A Review of
R J Larson Judge (Bethany House, 2012)
354 pp $14.99 ISBN: 978-0-7842-0972-7
Reviewer: Forrest Schultz
The world created by R J Larson for her Books Of The Infinite Series is similar to the ancient world in which the Old Testament events transpired, which is useful in helping us to imagine what it was like to be a prophet back then. It is true, as someone recently pointed out, that in some cases this makes it easy for the reader to figure out what is going to happen. But this also provides an opportunity for the author to give the reader some idea of what the particulars of these experiences might feel like. One good example of this in "Judge" is what happened to Kien Lantech when he balked at God's command to him to deliver a warning of impending destruction to ToronSea: he had a Jonah-like experience when he was swallowed by a whale-like sea creature. Yes, you can guess that this will happen but the author helps you to imagine what details of what it must have been like for Jonah!
Meanwhile Ela of Parne is caught in a Jeremiah-like scenario as she experiences the wrath of her fellow-citizens when she delivers to them The Infinite's prophecy of the impending judgement which will fall upon them because of their many apostasies. Here again, you can guess what will happen to her as a result -- and it DOES happen! -- but the story also helps you to imagine what it must have been like for Ela and for Jeremiah to go through such a trauma.
The particulars are not only realistically depicted for these strongly developed characters but the conversations involved are also realistic and often laced with humor, a good example being the bantering depicted on pages 113-115 between Kien and the Chief Guardsman of Adar-iyr. And there is humor in the frustration of Kien in this episode taking him away from his training to be a judge, which is what the book's title refers to. And, as if this were not enough, there are those characters in the story who regard him as a lord or a king! Kien gets ever more frustrated: "I am a judge, not a prophet or a king of a lord!!", he proclaims!
Finally there is humor in the "Destroyers", which are dragon-like creatures which make a great contribution to the story and are fun to read about. As such the book is also suitable for reading as 2012 -- The Year Of The Dragon -- draws to a close. And it will make a good gift in this season to be jolly, and to focus people's attention on the things of God.
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