Like the nine books leading up to it, all part of the same story, “The Silver Trumpet” is a fantasy—part of the history of an imaginary world centered around the country of Obann. You’ll find no politics here: no thinly-veiled allusions to the issues and personalities of this troubled age. No slightly tweaked and easily recognizable quotes from any 21st-century politicians.
What you will find here is history—of people who have only just begun to know the God who created them, and of more people for whom “God” is just an empty name featuring in religious ceremonies performed by rote, for a purpose no longer understood: whose religion is a habit, not a living thing. They live in a world which God is now shaking, changing, overturning—so that those things that cannot be shaken, changed, or overturned can be known and desired and experienced for what they are.
The books are written for young readers, aged twelve and up, but there are plenty of adults reading them, too.
Why write fantasy? The world we live in is on fire—and you’re writing fantasy?
I might reply that everybody likes a good story, especially if it provides relief from the real stories hurled at us daily, hourly, by what we like to call “news.” But that’s only part of the reason.
Fantasy, like poetry, gains access to regions of the heart and mind not so easily accessible to other types of fiction. Don’t ask me how it does that: if you read fantasy, you know what I mean. Young readers are especially fond of fantasy.
We have a need for this; but not all fantasy leads us to places that are good for us to visit. Dystopian fantasies, like “The Hunger Games” and so many others, warn us that the world we’re creating in real life is going to wind up hurting us. In less wholesome kinds of fantasy, moral chaos and sexual anarchy are pitched at children—often by persons and institutions, such as grade schools and local libraries, to whom we, and God knows why we do it, carelessly entrust our children. We go about our business while they subject our children to such things as “the Drag Queen Story Hour.”
Children and adults alike consume prodigious amounts of “entertainment,” never thinking that what they’re doing is a passive but effective form of self-education. Culture is religion externalized, an observation that ought to be very soberly considered. Thoughtlessly gobbling it up, we rarely think twice about pop culture’s effect on our souls.
So there’s another job for fantasy to do—to reclaim cultural ground for Christ’s Kingdom. To take a stand for goodness, honor, decency, sanity, and love. “[W]hatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,” the Bible tells us (Philippians 4:8). As C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others have shown, fantasy can help the reader see those things more clearly. They are in the real world, too, of course: we need to find them there. Fantasy can remind us of what it is we’re looking for.
I have tried to do this with my books.
I have discussed these and other topics throughout the week on my blog, http://leeduigon.com/ . You’ll find plenty of politics there. Stop in and visit. A single click will take you there.
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