They called me Nebuchadnezzar.
The Nazis have established a torture center in a mine at the heart of a Romanian forest. Here they interrogate prisoners and, sometimes, throw them into the furnace at the heart of the mine.
Only now, the primeval forest is rising against them, unleashing a preternatural army to besiege the great iron gate of the mine. The fearsome guards become terrified prisoners and the furnace itself burns with hungry anger against them.
Sascha König, a man they called Nebuchadnezzar, is their only hope. He is master of the furnace. All along, he has been Hitler’s ardent servant. But now … König is wrestling with demons of his own, and the Master of all fires is calling him to Himself through the haunting eyes of a little gypsy girl König did not save.
Deus et natua non faciunt frusta. “God and nature do not work together in vain.” But rebel humans wage their wars against both. Marc Schooley’s novel König’s Fire (2010)1 guides readers into 1940s Germany, when the Nazi army enlists reluctant soldier Sascha König to help execute their newly invented evil. In a hidden prison cave, they demand König imitate Nebuchadnezzar of old, heating a fiery furnace to destroy the innocents. König’s conscience and visions, however, plus the groanings of a decayed forest full of vengeful creatures, will challenge this conspiracy. Schooley turns up the spiritual heat and eeriness that haunts this deep-thought historical fantasy. Some readers may feel smothered by biblical and literary allusions. Others will lean even closer, risking the singe of powerful prose that may convict our very souls.
Best for: Fans of paranormal parables whose darkness beckons to light.
Discern: Nazi soldiers commit atrocities that are mostly off-page but with serious consequences, resulting trauma in the souls of good men, heroes forced to make hard decisions in the complexity of war, implied compromise with war crimes, gritty themes of man’s sinful nature versus God’s wrath.
- König’s Fire won the 2011 Carol Award for best Christian-made speculative novel. The title is currently out of print. ↩