Note: A condensed version of this review was carried in the 11/25/06 issue of the HomeSchoolBuzz.com e-newsletter and is posted at http://www.homeschoolbuzz.com . The full review will be included in my free homeschooling e-mail newsletter, http://groups.yahoo.com/biblicalhomeschooling/ .
Edwards, Roy G. Eafin Lokdore and the Magician's Lost Medallion (copyright 2005 and published by R. G. Edwards Publishing, P. O. Box 978, Goodlettsville, TN 37070). The recent successes of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia movies based on books by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, and the soon-to-be coming film based on homeschooled Christopher Paolini's Eragon, have created a renewed interest in fantasy literature for young people. Some series that are based on a Biblical worldview, such as The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers, are quite good. Christian Book Distributors also has the Dragon Keepers Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black, and Dragons in Our Midst by Bryan Davis, among several. However, others are not so good. The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling are obviously based on an occultic worldview, and His Dark Materials by Phillip Pulliam are specifically intended to promote atheism. The newest “kid on the block” is Eafin Lokdore. R. G. Edwards was homeschooling his two daughters one afternoon in 2005, amid a terrible spring lightning storm, when an idea for a childrens book. He had been disturbed by the tremendous amount of witchcraft and the occult found in Harry Potter and similar children's books. But the strong popularity of Harry Potter inspired Edwards to create a somewhat similar portrayal of character and events for the story of Eafin Lokdore, encouraged by the worldwide reception of G.P. Taylors Shadowmancer and that particular books underlying Christian themes. Having been also greatly influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Edwards set about creating a story that was also deeply imbued with underlying Biblical imagery and tone over the course of the next nine months beginning in the spring of 2005 and on into 2006. He was kind enough to send me an advance galley copy for review purposes, and I have now finished the book. Eafin Lokdore is a fifteen-year-old peasant boy who is apprenticed to the good sage Methusass in the kingdom of Lorrimoor. With the help of his young friends Seth, Jimbo, and Ralph, he sets out on a quest to save their homeland from a renewed advancement of their age-old enemy, the Maggorians who, directed by the evil sage Dredmon and several other vile characters, try to take control of the kingdom. In general, I like the book because of its classic good versus evil plot. It is a very interesting and quite readable story. Nothing that I shall say from here on out should take away from this fact. However, I do have a few observations. First, I think that the story could have been helped by more character and plot development. Edwards says that there will be more in future books (this is the first of a trilogy), but I thought that things flew by a little too quickly at times, and especially the ending went bang, bang, bang, and was over. Some people may be turned off by the somewhat eccentric style of writing with an overabundance of passive verbs and a rather quaint vocabulary (for example, people's thoughts were often said to be “graven”), but this is simply a matter of style. The “d” word is used four times, and the “h” word two, always by “bad” guys; I personally oppose curse words anywhere in books intended for young people and Edwards says that in the rewrite for final publication all objectionable language will be removed. In the galley copy there were all kinds of annoying grammatical errors, especially in punctuation–plurals used for possessives, possessives and contractions without apostrophes, too many commas in places where they should not be, and a lot of sentence fragments (not just in dialogue). I felt that some better editing would make great improvements in the book and Edwards has obtained a professional editor for the final rewrite, saying that these will be corrected too. Other than these comments, I do not have any major objections to the story and again I do like the emphasis on the clash between good and evil. Edwards said, “Eafin Lokdore isn't an alternative to Harry Potter. But being a Christian writer doesnt mean you cant create fun, and I think that this book certainly reveals that.” The self-published Eafin Lokdore and the Magicians Lost Medallion Book I of the Lokdore Trilogy is currently available on the Internet through Amazon.com and also on Lulu.com. Availability through conventional bookstores such as Borders, and Barnes & Noble should begin after the final rewrite is done. The book is intended for middle-grade age readers around the ages of 9 to 14 but also should appeal to older young adults between the ages of 15 to 19 years as. The author can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (615) 851-1662. He can also be reached via his web-site at: http://www.rgedwardsblog.com . Language level: nothing objectionable (based on Edwards's statement) Ages: 9-14. My rating: GOOD.