C. S. Lakin in her new book, "The Crystal Scepter" Book Five in The Gates of Heaven series published by Living Ink Books takes us into the life of Perthin.
From the back cover: When Pythius, the wicked young king of Paladya, learns of the hidden realm of Elysiel and the crystal scepter that protects that northern land, he journeys to kill the Keeper and steal the scepter. But his defiant act unleashes a terrible curse, and the Seer foretells his death one day at the hand of his son, now a newborn babe. To thwart the prophecy, he attempts to murder his child, but the queen escapes and sends the babe off in a trunk across the sea, where he is found and raised by a humble fisherman.
Years later, Perthin, the cast-off babe now grown, hears his call of destiny, and is visited by a specter who tells him of the land of Elysiel and of the Gorgon--the evil creature fomenting war in the Northern Wastes. Perthin's village of Tolpuddle is being ravaged by a monstrous sea beast sent by this enemy, and Perthin accepts the challenge to kill the creature by cutting off its head--although anyone who looks upon it turns to stone. Armed with magical shoes and a legendary sword, Perthin arrives in Elysiel, where the trolls lead him to the ice cavern where the sacred site made of crystal slabs awaits him to show him his future. Perthin feels a strange connection to this land, unaware that he is the heir to Elysiel's throne.
With the help of heaven's army, Perthin bests the enemy and returns to stop the sea monster as the beast is ravaging the kingdom of Paladya. He rescues the princess, who has been set out in the harbor as a sacrifice for the beast, and then stops the sea monster by exposing it to the Gorgon's head, yet through his heroic efforts he unknowingly fulfills the prophecy foretold by the Seer. He returns to Tolpuddle a hero, where many surprising revelations await him as to his heritage and legacy, for he learns he is not truly a fisherman's son but a king foretold. The Crystal Scepter is an adventurous retelling of the classic story of Perseus and Medusa with a twist, as the heart of the story involves the gates of heaven--the sacred sites erected by heaven to prevent evil from taking over the world of mankind. It also has parallels to the story or Oedipus Rex, the 17th-century play by Spanish playwright Pedro CalderÃ³n de la Barca entitled Life is a Dream, and Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.
The early Greeks really knew how to tell a good story. C. S. Lakin knows how to tell a better story. There is nothing better than a Greek Mythology story unless, of course, the story has Biblical allegory overlying it. "The Crystal Scepter" is a partial retelling of the story of Perseus and Medusa however that where the comparison ends. Ms. Lakin has taken elements from the lives of both Moses and King David and mixed them in with her story. Perthin cannot defeat the monster alone so he has the army of Heaven to help him. Not only is this book a page-flipping adventure thriller it is also loaded with spiritual encouragement. I didn't read the previous books in this series however I will make up for this oversight. I liked this book a lot and am looking forward to more from Ms. Lakin.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Once again, C.S. Lakin captures the imagination with a wonderful story of adventure and the timeless truth that it's about availability and willingness, in her fifth installment in The Gates of Heaven series.
The author introduces us to a new three lands, Paladya ruled by the wicked young King Pythius, Elysiel the enchanted land and home of another of the scared sites, ruled by the wise King Cakrin, and the fishing village of Tolpuddle. We also meet a new cast of characters and yes we also see some "old" ones. The storyline flows quickly and once again the author paints a picture of these lands and the creatures that live there. I thoroughly LOVED the trolls. They made me laugh during each of their interactions in the story. King Pythius is the most evil character I've seen so far in this series, his violence was a little disturbing.
My favorite part of this story is watching Perthin grow into his role in the story. As in many of the books in this series it's not about the strongest or smartest but the one with the willingness. The author reminds us that it's about being available and willing to listen to the wisdom of the ages.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys escaping the realities of this world into a land of magic and adventure with sea creatures and heros. There is also strong Biblical truths spread throughout the story. Although this is the fifth book in the series they are independent of each other. The author uses small tidbits such as locations and minor characters from other books, but you do not need to read the other books to enjoy this one.
I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was under no obligation to give anything but my honest opinion.