Feast Your Eyes On “The Last Banquet”

I don’t know about you, but I need to take a break from politics: just a little breather before diving back into the mosh pit. In fact, I don’t even want to mention it today.

Instead, I prefer to announce the publication of my new book, The Last Banquet, the fourth book of my Bell Mountain series (see the little ad on the right-hand margin of this page)—hot off the press, available via amazon.com in either paperback or Kindle.

At least check out the dynamite cover by Kirk DouPonce: here’s a link so you can see it.

If you—or your children, ages 12 and up—like tales of heroes and villains, fantastic animals, exotic locations, miracles, battles, intrigues and treacheries, prophets and barbarians and even more eccentric characters: hey, here they are! And in contradistinction to such fare as “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” “Game of Thrones,” or “Hunger Games,” these books are written from a Biblical perspective: which makes them rather unusual, as fantasy novels go.

The Bell Mountain books are about a nation that has, over a long time, grown deaf to God’s voice; and how God uses certain individuals to re-establish humanity’s relationship with Him. While the great lords and powerful clergymen remain imprisoned in their worldly wisdom, God speaks to children, old men, old women, slaves, and hermits, using the weak things of the world to overthrow things that are mighty.

But don’t be alarmed—it’s not a series of “religious” tracts. It’s adventure and wonder set in an imaginary world.

Yes, it’s also escapist fiction. Who doesn’t want to escape for a little while, these days? This yearning for escape has kept fantasy and science-fiction and thriller and detective-story writers busy since the invention of the printing press. If a visit to the world of Bell Mountain can make you forget about food prices for an hour, what’s the harm in that?

The thing about imaginary worlds is, they’re simpler than the real thing. Because of this simplicity, the writer can use the fantasy world as a model for one or another aspect of reality. He simplifies. He clears things out of the way so he can show his readers other things. I have tried to do this in my books: not as any kind of “teacher,” but because I myself am trying to see clearly.

So two children climb Bell Mountain to try to find and ring the bell that God will hear. A king and prophet dead for 2,000 years speaks again. Great powers rise and fall. The story pushes on and on, through one book, then another—and all without even a fleeting mention of green jobs or reality TV. (If that doesn’t attract you to my books, I don’t know what will.)

In writing social and political commentaries every week, here and elsewhere, I do my level best. Who knows? I might yet stumble upon a line of reasoning that changes someone’s mind. But I’m still waiting to hear from that first person who says, “I was an atheist who marched in pride parades and always voted for the mangiest, most mean-spirited lefty I could find. Now, thanks to your columns, I’m none of those things anymore!” Dream on…

But I can’t help believing that my books are different. I’m not trying to talk you into or out of anything; I’m telling you a story. The story goes where it goes, and I don’t have quite so much say about it as you might think. I ask God in prayer to give me the story He wants me to tell; and by and by, He does. So the story has taken many turns that have surprised me as much as anyone. I often suspect my books are smarter than I am.

I hope I’ve made you interested enough to read them! They’re written in a chronological order, starting with Bell Mountain, followed by The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, The Thunder King, and now The Last Banquet. If you get really fond of them, the good news is, the next two are already written and being edited: The Fugitive Prince and The Palace. But if you’re one of those rare souls who reads a series in no particular order, welcome aboard. No one says you have to read the first book first. Here’s to independent spirits!

Like my readers, I’m waiting to see where the story takes me next.

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