Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Advanced  Enchantmentology  Plus  A  Feast  Of  Surprises


 A Review of:


 Sherry Thompson Earthbow, Vol. 2 (Grayson, GA:  Gryphonwood Press, 2010)

                           $9.99   266 pp   ISBN-10:
0982508786   ISBN-13:


 Reviewed by:  Forrest W. Schultz


     I began my review of Earthbow, Volume I by expressing my great surprise that its hero was not a new character worthy of following in the train of Cara, the Hero of the First Tumult, but was an already existing (not-that-special) character, Harone, who was only able to accomplish his mission because Cara's influence upon him was so strong.  In Earthbow, Volume 2, which recounts the remainder of the Second Tumult, the surprises multiply, becoming so numerous that it would be tedious to even list them here, let alone discuss them.


     These surprises pertain not just to the characters and the story but to the very principles of enchantment, which are revealed as being of a very complex nature.  To mention just one example:  the transformation of a magical device from good to evil, and from evil to good is not a simple matter such as touching it with a piece of "Reverse Wood" (as is done in Piers Anthony's Xanth stories).


     Sherry Thompson's books are not only intellectually stimulating, they are also ethically and spiritually challenging.  This is especially true of the book under review here, which abounds with horrifying depictions of despicably wicked people inflicting horrendously excruciating suffering upon other people.  The resulting violence is by no means "gratuitous" but is shown as the inevitable result of the wickedness of the perpetrators.  This realistic depiction of hellishness may cause the reader to want to put the book down, and in that sense, "unputdownable" is not a complimentary term!  Wickedness is repulsive and it is natural to want to turn away from it, so this is the effect which will be produced by a well-written book.  But the book IS unputdownable in the sense that we want to find out what will happen and we know it will be a "good read".


     Getting back to the subject of surprises, let me conclude, as the book does, with the super surprise, the biggest of all the surprises and that is that the hero of this book, Sandy, does NOT need to cease being Sand-The-Bland to become the hero, but is actually SUITED for the form of heroism needed because he IS bland!  You see, it turns out that his heroic act is very easy and simple:  ONLY a bland person would be suited for and satisfied with this.  You see, your typical hero would be insulted by being given such an easy task, and, like Naaman in the Bible getting mad at Elisha, he would have demanded that he be assigned "some great thing" to do. Sooo, Thompson comes through once again fooling us all.   By the way, long ago I learned from Jose Ortega y Gassett that the real meaning of heroism is doing whatever you are supposed to do whether it is easy or difficult.  So, Sandy is heroic in this true sense, though not, of course, in the popular sense of heroism.


    The story is much longer than the 266 pages noted because each page contains more words than usual because of the very narrow margins.      



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