Monday, August 13, 2012


NOTE FROM ADA BROWNELL: When I decided to read Dawn Singer I knew fantasy isn’t my genre. Although I’ve read fantasy before, I took on this book because I’m interested in what young adults are reading and am curious about how fantasy can link with Christianity
I was quite impressed with Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti because with that speculative fiction book, at the end the theme hit like a shot of medication, sending the message through the reader that everything hinges on Truth. Here the title, Dawn Singer, made me expect a dramatic spiritual triumph and joyous song of Salvation. But the paradoxical messages of Dawn Singer were not so evident to me: Freedom through sacrifice, overcoming prejudice with unity, serving rather than ruling, and conquering fear.

I cringed a little when truths of the gospel were slipped into this story. For instance the Word of God being so powerful it can divide soul and spirit, but it’s not clear as it’s used where the phrase comes from, and how it applies in this story.  Most young people today don’t know the Bible and would have no idea of the connection.

Perhaps because I’m not of the age group that enjoys dozens of characters with weird names and battle after battle with exotic enemies, most of the book was often a mass of confusion. I also could have done without the near-rape scene.

Yet, I give the work four stars because of writing quality. I also respect the amount of work expended to create such a novel. Every once in a while I had to stop as I was reading to absorb the beauty of phrases like this: “Your words prick like thorns that guard a tender rose.”

It might have helped if the glossary had  been at the front instead of the back of the book. At any rate, reading Dawn Singer exposes the reader to some great descriptive writing.

About the Author:
Janalyn Voigt’s epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven, starting with DawnSinger, is published by Harbourlight Books. Janalyn also writes in the western romance genre. She is represented by Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary. Her nonfiction publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press (now David C. Cook) and Pentecostal Evangel. She serves as a literary judge for several national contests and is an active book reviewer. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA. Janalyn lives in a quiet corner of the Pacific Northwest, where she discovers worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.

From the Back Cover:
The High Queen is dying... At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.


BarnesandNoble link: