'Fable Weaver'

Author: Carlie Gernhart
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Clear Water Press

If you are looking for a fun, exciting, and unorthodox adventure, this book is a must-read. Winner of the 2008 One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) contest, Fable Weaver combines the story of a modern teenage girl with a generous helping of fantasy adventure.
Linnet, the main character, is a Fable Weaver, responsible for making sure that all figments return to Tierra Fabula (the place where characters go after their stories are over) from their vacations on earth. Always around to guard and assist her are Sekker, Arkose, and Izar - a trio of changelings with an obsessive love for cinnamon and video games.
The best thing about this book is the fact that it literally give you the best of both worlds, from car chases to sword fights, attic crawlspaces to Camelot, security systems to enchantments, and struggling to outsmart everyone from the local police to Morgan le Fay.
Really, the only thing that the book left me wanting (aside from a sequel) is a bit more explanation regarding how Linnet became a Fable Weaver in the first place, because other than a brief mention of it in passing at the beginning of the book, we really don't get a lot of information on that.
Otherwise, this is a fun and fabulous story that you can enjoy over and over (although I recommend having a plate of snickerdoodles handy when you do - you'll understand why when you read the book).


'Epic: The Story God is Telling'

Author: John Eldredge
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Life and Thought
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

The book begins with Sam Gamgee's quote, "I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into?" From there Eldredge proceeds to remind us just exactly what kind of a tale it is that we humans have been born into. We have been born into a world at war, into the midst of an epic story of beauty and devastation, trust and betrayal, good and evil, love and sacrifice. People love sweeping, epic stories conveyed through movies and books, and it is because those stories echo the nature of the story we live in... the story we were created for.
Eldredge discusses the basic plot structure that every great tale more or less follows, and you may be surprised to realize that it is the exact structure of the story of our world.
While this book was intended as a resource for Christian living, I am also going to recommend it as a resource for Christian writing. "Every story we tell is out attempt to put into words and images what God has written there, on our hearts," Eldredge says in the book.
That kind of helps it all make sense, doesn't it? The reason that books like Lewis' The Last Battle or Tolkien's Return of the King can reduce us to tears, the reason heroes like Aragorn and sacrifices like Boromir's have so much power to move us... the reason we writers have this overpowering, unexplainable longing to write a tale of that caliber: a truly epic story that will move people the way these tales move us.
I suspect I'm not the only one who sometimes thinks "Is writing (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.) really what I should be doing with my life? Isn't there some way that I can serve God even more?"
But after reading this book, I don't think you'll wonder that any more. Yes, God may tell you at some point that your time as a writer is over and it is time to move on to something else that He has for you. But until then, just remember: it may be a fictional story you're telling, but dragons, sorcerers, warp drives and all, every epic tale is an echo of the true epic tale we're living in.