that brought Exodus down all those years ago is used against Exodus again. Koren is injured but still she continues telling her Starlighter tales to the people. But when the spear is ripped out of Exodus the disease that Arxad feared is released. As the people of Starlight succumb to the deadly plague only three are immune - Jason, Elyssa, and Cassabrie.
Cassabrie is now within Exodus determined to save the people of Starlight but what price is she willing to pay?
Determined to infect the army from Major Four, Taushin sends a dragon to the north with an infected person. The dragon who accomplishes this deed is promised the only two uninfected humans left on Starlight: Jason and Elyssa to use however they wish.
When Diviner ends we are left wondering who will survive. Will Starlight ever be free or will history be repeated? Will Starlight have a Starlighter to show them the truth or will Taushin make Starlight as blind as its new Black King?