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|Title: The Wolf of Tebron, Gates of Heaven Series #1|
By: C.S. Lakin
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Living Ink Books
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Series: Gates of Heaven
Stock No: WW578880
In classic fairy tale style, we embark on an enchanted journey with a young blacksmithJoranwhose 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, Jorans 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 lifefeelings of alienation and anger, of despair and hurt. Along the way he rescues a wolfa 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 Ruyahs 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 offmore confused than beforeto 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 Suns 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 wifeif 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 giftbut 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 dreamsfar west, beyond his imagining.
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
The Wolf of Tebron
By C.S. Lakin
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
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!