by Lee Duigon

We’re still locked down, we’re being told “the masks are here to stay,” and this past weekend we had coast-to-coast riots. The Left snapped up the murder of George Floyd as if it were a gift-wrapped birthday present with their name on it.

Didn’t take long to bring this country to its knees, did it? Of course, certain people did work very hard to make it happen.

So what am I doing, publishing a fantasy novel at a time like this? A fantasy novel? You’ve got to be kidding.

“His Mercy Endureth Forever” is Book No. 12 of my “Bell Mountain” series, and it’s about… well, mercy. The mercy that everybody needs, which God holds out to those who seek Him—and even to those who don’t. Some receive mercy, but others turn away from it.

“Mercy” continues the story begun in the first book, “Bell Mountain,” when Jack and Ellayne climbed the mountain and rang the bell placed on its cloud-hidden summit two thousand years before. “Mercy” is now available from amazon.com in Kindle format, along with its eleven predecessors. If you wait a little while, it’ll be in paperback, too.

But how can this possibly be a time for fantasy?

Obviously there were none of this past week’s mischiefs going on while I wrote the book. Our nation’s economy was flying high. We were working our way out of old wars without blundering into any new ones. What could go wrong?

Well, by now we all know what went wrong.

I like to say my books are guaranteed to be 100% free of current politics. Even liberals have been able to enjoy them. The characters who inhabit my fantasy world have their own politics to keep them busy, and I’m careful not to let any of ours seep in.

My characters live in a civilization poised between revival and destruction. They have heroes and villains, wise men and fools, great leaders who fail them and children, old women, slaves and ex-slaves, converted Heathen warriors, and reformed criminals who step into the breach and by the grace of God save their country—only to have to do it again. A slave boy has become their king, a former traitor heads their church, and a man who ran their capitol city’s gambling racket is now among their heads of government. They are all doing the best they can.

I have excluded “magic” and sorcery as ways to get things done. The heroes in this fantasy have no wizards they can call on to help them out of jams. They have to rely on faith, courage, and self-sacrifice, even as we do when the chips are down. Ultimately the dangers, the conflicts, and the issues that confront them are the same ones that have always confronted us. And that’s not fantasy.

So I’ve dispensed with wizards, know-it-all elves, invincible male and female warriors, and all those other clichés that burden so much of fantasy and make it tiresome. No buxom tavern wenches here: just ordinary men and women, boys and girls, who face extraordinary challenges. If that’s your cup of tea, drink up.

We can read or watch the nooze any time we please—although I’m not so sure it does much for us anymore. Does it actually “inform” us—in the sense of providing us with reliable, accurate information we can use to guide us toward a sane and responsible public policy? Or is it only meant to inflame us, and keep us waiting uneasily for another shoe to drop?

Fantasy can do much to keep us focused on what’s real, which it does by inviting us to view reality from a new and mostly symbolic vantage point—

And I’ve just seen a beautiful deer trot across my yard while I was writing this.

I think I’ll take it as a sign.

I’ve discussed these and other topics throughout the week on my blog, http://leeduigon.com/ . Stop in for a visit; a single click will take you there. My articles can also be found at www.chalcedon.edu/ .

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E-Mail Lee Duigon: leeduigon@verizon.net

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