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A Book Review Day 1 — “Corus the Champion” by D. Barkley Briggs

A few months back I decided to reread “The Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien. I had not actually read the books since I was a teenager and that was close to, ahem, forty years ago. As I dove into the books, I was amazed at the level of fantasy; the quality of the writing; and what an awesome job Peter Jackson did in adapting the books into the movies. I am now over two thirds of the way through “The Two Towers” and I am once again enthralled by four elements Tolkien uses so well. Those elements are names, songs, geography, and companionship. So many names! Endless songs! Towering mountains and deep, macabre caverns! And fellowship!

I have spent the last two years diving into Christian fantasy and I must say that I have yet to find a Christian fantasy as satisfyingly close to Tolkien as “Corus the Champion” by D. Barkley Briggs. I will only be posting a one day review for I must confess something. I read the reviews of the first book in this series, “The Book of Names” and started immediately into “Corus the Champion”. Halfway through this new book I was so taken with the characters and so wrapped up by the story I felt I was doing the book and the author a disservice by NOT reading both books. And so, I am now halfway through the first book and I am loving every page of both books. D. Barkley Briggs has done a masterful job of evoking the kind of wonder and awe I felt reading Tolkien and that is saying a lot!

I will be posting a two day review since I am still happily reading through these two books! Here is Day 1: Names and Songs!

Names. Pay very close attention to the names in “Corus the Champion”. These names are so slippery and sneaky. They have double, sometimes triple meanings hidden in their spelling and their pronunciation. I dare not even discuss the name of the “Sleeping King” for to do so would be to ruin one of the key developments in this book! But, there are four names the reader should know. Gabe and Garrett are twins. Their older brothers are Ewan and Hadyn. These four boys live on a farm with their widowed father. And, while working in the field Ewan and Hadyn discovered a stone arch hidden in a briar patch. After receiving a mysterious scroll inviting all four boys to a life of adventure, all four were whisked away to Karac Tor, one of the Nine Worlds. And, in “Corus the Champion” each boy has found his “gift” and has been separated to achieve the purpose of bringing the world of Karac Tor to sanity by restoring the King. But, in order to do so, they must first find a Champion who will raise the King. Unfortunately, Corus the Champion is dead, betrayed by his best friend to the magical Fey folk — mischievous and mostly evil.

Songs! Ewan has a flute. It was a small, insignificant instrument in our world. But, on arrival in Karac Tor, Ewan discovered he had a power within him to deliver song to the world and these songs contain power and strength from God. And here, D. Barkley Briggs has achieved some extraordinary prose. When he writes about Ewan’s songs, the words take on a power of their own. Here is an excerpt of the song Ewan plays for Queen Marielle, the leader of the Fey folk. In the song that springs from his soul, Ewan finds himself recalling his lost mother:

“Ewan let loose with a long, slow note. A low note, like the roots of the trees in the forest around him, clawing deep into the earth. A note of heartache, of searching for unseen things and wishing they could be true. In his mind’s eye, flickering from shadows to light, he caught a glimpse of his mom. The freshness of the memory made his heart hurt, feel ashamed, realizing with shock how long it had been since he las though of her. But there she was now, inside, bright and clean.”

This is but a taste of the quality of writing in Corus the Champion. I do not want to hurry through this book. I want to savor it!

Tomorrow: Geography and Companionship

Book link – (or some other link of your choice)
Author’s Web site  –
Participants’ links:“> Gillian Adams Noah Arsenault“> Beckie Burnham“> Morgan L. Busse“> CSFF Blog Tour“> Carol Bruce Collett“> Theresa Dunlap“> April Erwin“> Victor Gentile“> Nikole Hahn“> Ryan Heart<“> Timothy Hicks“> Christopher Hopper“> Jason Joyner“> Julie“> Carol Keen“> Krystine Kercher“> Marzabeth“> Shannon McDermott“> Rebecca LuElla Miller“> Eve Nielsen“> Sarah Sawyer“> Kathleen Smith“> Donna Swanson“> Rachel Starr Thomson“> Steve Trower“> Fred Warren“> Phyllis Wheeler“>  Nicole White“> Rachel Wyant

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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