Empyrion I: The Search For Fierra (1) Hardcover – 17 November 2019
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- Hardcover : 492 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1913364003
- ISBN-13 : 978-1913364007
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.18 x 21.59 cm
- Publisher : Lawhead Books; Enhanced ed. Edition (17 November 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 250,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A masterfully rendered epic tale . . ." - Lost Genre Guild for Empyrion
"In the sweeping style of George R.R. Martin and J.R.Tolkien, Lawhead has created a diverse universe and rich cast of characters."―Library Journal for Bright Empires
"Fierce companions, mighty foes, and fae magic all intertwine with multiple points of view in an exciting tale."―Booklist for In the Region of the Summer Stars
"Brilliant storytelling filled with lyrical language."―RT Book Reviews for In the Region of the Summer Stars
"Lawhead brilliantly creates an authentic and vivid Arthurian Britain, and never forsakes a sense of wonder."―Publishers Weekly for Pendragon
"Lawhead demonstrates a genuine love for and understanding of Anglo-Celtic mythology."―Library Journal for The Paradise War
About the Author
Ross Lawhead is an author, screenwriter, designer, and illustrator.
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I hesitate to call this book "Christian Fiction" because in my experience that means "cheesy, preachy and crappily written". It would be better to say that this is what every intellectual Christian (read: nerdy Christ follower) has always wished for in a novel but has so rarely found. It is a rare blend of strong science fiction and excellent writing that will not leave you feeling like you need to go wash your brain out with soap. There are profound spiritual messages here- more than you will find in most theological tomes, yet you will never feel preached at or condescended to. You will just walk away inspired and intellectually stimulated.
A quick rundown would be that our "hero" (who is deeply and wonderfully flawed) has the unlikely name of Orion Treet. Through a series of events, mainly involving Treet being equal parts an expert and expendable, he finds himself on a space ship hurtling its way through a wormhole. The mission that he and his team are charged with is to check up on a terraforming project on a distant planet. A previous team was sent to plant a new Earth colony there but, after brief contact, was never heard from again. The reason why and the fate of the terraforming team is the basis of the story. I will tell you no more because I feel that this story is best read as I first read it: without spoilers. I picked this book up in an Army bookstore overseas, not knowing either the author or the book. I had no idea that it was written by a "Christian Author". I just liked the blurb on the back. Suffice it to say that it is one part space travel, one part adventure and one part political commentary with a smidge of time travel thrown in for good measure.
Do not be deterred if you have read some of Stephen Lawhead's more recent books and found them too tedious. I am a huge fan of his older books including his wonderful fantasy series, The Dragon King Saga , but he tends toward the very scholarly historian's voice in many of his newer fantasy books which is not my cup of tea. In fact, I think you could get a PHD in Celtic history from reading some of his books. This is not like that at all. This is just a darn good story.
If you enjoy this book, immediately buy Mr. Lawhead's other very old but wonderful science fiction story Dream Thief . You will not be disappointed.
I've been a fan of Lawhead since I first read Byzantium in the late 1990's. I've read it at least three times, and once on the Kindle. I consider Byzantium to be the catalyst for my love of historical fiction. I've read several other Lawhead works: The Pendragon Cycle stands in my memory even more vividly than Byzantium. The Dragon King and The Celtic Crusades are just as wonderful.
When I was reviewing new and recommended releases, I saw this one with a publication date March 2011, two months ago. I immediately downloaded it, but upon reading the forward, I was mildly disappointed to see that this was a reissue of a book Lawhead wrote many years ago. It would appear that Lawhead is starting to self-publish, or at least re-issue previous books under his own name.
Well, I quickly "got over it", because I hadn't read these books, but it would have been more appropriate if this Kindle edition was listed in the main book entry on Amazon as another binding edition.
As a re-issue, it looks like the original printed material was simply scanned and converted to a Kindle book. Huge numbers of OCR errors abound; once, a page number even appears in the middle of a page. To be honest, it looks like it wasn't even copy-edited for errors.
The above are the only reasons I give it a three-star. Otherwise, the story gets a four-star.
Even tho this was written early in Lawhead's career, it shows the author's versatility.
Two completely opposite societies spring from a single colony: one utopian, one dystopian. The protagonist is sent to ostensibly write a history of what is assumed to be a the first off-world colony in it's early stages. Traveling via a wormhole, he arrives to find thousands of years have passed. Now his goal is to figure out what happened, and why such a drastic split occurred.
The story is a study in good vs. evil. Can a utopian society, one that is pledged heart and soul to peaceful existence, co-exist on a planet with a society that is bent on the destruction of everything good? Being pledged to cause no harm, even to those who seek to harm them, is the sin of omission as harmful as the sin of commission?