Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book Review: Arrow by R.J. Anderson

Purchase HERE

Title: Arrow

Author: R.J. Anderson

Series: Faery Rebels #3

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Audience: Teen

**3 stars**

A nice conclusion to the Faery Rebels series by R.J. Anderson! I perhaps didn't enjoy Arrow as much as the first two books ... I know Knife was definitely my favorite.

Arrow had more magic than Book 1 at least. It made me a bit uncomfortable; not sure what to think. There are some good and poignant sort of allegories and themes to this book, but I still wasn't sure about some elements. Hmm. It's hard to know. There was some seemingly unresolved issues of revenge/bitterness too.

I don't think these books are Christian, but there is the 'Great Gardener' who could almost be a being who represents God. I don't know. And there's a white 'naming stone', which is strikingly similar to a white stone mentioned in Revelation. It's kind of funny; I'm not sure if the author was at all trying for that comparison, but I was reading Revelation, Chapter 2, and it was speaking about a stone that reminded me so much of the one in this book! *grin*

Anyway. A sweet, clean, and subtle romance. That was pleasant. And cute, <3

We interact with characters from the other books, such as Paul, Peri (Knife), Linden, Rob, Timothy, and others. And we have a new character (or at least I don't remember her from before): Rosemari, who belongs to a peaceful faery group, secluded from the rest. We continue the battle against the evil Jasmine, who's determined to take every faery captive by stealing their true names.

I usually really enjoy novels about faeries. And I did enjoy this one! Some of the magic just bothered me a bit. It was interesting and kept me reading ... and I may have to pick up Swift and Nomad sometime! *smiles*


  1. The allusion to Revelation 2 is absolutely deliberate, and the Great Gardener being the same as the God of the Bible is made explicit in Timothy and Linden's conversation early in REBEL. I also intended to suggest, by the few things we learn about him from Garan in that book and the way that Rhosmari prays to him in this one, that Rhys is a Christ-like figure to the faeries of the Green Isles.

    I wish I knew what makes Christian readers decide whether a book is "Christian enough" or not. I feel sometimes like there is an unwritten code somewhere for what is and isn't supposed to be present in Christian books and nobody bothered to give me a copy -- especially since all the Christian fantasy authors I grew up reading and who touched my heart most deeply, seem to fall very far short of the current standards of "Proper Christian Fantasy" as well. I'm still sad over hearing one Christian reader say that he saw nothing spiritual about George MacDonald's Curdie books -- that was absolutely shocking to me, as the spiritual truths in those stories seem to me so rich and clear. Has it really come to the point that nothing short of a blatant allegory of the death and resurrection of Christ, or a single obvious moment of repentance and conversion, seems Christian enough to us?

    I'm not saying any of this to criticize your review, which I know wasn't written for me but for other readers, and which is very kind and lovely in many ways. I appreciate your honesty about the things you didn't enjoy as much as well -- honest reviews are important. I'm just wondering out loud here, because I've been confused by the whole "Christian-Fiction vs. Not-Christian Fiction" thing for a long time.

    1. Hi! Thanks for commenting! I appreciate you pointing out that you did intend to have an allegory. I thought so, ever since reading the first book, but just wasn't sure. The Revelation naming stone part was cool, :)

      Sorry about that. I was just kind of saying I don't think your books are directly written to a Christian audience. Though Christians can obviously read them and enjoy them as well! And see the allegories woven throughout, :)

      I don't know ... There are a lot of wonderful Christian allegories out there; some subtle, some very clear. Your ideas were neat. I especially loved Knife for some reason or another.

      For me, a book is Christian when it lines up with what the Bible says. But even so, I might say in some reviews for books that I think might be written by a Christian author (like yours), that I don't think it's a "Christian book" because I don't really feel like you're targeting directly a Christian audience. Not that I think you're doing something wrong, or your book isn't Christian enough!

      It just wasn't a blatant Christian allegory, so I wasn't sure. But cool faery stories! ^_^

    2. Ah, I see. That makes sense, and you're quite right -- I write for the general market from a Christian worldview, rather than trying to tailor my books specifically to the Christian market (which has quite different desires and expectations). I also know there are a lot of Christian kids who read general market fantasy almost exclusively, and I write to encourage and refresh them too. Thanks for the kind explanation. :)

    3. Yep; that's what I figured! :) Wonderful! Keep doing what God's calling you to do! ^_^ You're welcome! I hope to read your next two faery books!