Storm & Spire (Book Review)

  • Author: Stefanie Lozinski
  • Available Now
  • Synopsis: It’s Wes’ job to deliver the seasonal tribute to the draconei, or dragon gods. Celesyria, a dragon with a penchant for history, overturns his calling with some unexpected information.
  • Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author. Opinions expressed are my own.

Scripture Connection

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

1 Chron. 16:26

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Rom. 1:22-23

Spiritual Themes

Storm & Spire is an overtly-Christian novel, with spiritual themes at its core. The central conflict revolves around idol-worship– and the search for truth in an idolatrous society. Wes’ foundation is shaken when Celesyria suggests that everything he has been taught about the gods is wrong. Throughout the book, much of the conflict springs from Wes’ reaction to these new ideas. He grapples with whether or not to forsake the gods of his youth and place his faith in an “unknown God” (Acts 17:23)

I don’t know if this was the author’s intention, but I also found myself thinking about Josiah, the youngest king of Judah, as I read. Although Wes is not in a king, nor is he in any position to be king, I felt that there was a parallel in that Wes is in the position to help draw his people back to God.

What I Liked

The writing was solid and it was refreshing to read a book for teens with spiritual themes at its core!

I liked that the plot was fairly straightforward. Fantasy, I think, can run the risk of going off-course, in the sense of including interesting plotpoints that don’t have an obvious, direct connection to the overall narrative. I feel that, overall, it was pretty clear how the events tied together and drove the story forward.

Although she was a minor character, I liked reading about Kessara. She’s graceful, wise and resilient, and I’m interested to see what will happen to her, next. I also liked Wes. I appreciate the the novel’s protagonist is an unconventional hero who is on the pudgy side and– even apart from his weight– not particularly good-looking. Plus, Wes had some strong moments of discovery and development. a

As far as dragons go, I liked Celesyria, as far as dragons go. It was neat to read Lozinski’s anthropomorphism of this character– one coud almost forget, at points, that she was a dragon. Dragons are not my favorite book characters, generally, but I appreciated Celesyria’s depth, as a character.

I felt that the worldbuilding was solid. From my persepective as a reader, it seemed like the author knows her way around her fantasy world: its geography, ordinances, political allegiances and theology.

There’s a clear parallel between the Bible and the Codex Veritatis, in the story. I liked that the Scriptures were portrayed in a somewhat mysterious way, with different characters drawing different conclusions about the book, without ever reading it. Portrayal of this document felt true to life, to me.

There were some insightful moments that I bookmarked, because they were powerful. For instance, there was one passage about how fear feeds religion. I found this passage particularly interesting, and I know from personal experience that fear-driven faith can be a hallmark, even in the lives of professing Christians. It is something the Lord is delivering me from.

Small note, but there was a HILARIOUS phrase used to describe potentially questionable romantic activities (which didn’t occur): premarital…amorous congress.” I thought that was such a funny euphemism!

Content Notes

Overall, this was a very wholesome book!

MINOR SPOILER WITH CONTENT

There’s one scene involving a male and female character switching clothes. However, their backs are turned, it’s in dire circumstances, and it’s evident that the author is not promoting cross-dressing, as a practice.

Recommendation Status

It is so refreshing to read books that are positive alternatives to the many, wicked mainstream options. This is a book that does NOT contain magic. There’s a very, very slight suggestion of possible romance in future books, but nothing vulgar.

Recommended for YA readers who enjoy fantasy. Based on my reading of The Hobbit, I think fans of Lord of the Rings would like this book. And I’m so happy to recommend it on the basis of its spiritual content 🙂

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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