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 evil. 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.