As expected, Graham has written another excellent novel. Shadow in the Deep takes the story of Kirthanin to a whole new level. The excitement and drama continue to build in book three of the Binding of the Blade. As I recall Graham stating on his website, he has two more novels coming to finish this series.
In many ways, I am in awe of the talent being displayed here. The story develops and moves in ways that are increasingly similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth series. Yet, in a more substantial way, Graham writes very much like Lewis in the Narnia chronicles. In Tolkien fashion, the world is complex and the story is epic. Great battles, long journeys, and fantastic characters are staples of Tolkien and of Graham. From the giants and dragons to the great bear and Malekim, fascinating creatures and alliances abound. More than that, the world view of Graham stands out in a myriad of ways. I don’t know how much Graham tries to import his theology into the text, but I suspect that like Lewis, Graham’s theology leaks out onto the page. From images of David and Goliath to Moses and Hur in Exodus 17, throughout each chapter, biblical imagery is infused everywhere you look.
Beyond the Summerland dealt with the sovereignty of God. Ken Collier from The Wilds has said, “There are two choices on the shelf, pleasing God or pleasing self.” Joraiem was faced with this choice – do I do what I want or what Allfather has called me to do? In Bringer of Storms , we are confronted with anger, justice and revenge. Now in Shadow In The Deep, we are confronted with the concept of trusting God regardless of the outcome. As each character walks a path that seems to darken by the day, they must wrestle with themselves and settle the nagging question: Is following Allfather worth it? Despite the difficulty, each character must choose to press on regardless of the outcome and their personal safety or give up and be destroyed.
This isn’t an easy decision. It causes me to think of the prophet Ezekiel whom God sent to rebuke Israel. God told Ezekiel that the people would hate him, that they would try to kill him and that life would be exceedingly difficult. God continued by informing him that very few people would listen to the message that Ezekiel preached. With that kind of commission, it is amazing that Ezekiel obeyed, but obey he did. During the exile of the Israelites, it must have been very difficult to stand true to God for the days were dark. Yet, many Israelites did follow God and they stood true. Moses had a rough life in leading the Israelites, but he led them on despite the attempted coups and the revolts. Graham brings out this strength of character in clear detail in this fascinating and gripping story.
As a side note, Graham’s work and website influenced me to found this site. So, I want to thank L. B. Graham for his impact in my life.