THE ESSENCES: a vibrant, epic retelling of the War in Heaven

Posted: December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

When writing religious fiction, one of the traps that one has to know how to avoid is preachiness. Fiction can, of course, be deeply enrooted in Truth, but it doesn’t have to become an excuse for blind dogmatism. Tolkien understood it. Lewis understood it.  And, thankfully, the young and enthusiastic author Daniel A. Reyes understood it loud and clear as well.  His epic novel, THE ESSENCES(the copy of which I’m super-grateful to him for), is one of the most gripping Christian fiction works I have ever read.

The story of the fall of Satan has known its fair share of retellings over the years. At some point, one could probably have wondered: “Do we really need another one?”

Well, my friends, let me tell you, if it’s this one, the answer is a loud, resounding YES.

The book is narrated from the point of view of Uriel, a lesser angel, disciple of Archangel Michael, a noble, valiant warrior who speaks in Shakespearean tones.  The four Archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Satan, later called Lucifer for the reason of time having a different nature in Heaven have four weapons, known as Essences, items of great power which must be kept together at all costs in order to maintain a balance in Heaven…a balance which is threatened when Satan becomes lustful for ultimate power. And we all know how that ends, don’t we?

This is the reason why I believe this book is to be cherished. It takes a story that we all think we have at least a measure of knowledge about and manages to tell it in a completely fresh and exciting manner.  The relationships between the Archangels and their Essences, the connections they have with the elements of nature, the very distinct personalities they have(while Michael speaks in the aforementioned tones that would’ve been spot on in the time of Shakespeare, Raphael thunders in Latin, and there’s a Bookkeeping angel who speaks in rhymes as well), this all makes for exciting reading. I could see this as a blockbuster movie, and it would be a much needed one for our times, where a declaration of faith is more often than not scoffed upon.  I have to say that this is the first book set long, long ago where the use of anachronistic language did not jar me at all. Oh, and the descent into evil that Satan experiences is so, so, so well done. The reader gets a sense of graduality that reaches a very, very intense boiling point. You’ll never look at the fall of Satan the same way again after reading this one.  It’s an epic adventure, filled with warmth, courage, sacrifice, humor, like a big, throbbing heart that overflows with life. It’s a powerful meditation about the unpredictable nature of time, a cautionary tale of what power can do, but also a beautiful and timely reminder of the existence of an ever-loving God. And it will enrich you spiritually while also providing wholesome entertainment.  I’m a richer human being for having experienced this book. A solid five-star read which puts a new, rich spin on tradition while keeping the core intact.

Though the author was graceful and kind enough to provide me with a copy of his work, the views herein are my own, and I’m proud to state so. Thank you, Mr Reyes. Fantastic job.

 

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