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Sponsored Review: The Light Arises

· winter 2018 · No comments · for

What’s more painful than a childhood spent enslaved to an evil sorcerer? Watching your long-lost parents fall under said sorcerer’s influence. The Light Arises picks up where The Sorcerer’s Bane leaves off, with young Rayne Kierkengaard restored to his rightful place as Crown Prince of Ochen. Then book 2 of C. S. Wachter’s Seven Words series wastes no time upending his world yet again. This time it’ll take more than personal transformation for Rayne to banish the shadows. He’ll need to persuade all seven worlds to worship the One—the story-world’s God-analogue.

This divine mission begins at home, but home grows distinctly unwelcoming after the arrival of Rayne’s cousin Brayden. This insufferable aristocrat plots to steal the throne from under Rayne’s nose and has been spinning a poisonous web of enchantment over the king and queen since boyhood. But what’s bad for the prince may redound to Ochen’s benefit. Rayne departs through an interplanetary portal on an errand for the One, unaware of the desperate gauntlet he has yet to run.

Characterization continues to be a strength of this series: the cast’s actions are well-motivated, if over-explained (everyone talks like a therapist). Rayne’s burgeoning relationship with the One shines refreshing light on the post-conversion practice of Christianity-in-all-but-name, but also leans a bit too heavily on deus ex machina moments. What the story loses through convenience, however, it makes up through the unflinching infliction of distress. It’s easy to forget about a sovereign God when the blade of suffering bites—both in real life and in Ochen. The Light Arises will leave readers craving the next word for the next world.

Best for: Adults seeking a fantastical exploration of true faith in punishing circumstances.

Discern: Sadistic emotional and physical abuse, gruesome violence, some suggestive humor.

C. S. Wachter
C. S. Wachter self-published The Sorcerer’s Bane in 2018. She lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and has enjoyed Christian fantasy all her life.


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