Monday, 20 August 2007

The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka - Part 1

CSFF Blog Tour: The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka, Day 1

I’m going to approach this review a little differently to others. After reading about a third of the book, my head is already jammed so full of impressions and sensations that I have to stop and write some of them down before I go on. As I write today, I have not read the whole book, so bear in mind that I may be a bit scatterbrained as I survey the churning plot thus far.

Packer, our not-so-intrepid hero, has failed at much in his life. On the other hand, it seems he has also suffered unjustly for obeying his conscience to attack an evil man he was meant to respect. Discarded by the spiritual leaders he longed to join, he applied himself to learning the sword, and now seeks to sneak on board a pirate ship in pursuit of the giant Firefish that could bring prosperity to his peasant village.

By now, there’s been gallantry and humiliation, cruelty and devotion, hatred and miracles for Packer – all in the space of just a few days. All described vividly and precisely, so that it’s almost like sitting in a movie theater – you can see the glint of moonlight on swords and the depths of depravity in the villain’s black eyes, in the same way that a film director orders camera shots to zoom in on particular aspects. And the villain is a woman, by the way, a rather unusual touch.

But the most extraordinary thing about it is that it’s full of the Bible. The kingdom of Nearing Vast is apparently a Christian one, the heroine’s father is a pastor, and Scripture quotes and allusions are found again and again. These people may live in a fantasy world, but their faith is ours, and their Book is just like the one on your own nightstand. And they are doing their best to follow Jesus, just as you and I are doing day by day.

This may seem an unusual combination – and indeed, it is. The story is fully anchored in both the rich fantasy world, and in the utter familiarity of Christian living. But it’s not awkward in the least. It fits. I just read a mind-boggling scene in which Packer, challenged once again to fight for his life in the depths of the pirate ship, considers the parallels between his own situation and that of Adam in the Garden of Eden. I really can’t do it justice by this description, but it is most astonishing. Trust me. And come back tomorrow to see what else I discover as I read on.

Here are the other participants:
Trish Anderson - Brandon Barr - Wayne Thomas Batson - Jim Black - Justin Boyer - Amy Browning - Jackie Castle - Valerie Comer - Karri Compton - Frank Creed - Lisa Cromwell - CSFF Blog Tour - Gene Curtis - D. G. D. Davidson - Janey DeMeo - Merrie Destefano - Jeff Draper - April Erwin - Linda Gilmore - Beth Goddard - Marcus Goodyear - Russell Griffith - Jill Hart - Katie Hart - Sherrie Hibbs - Christopher Hopper - Jason Joyner - Kait - Karen - Dawn King - Tina Kulesa - Lost Genre Guild - Terri Main - Rachel Marks - Karen McSpadden - Rebecca LuElla Miller - Eve Nielsen - John W. Otte - John Ottinger - Robin Parrish - Lyn Perry - Deena Peterson - Rachelle - Cheryl Russel - Chawna Schroeder - Mirtika Schultz - James Somers - Steve Trower - Speculative Faith - Jason Waguespac - Daniel I. Weaver
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