One week… three epic stories… seven late nights of reading…
Yes, I blame Ted Dekker for my lack of sleep over the week in which I devoured his Circle Trilogy. It certainly was his fault for writing such a wonderful epic… rather than my lack of self-control in trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour!
The Circle Trilogy is now one of my favorite fantasy series! (The list keeps expanding!) It possesses all the necessary elements of good fantasy. It was both exciting and riveting – most nights I did not set the book down until 2:30am – definitely a page turner, with the perfect blend of likable characters and intense action.
At the same time, the story made me think. The questions Dekker asked – and didn’t always answer – are still relevant today! The themes of love – God’s love for us, Christ’s love for us, our love for others – resonate within. The symbolism and allegory were clear but well written, and so stirring! Sacrifice… hope… love…issues of faith and trust… all in all, the Circle Trilogy is an epic worth remembering!
For me this was both a Dr. Pepper and a hot coffee story. (See earlier Exploring the Realm of Fantasy post to understand!) Some parts I gulped down… other parts I savored, slowly tasting each word! In short, I loved it!
Black: When a blow to his head makes Thomas Hunter lose consciousness in our world, he awakes in another! When he falls asleep in the new world, he awakes in the old. Confused and bewildered, Thomas finds himself suddenly thrown into the midst of a violent struggle between good and evil in both worlds. The stakes increase, when Thomas discovers a secret about a mutant virus that threatens to destroy our world… and he alone can hope to stop it! But time is running short.
Red: The Raison Strain is unleashed upon the unsuspecting world. Thomas Hunter struggles to battle the virus while at the same time, in the alternate world, he is a mighty general fighting to save his people against the vastly greater army of the Horde… But strength cannot battle treachery, and treachery rules the day in Red.
White: The Circle, the last of Elyon’s faithful followers, flee to the desert with Thomas Hunter where they are constantly hunted by the Horde. Meanwhile, in our world, the Raison Strain rages on without a cure! Is the end truly coming, both for the Circle and the world as we know it?
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
I also read book zero: Green. This book ties the whole series together into a circle since it can serve as both the first book in the series or the last book in the series. The tone of Green seemed very different from the tone of the Circle Trilogy. It was darker and much of the story was written from the evil POV which resulted in a blacker, more unsettling story. It also included vampires, creatures that I do not like at all.
And while I think that the concept of a circular series is brilliant – I can’t imagine trying to fit it all together – there are aspects to it that I don’t like. The idea of a constantly repeating circular history is somewhat reminiscent of Eastern mysticism. Also, I like stories that end well. Because Green makes the trilogy into a cricle, there is no real conclusion… the series just repeats itself over and over again. Also, if you look at it that way, then there was no way that anything Thomas did changed history because (since it’s a circle) when he goes back to change “history” he simply repeats everything he did before in the series. With Green as a beginning and end, it just wasn’t satisfying – at least not to me.
Green answered many of the questions I still had at the end of White and in that aspect, it was interesting. However, the negative elements really turned me off from the story and I didn’t come away with the same feeling that I had after I finished the Circle Trilogy.
END SPOILER ALERT
So, in conclusion, I can’t honestly say that I had a favorite of the three books Black, Red, and White… they all fit together so well, that it seemed like one big book rather than three separate books. I definitely recommend these stories to any fantasy lover, but would warn that these books are written for adults and evil is clearly shown as evil and it’s not a pretty sight.
The Circle Trilogy belongs on my favorite fantasy shelf! It is definitely one that I will read and re-read over and over again. A heart stirring, thought provoking, page turning, knuckle gripping epic!
Now, off to write my own novel…
~ A Servant of the King