Author: Ted Dekker
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Allegorical/Young Adult/Romance
Other Earth. The Forest Guard. The Horde. Shaitiki. Roush. Elyon. Teeleh.
This is the world in which Johnis, Silvie, Billos, and Darsal live – Forest Guard teenagers, chosen for a special mission by Thomas Hunter. As they battle evil, they also battle for love and against temptations.
And only Elyon can help them.
This series has got to be one of my all-time favorites, especially the last two (mainly because Marak is my favorite character).
They stay away from sexuality, aside from mainly kisses and touching other people’s faces, until the last two books. There is still kissing, but the sensuality is heightened slightly. So you can get a feel for what I mean, here is a short passage from Lunatic.
“A pair of hands touched him. Marak’s insides jolted. Who was…? Slender brown arms slid down his torso and locked smooth, brown fingers. Rona?
No. Darsal. The slave.
The one who was supposed to be dead right now.
Teeleh’s breath, he’d called her Rona. And now she was touching him.
For a second he was too stunned to respond. Nothing in him wanted to touch her. Nothing. He couldn’t even rationalize what he’d just done.
He couldn’t keep her.
He couldn’t kill her.
Everything in him told him to turn on her, to throw her off and finish her. It would certainly rid him of one of his many complicating factors.
Blood pounded in his ears.
Darsal put her head against him, hugging him from behind. But why was she…? What was she trying to do?
Then, against his will, he reached up and rubbed her arms. Held her fingers to his chest. Seconds passed.
Good grief, what was he thinking?”
As you can see – not inappropriate, but cautioning for younger readers.
Also, Shaeda, the Leedham, seduces both Johnis and Marak at different times, using her eyes, and her powers. Several times she presses herself to them, and kisses both of them. But she is never shown to be anything but evil, so it’s not as if it’s ‘shady.’
There is violence, torture, fighting, and bloodshed, but it is all done very tastefully and tactfully.
And one more thing – ‘follow your heart’ is promoted a lot, but not quite as the world promotes it. Elyon is the author of the “Great Romance,” and so the advice to ‘do what your heart tells you’ has a double meaning in the book, meaning to do what Elyon tells you. But it’s good to remember Deuteronomy 15: 9 – “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
This is an excellent, faith-strengthening allegorical series for young adults, one I would highly recommend. Dekker stays away from getting too dark in this series, unlike he does in many of his adult books.
5 out of 5 stars