Sunday, May 4, 2008

Asulon: Sword of Fire

Asulon by William McGrath is the book of the month of May for the CFRB. As per usual with the CFRB, a new article will be posted each day May 4 through May 10. With this novel, there are an abundant number of subjects to be addressed.

Asulon is a “manly” novel if I ever read one. Hunting, survival in the wilderness, adventure, coming-of-age for a young prince, martial arts, assassins, intrigue, political hijinks, secret society, strategic warfare, swordplay, danger on every hand, the future of a country and the whole world at risk. With great detail and relish, Bill McGrath has written a fantasy filled with elements that are obviously close to his heart, creating a compelling tale of a young prince who is embroiled in a war of epic, even Biblical, proportions. It is not just a war of human enemies but Abaddon versus the forces of Heaven fighting for the souls of men.

Daniel is a young nobleman of Asulon. He is first introduced while on a year-long survival foray in the wilderness, a rite of passage for those of his station. His mentor Moor comes to take him home a bit early because his father Argeus needs him. It seems the old king died while Daniel was out in the forest, and his father had become the new king. This changed the scenario for Daniel’s education a bit, thus the need to return ahead of schedule. The next step in his life was to be a ten year stay in Logres (yes, the ancient name for Britain in Arthurian legend) at his grandfather’s court for training to befit his rank. Unfortunately, there are other forces at work that wish to dispose of the royal family and take control Asulon themselves. Actually, they wish to control the whole world. Thanks to these evil men, King Argeus is murdered the night before Daniel is scheduled to sail to Logres. Although the trip is delayed, it soon becomes apparent to Moor that Daniel will be the next target, and so plans change a bit to a stealthy flight heading for Logres. Only now Daniel is accompanied by Moor, the most skillful weapons-master in all the country; an old priest named Simon who has more than just spiritual insight to offer; and Rachel, an especially gifted young lady, who must return to her people in the land of Eretzel. Their escape and the times ahead are filled with danger and unexpected events, but to tell more may be too much information.

There are so many themes and elements to this story that I would love to discuss further, but I already tend to write too long. Some of these will be addressed in other essays this week. This is a book I would heartily recommend for young adults, young men in particular, but it is also quite appropriate for all adults. Daniel and his family is guided by high moral principles based on scripture and following the will of God, making this not only an exciting fantasy, but also one full of true Christian values.


William R. McGrath
Epic Fantasy
PTI Press; January 1, 2008; 296 pgs; $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-9801058-0-3

Bill McGrath's website:

Purchase a copy of Asulon at
the following sites

Other reviews and blogs about this fascinating novel can be found at the following sites: (This was on Charles Colson's Breakpoint magazine)

1 comment:

David said...

Yup! It sure is a "man's novel". Most of us can put up with a romance so long as there is enough action in it to keep us going. Bill McGrath didn't even consider the romance part, at least not as a major issue for the story. He gets you with the action, the intrigue, then he slips in a little romance. Even then you have Moor raining on Daniel's parade, and Simon upset with Master Moor. Great post Cathi.

David Brollier