The Wolf of Tebron, Gates of Heaven Series #1   -     By: C.S. Lakin
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The Wolf of Tebron, Gates of Heaven Series #1

C.S. Lakin / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

A young blacksmith must undertake a perilous journey to the four ends of the world to rescue his wife, who is held captive by the Moon. Along the way, he befriends a powerful wolf who encourages, protects, and ultimately sacrifices his life to save his human friend. A stirring allegory of God's love in classic fairy tale tradition.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: C.S. Lakin
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0899578888
ISBN-13: 9780899578880
Availability: In Stock
Series: Gates of Heaven

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Publisher's Description

In classic fairy tale style, we embark on an enchanted journey with a young blacksmith—Joran—whose only desire is to live a peaceful, uncomplicated life in his forest village, a desire shattered by the sudden and bizarre disappearance of his wife, Charris. Later, Joran is plagued by nightmares of an unimaginable sea, where Charris remains trapped in a sand castle at the whim of the Moon. The goose woman insists he will find no rest from his nightmares until he solves the riddle of three keys. She tells him to travel the treacherous journey to the house of the Moon to find the answers he seeks.

Unable to ignore the urgings of his nightmares, Joran sets out north seeking the Moon. Leaving a town and family where he never felt truly at home, Joran’s journey becomes more than just a search for his wife. His path also leads inward, for he must face emotions that have tormented him his entire life—feelings of alienation and anger, of despair and hurt. Along the way he rescues a wolf—a huge, imposing creature that becomes a companion, and eventually a trusted friend.

Joran has the uncanny ability to speak with animals, and learns from the wolf, Ruyah, that he can manipulate his dreams to affect the real world. With Ruyah’s humor and guidance, Joran finds the courage and fortitude to press on, despite setbacks and disappointments. With the wolf by his side he endures the darkness at the end of the world and the ravings of the lunatic Moon, who sends him off—more confused than before—to the Palace of the Sun with a seemingly useless gift.

After trekking through a vast, unmerciful desert, Joran arrives at the Palace of the Sun, where he meets the Sun’s mother, Sola. She helps Joran understand part of his riddle and then sends him, with the gift of a sunstone, to the cave of the South Wind, whom, she says, will finally reveal the truth to him about his wife—if he dares hear it. He and Ruyah travel south through jungle, and finally arrive at the cave. There Joran is swept along a vision where he sees his past, and in horror, learns truths that send him into deep despair. The South Wind dismisses him with one last gift—but like the other two gifts, he has no idea what they are for or how they will help him rescue his wife. She tells him to find the sea of his dreams—far west, beyond his imagining.

Author Bio

C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, dog, and three cats. The first four books in her seven-book fantasy series, The Gates of Heaven, have been released: The Wolf of Tebron, The Map across Time, The Land of Darkness, and The Unraveling of Wentwater (July 2012), allegorical fairy tales drawing from classic tales we all read in our childhood.

Lakin's relational drama/mystery, Someone to Blame, won the 2009 Zondervan First Novel award, released October 2010. She just completed writing her eleventh novel, a modern-day take on the biblical story of Jacob called Intended for Harm and her twelfth: The Crystal Scepter (book five in The Gates of Heaven series). Also available on eBook are two mystery/psychological dramas: Innocent Little Crimes (top 100 in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest) and Conundrum. Don't miss Time Sniffers: a wild young adult sci-fi romance that will entangle you in time!

Lakin has two websites for writers: www.livewritethrive.com with deep writing instruction and posts on industry trends.
Her site www.CritiqueMyMaunscript.com features her critique services.
Follow her on Twitter: @cslakin and @livewritethrive and Like her Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/C.S.Lakin.Author

Author Bio

“C. S.” Lakin comes from a family of successful writers. She grew up collating television scripts for her mother, a screenwriter, story editor, and producer for television. As an adult, Susanne assisted in developing series for television, and while raising two daughters and running a bed and breakfast inn in northern California, wrote her first three novels and a cookbook. In 2009, Susanne’s contemporary novel, Someone to Blame won the Zondervan First Novel contest at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. The novel will be published by Zondervan in August of 2010. She and her husband, Lee Miller, continue to live in California, where she currently works as a freelance copy editor and writing mentor.

Editorial Reviews

The Wolf of Tebron
By C.S. Lakin
www.wolfoftebron.com

All Joran wants is "to live a simple, peaceful life, raise a family, work with his hands." But his reality is shattered when his wife suddenly disappears in a burst of magic, and a mysterious, old lady--known as The Goose Woman--reveals that he must travel to the house of the Moon in order to free her. Instead of enjoying the simple life of a blacksmith, Joran finds himself embarking on a treacherous journey "looking for a tricky Moon, a wayward wife, and a sea he only knew from his dreams."

The Wolf of Tebron is C.S. Lakin's first novel in The Gates of Heaven series. It's written in classic fairytale style, where magic, fantasy, and the forces of good and evil abound. Rich in vibrant language, adventure, personification, and more, this allegory offers the reader more than just a thrilling story. As Lakin says, "Joran's journey inspires and encourages readers to focus on our deep purpose and meaning in life."

Joran, the main character, faces many outward obstacles during his quest, but we learn it is the battle within that must be faced and conquered in order for him to truly succeed. This is a point, I believe, that all of us can identify with and apply to our own lives. Ruyah, the wolf, is also a very important character; he becomes Joran's constant encourager and companion--a true friend who shows sacrificial love. As they travel together, the wolf extends much wisdom by quoting Scripture and many famous people, such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Elliot, William Wordsworth, and more.

A discussion of The Wolf of Tebron is included at the end of the book. Lakin explains her motive for writing the book and including literary elements like allegory and metaphor. She also provides 15 thought-provoking questions designed for book club discussions, high school English classes, and the homeschool environment. As I was reading, I compiled a list of over 50 vocabulary words that I will add to these questions.

The novel itself is 246 pages long, and because of its profound and comprehensive themes, I will be waiting a couple of years to introduce it to my oldest, who is currently in sixth grade. Possibly, it would be a great read-aloud to a younger child who is mature for his/her age. Parents, though, may need to explain definitions of unfamiliar words and meanings of symbolic elements.

I really enjoyed reading The Wolf of Tebron and recommend it to teens and adults who love a good allegorical fairytale. For in-depth study, it would be great reading material for a high school English class. The website provides many links to stores where the book can be purchased for a decent, affordable price.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2010

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 10
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  1. Kittymom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting Fairytale
    April 9, 2012
    Kittymom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I read this book a few weeks ago and waited to post a review until I could put my thoughts about it into words. . .and I'm still not sure. I love what the author intends for this series--a Christian retelling of fairy tales is SO COOL. But this first book, for me, was only so-so.

    I think the main problem for me was a sense of emotional distance from the characters caused, I suspect, by too much time inside Joran's head. I would have enjoyed a wider-angle view of the story. The writing is beautiful yet rather distant and cold in feel.

    On the whole, I enjoyed the story, being a fairytale lover from way back, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series, which I am told gets better and better.
  2. HollyMag
    Covina, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Fairy tales are not just for kids!
    January 12, 2012
    HollyMag
    Covina, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Although this is book one of the Gates of Heaven series, it is the third one I've read. This series is nice, in that you do not have to read them in the order they were release. Although, having read book two when Joran, our young blacksmith, returns a horse to Jareth, I perked up as he is one of the characters in book two. But he is merely mentioned and it doesn't affect either story.

    Once again as I read a fairy tale by this author I find myself transported into a land where a young man can mindspeak with animals. And although he was picked on his entire life he met a beautiful woman who became his wife. Joran's wife, Charris, is away visiting family and Joran is troubled by nightmares. Joran soon learns his wife never arrived at her destination and he must begin a search to find her and the source of his nightmare. Early in his journey he encourages a wolf who is caught in a trap. He rescues the wolf, thus indebting the wolf to Joran as a traveling companion.

    This story is imaginative, especially with Joran's ability to mindspeak with animals. I found myself falling in love with the wolf who goes by the name Ruyah. His wisdom and sense of humor is both thought provoking and entertaining. This story also has some very touching moments that I found myself crying. Joran's journey to rescue his wife is a journey many of us travel where we explore our hearts and learn how God wants us to live. But remember it is a fairy tale through and through.

    If you have the opportunity to read any of this series by C.S. Lakin, I would encourage to read one. The author does a wonderful job painting pictures the places Joran and Ruyah travel. Her writing style flows nicely.

    Disclaimer: The ebook that I actually read did come from the publisher, but before that I did purchase a copy of this book so I could read it.
  3. Christie
    Paraguay
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Loved this book!
    April 25, 2011
    Christie
    Paraguay
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a spectacular book! I got caught up in this epic struggle in the very first chapter, and didn't put the book down until I'd read it through. In this allegory, Joran, a simple young man, finds himself leaving the world he's always known in search of his wife, who was captured by some force of magic. He is joined by a wolf who accompanies and guides him on his quest. Their adventures force Joran to confront his inner demons and embrace who he was meant to be.

    This is a book that can be enjoyed on many levels. Parents who read this to young children will find them hanging on every word as Joran journeys around the world to free his captive wife, having interesting conversations with animals as he goes. Older children will understand that the struggle goes beyond his fight to liberate her, and is actually a battle within his own self. Teens and adults will recognize themselves in the classic war between flesh and spirit.

    Sprinkled on every page are pertinent proverbs from various sources, making this not only a wonderful work of fiction, but practically a manual for wise living. The characters are cleverly named, causing a bit of foreshadowing throughout the developing story. For example, the wife who is kind and forgiving despite her husband's failures, is named Charris, almost the Greek word charis, which means grace—unmerited favor. The South Wind is named Noommah, which is pronounced like its Greek counterpart, pneuma, meaning breath or spirit.

    At the end are study questions, making this a perfect book club read or high school literature assignment. It would also make a wonderful family read-aloud, worth the effort to expound on the themes and discuss the practical applications. A must read!
  4. girlsmama
    Edgewood, WA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This is a special tale!
    March 11, 2011
    girlsmama
    Edgewood, WA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "The Wolf of Tebron" by C. S. Lakin is billed as a "fairy tale" and I would heartily agree, but a fairy tale with much allegory and deep meaning, along the lines of C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series. The main character/hero is Joran, a young blascksmith's apprentice who, you find early on, has the ability to mindspeak with animals around him which plays into the story in meaningful ways throughout. Joran is soon on a quest to free his missing wife who comes to him in dreams or rather nightmares, wanting to be found. This quest is long and arduous and aided by "the wolf of Tebron", who he meets early on in the story. The wolf, Ruyah, is the voice of wisdom, help, and love as his friend and companion on this journey. It's a tough journey as he has to face things within himself that he needs to let go of in order to complete his quest.

    This is one of those stories where you can't help but take a speculative look at your own life and wonder- "What are the things in me that I need to lay aside in order to be all that God is calling me to be?" I love when fiction has the power to reach in and accomplish some good in you. I highly recommend this book and as a side note- the next book in this series "Map across time" is due out soon. I, for one, will definitely be picking it up!
  5. Valerie
    BC, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Fairy Tale?
    January 7, 2011
    Valerie
    BC, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Since young blacksmith Joran sent his wife away, he has been haunted by desperate dreams in which she is trapped in a hut above the Sea by the Moon. Joran's anger burns strong against Charris, and at first he doesn't want to respond to the summoning. But as his nightmares begin to consume him, he has no choice. Rescue Charris (though she doesn't deserve it) or go mad. Perhaps he's already there.

    Joran sets out, following the mad goose woman's instructions: "Go to the house of the Moon. She is there, with your wife. You saw her. She may help you, if she feels like it. Or maybe not. Tricky and deceitful, she is...It is very far, little cub, far beyond imagining. Your dreams will point the way north, but it is beyond the ends of the known world, and the traveling perilous. You will wear out three pairs of shoes before your journey ends. Yes, you will."

    As Joran leaves the village of Tebron, he discovers that the wolf who has often watched him is caught in a trap. Joran releases the wolf, who mindspeaks him, telling Joran his name is Ruyah and will be his companion. Joran doesn't want the wolf's company, but doesn't seem to have a choice.

    The Wolf of Tebron follows Joran and Ruyah north to the house of the Moon, east to the house of the Sun, south to the cave of the South Wind, and eventually west to the Sea, where he fights the final battle to free Charris and learns the truth of what happened the day he sent her away in the first place. He also learns some fantastic truths about himself.

    While I didn't find the novel completely riveting, I did enjoy it. Parts of it seemed brilliant, making up for some of the long days of walking Joran and Ruyah do with little else going on. Here's a snippet I enjoyed from the first section of the book:

    [Joran speaks.] "Tell me about the Moon. Is she able to...solve riddles?"

    "Dear sweetums, that would be folly-the Moon will just load you up with more riddles. How can I describe Lunella? She isn't very bright." Cielle covered her mouth and snorted again. "Well, of course, she is very bright, but I meant she is not bright, short a few candle marks, if you get my drift. And absentminded as well. Causes a lot of trouble that way."

    Cielle tipped her cup and drained the dregs into her throat. "The Moon is fickle-starts one thing, gets distracted. If I wasn't here to help clean and cook, she would waste away. Oh, and she does! Every month she goes out carousing and forgets to eat. She starts all fat and round and by the time she drags her sorry body into this house, she is just a sliver of herself."

    The Wolf of Tebron is C. S. Lakin's first fairy tale, part of a proposed seven-part series called The Gates of Heaven, which all take place in the same world of Sherbourne.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: C. S. Lakin
Located in: Boulder Creek, CA
Submitted: May 23, 2010

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a fantasy enthusiast, obviously! I've been reading fantasy all my life and never really expected to write it (I'd been writing lots of psychological mysteries), but I asked God what he wanted me to write for HIM and this is what he told me--fairy tales? Say, what?

    What was your motivation behind this project?  To write beautiful, evocative full-length fairy tales in the style and tradition of C. S. Lewis, but not for children. This series is sophiticated, with rich language, metaphor, imagery , and powerful motifs. Although it is for mature readers, the plots and characters are perfect for teen readers as well.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  A rich understanding and appreciation for the fairy tale genre. I take elements from traditional tales and weave them into deep, complex stories with characters that are struggling with ethical and moral choices, as we all are in our lives. I especially hope in these books to portray God as the loving, faithful God he is and hope these books, written for the general market, will touch the hearts of those who don't know him and God's spirit will move them toward him.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  In huge ways, these books drew from my very heart and soul to grope for God. I think readers will sense this and feel so inclined. So many people are unaware of the power of myth and fantasy to change lives. Look at the biggest selling books of all time--almost all are fantasy. I discuss a lot of this on my blog on the gates of heaven series Web site as well, so come on over and share thoughts and read what makes fairy tales different from other fantasy genres.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  C. S. Lewis, of course, G. K. Chesterton, Patricia McKillip, all the old fairy tale books. And I was able to work it out with my terrific publisher to be in charge of the artwork for the series, so I hired Gary Lippincott, an amazing watercolor artist, who loves fairy tales, to do my covers.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Even if you are not a big fantasy fan, if you love your imagination to saor, read this series. People who are not Christians say what they love the most about these books is that they give hope and leave the reader with a wonderful feeling of joy and purpose. I hope that is your experience too. I'd love to hear from you!

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