A good read

I love to read.

And some of my favourite things to read are fantasy novels. I’ve said on this site that The Lord of the Rings is one of my all-time favourite books but it is very hard to find anything that lives up to Tolkien.

In fact, I don’t think any fantasy author lives up to Tolkien, simply in terms of the depth and breadth of his epic scale, not to mention that so few authors manage to capture the beauty and tragedy of life in the way Tolkien does.

However, about two years ago I came across an author I’d never heard of: Jeff Wheeler. One of his books – apparently a Wall Street Journal bestseller – came up as a suggestion when I purchased my Kindle, describing it as the first in a fantasy series based on the War of the Roses. As a lover of medieval history, I decided to purchase the trilogy for $15. I didn’t mind the first book, enjoyed the second and loved the third. I then read the sequel trilogy, which captured my imagination and my heart even more.

Since then, I have read virtually every book Wheeler has written. What I discovered in the first trilogy (known as the Kingfountain series) was that, unlike so many other fantasy authors, Wheeler was clearly committed to keeping his fiction clean. No crudeness, no sex scenes, no profanity. But not only are his books guilt-free, they’re also really good!

I later discovered he’s a Mormon but unlike many other well-meaning writers, Wheeler manages to combine great storytelling, compelling characters and thrilling romances with a promotion of virtuousness. This is so rare! So often, Christian writers aim to do the latter but fail at one or all of the former points. To have a truly enjoyable page-turner that, far from detracting from your morality, adds to it by promoting virtue and sacrifice is so uplifting.

I’ve been avidly reading his latest work, a 5-parter called the Harbinger series, which follows on as a sequel to a few of his other trilogies. I’ve been eagerly waiting for the fifth and final book, Broken Veil, which comes out today! I cannot wait to get my hands on it and see how this whirlwind adventure comes to an end.

I wish we had more authors out there like Jeff Wheeler! Any suggestions?

Learn more about Jeff Wheeler.

8 thoughts on “A good read

  1. I would highly recommend Ted Dekker as another great Christian author that is good at both the story and the Christianity side of it, if that makes sense! He’s great at weaving lessons into his story, but also has very real characters, with very dire situations and consequences as they navigate through a broken world. I’m just working through his book “Outlaw” with my fiancée now – it’s quite intense, but very well done. Starts off with a feminine narrator/protagonist, switches over to male about half-way through. Set in the jungles of New Guinea, with an indigenous tribe.

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  2. I hadn’t read fantasy for years but lately I’ve been revisiting Tim Powers: historical fiction but with magic. Also swordfights and vast quantities of booze. Pretty clean too.

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  3. Have you ever read any Ted Dekker novels? I really enjoy his stuff; the Circle series and Paradise novels were both good. If I’m right I believer they tied together in a broad sense also.

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  4. Again I think I am too old for fantasy fiction now, although I love classic science fiction and always have.
    Also ghost stories! Good ghost stories are hard to find; I don’t think M R James will ever be surpassed.
    Right now I’m revisiting inter-war period detective stories – Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey. Intelligent and deeply satisfying.

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