Thanks for dropping by my stop for the There Comes a Prophet blog tour! You can follow the tour here.
Title: There Comes a Prophet
Author: David Litwack
Release Date: July 9th 2012
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Source: finished copy for blog tour
Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?
A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.
Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all.
If he reveals the truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:
“If there comes among you a prophet saying ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light.”
There Comes a Prophet is a true example of a book that builds. Characters and concepts—like how the vicars came to power—weren't introduced well, making it confusing and slightly boring at first. The world-building was excellent from the get-go, but although hints that concerned the "darkness" long past indicated that the story was post-apocalyptic/dystopian, it wasn't clear enough for me to be sure.
But soon, the mystery kicked in, upping the ante and everything else about this book. The search for the keep was a thrilling ride, with the three main characters going through ups and downs as they searched for the keepers and the clues that they, well, kept with them.
The characters I've mentioned were adventures themselves. Three best friends since birth: Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas. They were very different from each other, and I had to wonder how they even became friends in the first place. To make this easier for you, my dear reader, to understand, I'll say that they're comparable to J.K. Rowling's Golden Trio: Harry, Hermione, and Ron, in that order. Like I said, how their friendship had formed wasn't established, but along the way, I still felt its genuineness. Theirs was a path that brought about trials and divisions in their beliefs, but that only added to the feeling of their real-ness, especially when their flaws came out.
Aside from the truly unique concept of an apocalypse brought about by religion, what made this book memorable was the lyrical and imaginative yet crystal-clear writing. Add to that a handful of thought-provoking quote-ables, high stakes, plus a realistic and satisfying ending, and I have nothing to do but recommend this book to everyone.
MY FAVORITE PART was the trio's summer at the keep. It reminded me of just how much knowledge we're taking for granted.
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. There Comes a Prophet is his first novel in this new stage of life.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.