Downwind of Thunder
by Chuck Rizer
Trafford Publishing

"Thunder entered his body as meshiyho coursed through his veins and muscles. His bones, once strewn about the lair, now danced with a newfound power."

It was on top of the monkey bars where Henry made his stand. Unfortunately, the members of Lester's gang were unimpressed. Nor were they impressed with Henry's friend, Ralph, whom they began to pummel after he stood up to them. Forgetting fear and filled with rage, Henry attempted to leap off the bars to the rescue, only to get his feet tangled up. As his head crashed into the unyielding metal he fell into unconsciousness, and, uncannily, into another world and body.

In a rousing fantasy novel that evokes comparisons to Brian Jacques' Redwall and C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, Rizer spins a tale of mice-like creatures known as Meeka who find a deliverer from their slavery to the toad-like Mogawfs in Henry, a boy who has become a Meeka like them. Their hero, however, has little confidence in himself, having been the victim of bullies like Lester, the biggest second-grader in his school. But having been summoned to this reality by the Lord of Lights for this purpose, and having experienced the glory of his presence firsthand, Henry rises to his calling to lead his "people" back to the forest they once ruled.

Rizer, a dedicated Christian and former Army Chaplain, takes the allegorical novel to a level rarely seen since John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. And in scope it stands practically alone, combining everything from the Exodus story of the Bible's Old Testament to the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament. Although not as heavy-handed as Bunyan was with labeling his characters and locations, the author does toss in a few descriptive terms now and then, such as naming one of the enemy species "Wantons." Fans of Christian fantasy, and allegory in particular, will not want to miss this entertaining and inspirational novel.

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