The Warden and the Wolf King Book Review Part 2

wolfkingpic2Bitter disappoint burned in my chest. I had just found out I was being released from my 5 book contract with Charisma after my second book. It was late on the first night of Hutchmoot 2012 and I wandered the beautiful grounds of Redeemer Church in Nashville crushed and weepy. I made my way back into the sanctuary to listen to our hosts regale us with song and sat on the last pew. In front of me, a young girl, probably 5 or 6 squirmed on the pew beside her mother, restless and bored. On the stage Andrew Peterson was about to sing a number from his newest album, “Light for the Lost Boy”. He told us this story:

An artist told about growing up without knowledge of God. But, somehow he knew there was Someone to watch over him, a secret Companion. Later in life, this man came to know Christ and realized that God was always with him in the quiet, desperate moments of his life. Andrew decided to write a song about this secret companion. Then, he paused and called out to his daughter. The girl on the pew in front of me snapped to attention and with great delight ran up to the stage to sing with her father. As they sang, “The Voice of Jesus” I wept silently with joy that even in the midst of my depression and disappointment, the voice of Jesus still whispered hope and love. When she joined in with her father at the end of the song, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and a hushed, reverent stillness gripped us all. In that moment we heard not just the voices of Andrew and his daughter. We also heard the Voice of Jesus. My despair lifted and the music calmed my soul and brought me a measure of sorely needed peace.

I tell you this because when I read of Leeli in “The Warden and the Wolf King” I hear the voice of Andrew Peterson’s daughter raised in song. In fact, song and music are integral to the story of this novel and permeate throughout the narrative. This shouldn’t surprise me. Andrew Peterson’s songs are more than catchy tunes. They are deep, thoughtful reflections on our life in this imperfect world and the redemption we find in Christ’s love.

Song is so important to the story of “The Warden and the Wolf King”. I remember reading “Lord of the Rings” as a teenager and being impatient when I came to long verses of song lyrics. Most of the time, I skipped over them. And, although the songs’ words gave some framework for the world of Middle Earth, I could have done without them.

However, Andrew has deftly folded song into the story of “The Warden and the Wolf King” in such a way that not only it is integral to the plot but it becomes a great weapon against evil. That song can be used as such a weapon shouldn’t surprise us. Songs are stories put to music. And, Jesus used stories as one of the tentpoles of his ministry on Earth. Leeli, the youngest of the children, crippled by a bad leg not only can speak to dogs but can sing words into a powerful weapon against evil. Perhaps weapon is too strong a word. Her songs afflict the Fangs but also inspire the Hollowsfolk in the battle against the forces of evil. Here Andrew illustrates the power of spoken thought; spoken love; our spirit crying out into a cold, hopeless world.

What I really appreciate about Andrew’s story is how each of the children have an artistic gift given to them by the Maker. One is a writer. The other an artist with pencil and paper. We see how each of these gifts become the essential tool in winning the war against Gnag the Nameless and revealing the truth of the Maker on the Shining Isles. I cannot go any further in my description of these gifts. To do so would be to spoil the joy of their unveiling in the story.

Just as Andrew has done in life with his songs and his lyrics and his music, he makes us realize that our personal artistic reflection of the Creator is an essential tool in our battle against evil. For here, Andrew proves what I have learned in my many years of drama and writing. Creativity is essential in our worship of God. We are made in His image — the Imago Dei — a pale but powerful reflection of the ability to create. Andrew reveals the power of our God given creativity in his story. The books, the songs, the drawings all are absolutely necessary for the triumph of good over the forces of evil. Expressing our creativity pushes back the darkness and can transform the nameless lost into one of God’s lovely creatures. Thank you, Andrew, for reminding us we should not forsake our own God given creativity. Stoke it, grow it, use it, let it gush forth into this world of growing evil and show the world the love of our Creator!

So, Andrew, when do we get the “soundtrack” for the book!

 

As a bonus, here are the lyrics to “The Voice of Jesus”:

 

I know you’ve been afraid

Don’t know what to do

You’ve been lost in the questions

I don’t know what to say

I’m sure if I were you

I’d proceed with some caution

 

But I want you to know

When the joy that you feel

Leaves a terrible ache in your bones

It’s the voice of Jesus

Calling you back home

 

I know you’ve got a lot

Spinning in your head

All this emptiness fills you

Maybe you could try

Laying in your bed

To ask the silence to still you

 

And you might hear a beat

On the door of your heart

When you do, let it open up wide

It’s the voice of Jesus

Calling you his bride

 

Once upon a time there was a little boy

Who wandered the forest, abandoned

And he heard in the leaves

And behind every tree

The sound of a secret companion

Following

 

So listen, little girl,

Somewhere there’s a King

Who will love you forever

And nothing in the world

Could ever come between

You, my love, and this Lover

 

So when I kiss you at night

And I turn out the light

And I tell you you’re never alone

It’s the voice of Jesus

Calling you

It’s the voice of Jesus

Calling you his own

 

 

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap it all up!

To Find this book use this link.

For Andrew Peterson’s official book site this is the link. And Andrew’s personal site is here.

I gladly and with great anticipation received a copy of this book for this review. Readers of the first three books may feel appropriately envious!

Check out these other reviews of “The Warden and the Wolf King”:

Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

 

And, if you would like to check out a special offer for my three books in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles, go to the order page at 11thdemon.com.

 

 

About Bruce Hennigan

Published novelist, dramatist, apologist, and physician.

Posted on July 22, 2014, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction, Steel Chronicles and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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