The third book by L.B. Graham, a Christian and Covenant Seminary grad, is probably one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. Shadow in the Deep picks up where Bringer of Storms left off after the destruction of Col Marena by Malek’s followers. The prophet Valzaan is dead, and Benjiah must take his place. Aljeron must lead the people of Werthanin to safety across the sea to Cimaris Rul while the Bringer of Storms continues to use his powers to manifest rain across over Kirthanin.
But this is not what makes this book particularly wonderful. It is a book that has little new happening and more provides a preparation for the next book in the series. It truly is a middle book in a larger series — a good book, but not as exciting as the first or last book. Due to its place in the series, there are very few solutions to problems, only the continuation of those found previously and the addition of a few more.
What makes this book so wonderful is the author’s ability to just kill main characters in the must mundane of situations. Most fantasy authors become so attached to their characters, or believe that the reader does, that he/ she is entirely unwilling to kill most named characters. Not so, Mr. Graham. He will kill off important characters if the situation calls for it, and never bend over backwards to create impossible heroics in order to save the life of his characters. No healing measures or magic, no frantic life-saving techniques. If a character is cut deeply in the chest, he dies from it. It is a simple as that.
It is too bad that Mr. Graham writes for a Christian publishing company because that will probably keep his subtlely written testimony out of the mainstream fantasy section of your local bookstore. But perhaps I am wrong — Stephen Lawhead found his way into B&N, so perhaps Graham will too. Let us hope so.
FanLit thanks John Ottinger III from Grasping for the Wind for contributing this guest review.