I can still remember being a young child and having my mother read Grimm’s Fairy Tales to me from a thin but oversized volume with a green cover. I still have the book, and am embarrassed to see that I also used it as a coloring book. But except for the Lord of the Rings novels (read first on college) and the Chronicles of Narnia (read first when my oldest was six), Grimm’s Fairy Tales were my only exposure to the genre of fantasy.
For some months now, I’ve been reading C.S. Lakin’s “Gates of Heaven” series – The Wolf of Tebron, The Map Across Time and The Land of Darkness. Officially they fall into the fantasy genre, but Lakin calls them fairy tales. I’m inclined to agree with her.
Fantasy is not the kind of fiction I usually read, but it is one, thanks to Lakin and Ian Thomas Curtis's The Canticles of Andurun: Dragonsong, that I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy. The sheer creativity of inventing an entire new world of characters, culture, geography and history is impressive, particularly when it’s done well. Lakin does it well. What I find particularly engaging in her novels is how she weaves the story of faith into the narrative in such a way as to make this new world familiar. And I’ve become a fan.
To introduce others to the “Gates of Heaven” novels, we’re doing a giveaway of an autographed copy of The Land of Darkness. The three novels are not consecutive; they can be read independently or in any order. They share geography, culture and history, but they are actually stand-alone novels as well.
To participate in the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment here with the title of your favorite fairy tale. That’s it. I like the “pull a number from a hat” approach and what I do is number the comments, place individual numbered slips of paper in a hat, and pull one out – about as random as you can get. But I think it will be fun to see what fairy tales people might cite.
To be eligible for the giveaway, leave your comment here by Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Central time. I’ll pull the number from a hat and announce the winner here.
Even if you don’t win, I think you’ll find the entire series of the “Gates of Heaven” rewarding reading. I’m looking forward to the final two novels when they’re published in 2012.
My review of The Wolf of Tebron.
My review of The Map Across Time.
My review of The Land of Darkness.