The Vision of the Quest
by Kimberly Cole
Quantum Discovery

"What is this uncanny emotion I cannot shake? I’m about to enter this unfamiliar place which I know nothing of."

This intricate Christian fantasy revolves around a family touched by tragedy. Liana is still reeling from the death of her husband as she searches for a new job and a home for her family. She travels with her daughters, Alicia and Emily, and a teenage boy named Roger, whom Liana’s family took in after his parents abandoned him. When their car mysteriously fails on a dark road, the group has no choice but to shelter in the only place they can find: a beautiful mansion owned by the dashing Sir Bronze Pierce. Liana feels strangely at home in this massive estate, and Bronze is inexplicably drawn to her. When she takes ill the next day, her children begin to suspect that their host hides a darker purpose behind his hospitality.

Left to their own devices while Bronze sees to Liana, Roger, Alicia, and Emily explore the mansion’s grounds and find a portal to another dimension. As they explore the new kingdom they find themselves in, they discover that Bronze is eviler than they could ever have imagined. The only way to help their mother is through the girls’ family heirloom necklaces, keys to enchanted realms. While navigating the fantastic new environments, the children begin a quest to save a dying king. Once healed, this King James will be able to help them rescue their mother. Unbeknownst to the children, Liana receives help from some allies in Bronze’s mansion and enters the same magic world to find them. Once reunited with her family, Liana joins the quest, and they all take part in a battle between the forces of good and evil to reunite the magic kingdoms they are beginning to call home.

Although some additional editing would enhance the readability of the text, the main characters’ faith and perseverance throughout their trials are inspiring and engaging. The adventures in this novel are reminiscent of Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Liana and the children encounter strange creatures and locations, many of which have biblical or mythological parallels. Indeed, literary references abound in the text. The mission to save King James resembles a quest straight out of a Grimm fairy tale, and nearly every scene in Bronze’s mansion recalls traditional Gothic horror. Roger and Alicia develop as characters from everyday modern teens into strong warriors, and Liana’s absolute trust in her God brings many allies to her cause and faith.

The narrative jumps between characters often, with some perspectives offering more intrigue than others. Bronze is unhinged, a “shrewd, devious cobra,” and his grasp for power leads him to dark places. The children meet many unusual characters, including giant moles, people made of water and ice, and a chipmunk with the power to transform into any shape he desires. Liana recognizes parts of the magic kingdom without understanding why and has flashes of memory from a past that she doesn’t remember. Her perspective is the most interesting and hints at more mysteries to come.

The final battle pits Bronze and his menacing creatures against King James, the quest, and the numerous allies Liana and her family have amassed along their travels. The author’s action-packed descriptions of battles stand out as some of the most riveting parts of the book. The stakes of these battles could not be higher: literal forces of heaven and hell come to join in the fight. Lovers of Christian fantasy might find the author’s book fits the bill.

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