Book: The Rhise of Light
Author: Max Sternberg
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Description: This is not your typical Christian Fiction story…
The entirety of living civilization stands on the very brink of death. Undead hordes have rampaged across the world. Determined to do his part, Leon Rhise left his wealthy father’s estate and chose to defend the last living kingdom by joining the military. It had seemed to be a good idea at the time.
After his career in the airship navy came to an abrupt end Leon arrived home, hoping for a warm reception. Instead, he was abruptly tossed out. Disowned, unemployed, and friendless. All hope seems lost. Then Leon discovers a mysterious relic, which opens up the possibility of him becoming a Judge: a hero of legend. One that has not been seen for centuries.
As Leon travels the road less taken his destiny converges with newfound companions, each one surrounded by mystery. Advised by strange beings in dreams and visions, Leon learns that the undead onslaught the world has suffered is part of a much larger problem. A solution can be found by learning about the forgotten being known as Adonai. But the world is ending, and time is running out.
Delve into a world that brings a unique twist and interpretation to faith-based high fantasy. With emotional highs and lows, certain peril, dysfunction, and humor; tough questions are asked, and answers will come to light.
Let me get this out of the way first: I don’t read fantasy, Christian or not. I just don’t do it. But I’d met the author of this book in an online writing group, and he seemed nice so I thought I should read it to support him. I dragged my feet on it. I did. I cannot lie. I was like a little child. I folded my arms across my chest, slouched down on the couch and pulled my hood down over my face.
I pushed my lower lip out. “I don’t like fantasy books. All those ridiculous names and magic and sword battles with fantastical creatures.”
I huffed out a breath and grabbed my Kindle. “Fine. I’ll try it, but only because Max is a nice guy.”
Now, after reading The Rhise of Light, I can’t say that I will keep reading fantasy, but I can say I will read more fantasy written by Max Sternberg.
The Rhise of Light is not only full of well-written prose and dialogue and good, smart fun. It is also deeply theological, thought-provoking, and spiritually moving.
I fell in love with the main characters, Leon, Miala, Duame, and Kelleren but then there were even more characters to fall in love with as the book went on.
Creative well-developed characters and his descriptions make you feel like you are right there and all the characters are alive and real – whether they are human, elf, dwarf, dog, or an undead zombie.
Sternberg paints a vivid image of the world Leon and his friends live in, so vivid that sometimes it is a bit scary, considering that when people die they immediately become undead zombies who want to kill everyone else, no matter how nice they were in life or how they died. The only way to kill them for good is to dispatch them a second time and often in a grisly way.
Sternberg doesn’t pull any punches in fight scenes, but he also isn’t overly graphic. He weaves humor in the midst of heavy and serious and touching in the midst of heartbreaking.
Perhaps you’re not a fan of fantasy either. Don’t overlook this one because of your preconceived notions. You might just be as surprised and as enchanted as I was with Sternberg’s debut novel.