Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Lion Vrie: A Review

War still rages in the once pristine land of Dionia. Morgui’s forces of Dairne-Reih have overwhelmed the few who withstood them. Luik and his fellow Dibor are fleeing for their lives, gathering what survivors they can find as they search for refuge. But a new threat has emerged. Now the Dibor and faithful Dionians must fight not only the demonic Dairne-Reih but also men—their once brothers who have chosen to side with the enemy. All seems bleak. But hope is not lost. An ancient sect of warriors, the Lion Vrie, return from the dust of history to help the weakened resistance. Hidden fortresses open their doors to the tattered bands of survivors. The Dibor regroup and prepare to face the enemy again.

The stakes are higher in this sequel to Rise of the Dibor. The effects of the enemy’s presence are seen more fully in poisoned lands and poisoned minds. Faith seems useless—but appearances can be deceiving. The Lion Vrie is a heart-wrenching story of perseverance amidst doubt, of struggles to understand how and why a loving God would allow such horror and pain to descend upon those He claimed to uphold. The answer is not simple nor is it complete—it cannot be for we are only in the second act and have yet to see the conclusion of the story—yet it still offers hope for the hopeless.

Christopher Hopper’s writing improves in this second installment of the White Lion Chronicles. While he still struggles with some homonym errors, they are rare and not as jarring as in the first book. More of the intricate world of Dionia is revealed and we are allowed to revel in its beauty despite the destruction that lurks in the shadows.

My absolute favorite part of The Lion Vrie comes when Luik explains to his fiancée why he would have her not fight in the coming battles despite her own warrior training. Hopper manages to get to the heart of the matter and I admire him for it. Once again, I would recommend this book to older teens and adults who enjoy fantasy with a solid Biblical worldview. But be warned—this story leaves one hanging and longing for the final installment.

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