Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Names (Legends of Karac Tor, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Book of Names (Legends of Karac Tor, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Names (Legends of Karac Tor #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  281 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A fantasy fiction story for readers of all ages.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 20th 2008 by NavPress
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Book of Names, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Book of Names

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
J.L. Mbewe
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Normally, I wouldn't have picked this book up because I don't like to read a fantasy that starts in our modern day world where you are then whisked away to another, fantastical world. But I did and I am glad I did. The characters felt real, the story is tight, the prose is well-written. I couldn't help but feel a little too much like Narnia in the beginning, but once the story is in motion it flows well and takes on a life of its own. I will be reading the rest in the series.
An entertaining mash up of Middle Earth and Narnia set against a culture drawn from Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Norse and Christian elements with a dash of the Arthur thrown in for fun. It works better than it sounds. Because the story focuses on the young protagonists, the reader is not burdened with more than hanging on for the ride. Briggs is neither a Tolkien nor a Lewis, but he tells a good story.

One of the better transitions from this world to that of fairy. Once there, of course, the boys just w
Jill Williamson
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Review by Jill Williamson

Hayden and Ewan recently moved to rural Missouri. Their mother recently passed away, and they are grieving her loss and the loss of their old home. Hayden has been assigned the job of clearing the briar patch, and Hayden, for fun, has been clearing it by cutting tunnels into it. His brother Ewan offers to help one day. As they are working, four ravens approach carrying something. The birds drop their cargo in the briar patch and vanish. Hayden and Ewan discover four tube
Matthew Sampson
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books. Still as good as ever.
First Look: This looked pretty interesting.  Mainly because I like fantasy and am rather partial to brother-brother stories.  Perhaps because I wrote one myself.

Setting: First off, why does every book character hate moving to the country?  I live in a rural area, and I love it.  I rather like not being hedged in by people on all sides.  But it seems that book characters are only capable of liking to live in the city.  Why does this happen?

Anyway, Karac Tor.  It actually confused me a little.  I
Cecelia English
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good young adult novel. I read this book to see if my daughter would enjoy it. I know she will love it! I immediately purchased the next two in the series. Good for young readers.
I especially appreciate this author & the Christian influences in the mythology. I look forward to convos with my daughter about her thoughts.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really cool!!! I was definitely surprised by this one. I bought it on sale and didn't really have much hope for it, but the story pulled me in immediately. A speculative fantasy read that's well worth the time.
Fred Warren
Mar 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In The Book of Names, by D. Barkley Briggs, two brothers, Hadyn and Ewan Barlow, stumble upon a portal to another world. The land of Karac Tor is in grave danger, and they are destined to play a role in its saving. Identity is everything in Karac Tor. The Book of Names contains the names and deeds of everyone born there. Evil forces want to erase those identities and plunge the land into a nightmare of despair and meaninglessness.

Hadyn and Ewan are reluctant to accept the task thrust upon them,
Anna Dye
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just as you think that our society is too futuristic, author D. Barkley Briggs spins a great tale of today’s life intermingled with fantasy. If you don’t believe that a regular young man like you could end up in a fantastic adventure and transported to another dimension it is because you have not read this book…
It involves two brothers that moved to a country setting after the death of their mother. The young men are the oldest of four boys with a younger set of twins. The oldest of them is Had
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's always such a pleasure to find a new (to me) author who is able to craft compelling stories with rich backgrounds, real characters, and original settings. There is a depth to Mr. Briggs' writing that reminds me a bit of the usual suspects in this genre - Tolkien and Lewis - in that one senses there's much more to the history of Karac Tor than we're getting spelled out on the page. I haven't read the second book yet, so I can't speak for the continuation of the series, but at least in this f ...more
Lori Twichell
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I heard fabulous things about these books before I picked them up. Several highly respected readers/reviewers told me that I would very much enjoy these books. I went into this book with high expectations. Briggs’ story captured my imagination from page one. My sympathy with the boys and their father as they deal with their grief was instant and immediate. Being a lover of fantasy masters like Stephen Lawhead and Piers Anthony I was ready for adventure and I was not disappointed on that score. W ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to mari by: Bostick Communications
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Ewan and Hadyn Barlow have just moved to a farm in Missouri with their twin brothers and father after the death of their mother. While clearing away a briar patch they find a stone arch carved with ancient runes. They discover that the arch is a magical portal to another world, the world of Karak Tor. Here they learn that they have been called to be Champions and save the world from evil and darkness brought by The Devourer and the witch, Nemesia. The boys, on their journey to find a way home, m ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
This book is an awesome beginner for a sure to be awesome series! While reading it, I kinda felt like it was a cross between The Door Within and then Beyond the Reflection's Edge. It's not that they have similar plot twists and stuff, it's just that the style of writing is similar and both have a lot of suspence!

In this story, there are technically four brothers but only two join the adventure this time round (Which means there will be more!!). The two borthers get sucked into another
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review for The Bookshelf Reviews (

An excellent young-adult tale of mystery and fantasy, Briggs writes of brothers Haydn and Ewan Barlow, whose strange discovery of a rune-carved archway on their father's land leads to the entrance into a world of magic and wonder. Once found in the land, Karac Tor, the two are said to be destined for greatness, but only if they can survive the tragedies and battles that befall them while seeking their route back home. If they do liv
K.M. Carroll
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I had a hard time getting into Book of Names. Almost nothing happens in the first few chapters, except everyone whines about their dead mom and too much info is dumped. I didn't like the characters at all until I was halfway through. So much whining.

The other problem was the capitalization. I don't know if this was a Kindle issue only, but at least one sentence in every paragraph starts with a lowercase letter. Also the world name is written karac Tor, which annoyed me to death.

The characters ne
Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book would have been an interesting enough story, had I not lost interest after the first three pages. Any more, if I pick up a fantasy and find it's about a teenager, my interest starts to wane immediately, unless something indicates this teenager is going to be different from every other teenage hero in the fantasy genre. And this teenager certainly showed no promise; grumbling about his life pretty typically and only especially blatantly. And he did nothing later to set him apart from th ...more
Ji Mei
This book is similar to the Chronicles of Narnia, with hints of Lord of the Rings to it. Though it is quite similar, there is enough originality that you let that slide. The writing is simple to understand (no weird Old English references that make you read the sentence 10 times before you understand it), clean, and detailed. There are humorous parts and characters, especially since you have modern teenage boys with their sarcasm. It was shaky at first, but as I read on and read the many riddles ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This young adult fantasy was an very good read. It reminded me of a mixture of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and "The Lord of the Rings" with a Celtic twist. I enjoyed the characters and they seem to be developing well. Since this is the first book in the series, I think the pacing is perfect - getting glimpses of backgrounds of some and still holding mysteries of others.

The storyline was good and used traveling to a different world where there is strife and evil. It contained everythin
Cathrine Bonham
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was a little hard to get into but once the action begins the story will consume you until the last page, beyond that actually because this book is the first in a series.

As with Narnia this book begins with the four Barlow brothers who have just moved from the city into a new house in the country. In their new back yard lies an ancient portal to another world. A world which they have been called to save. If you realy like Fantasies then that is all the information you should need in ord
Mandi Hall
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read in quite a while. I suppose partly because I love a good fantasy, and this is most definitely a good one. There are some stock fantasy beings, like fairies, gnomes, monks with supernatural 'powers,' and very evil supernatural forces that must be stopped before they destroy everything. It doesn't matter if you are familiar with the tales or not: it's a great story. High adventure, drama, but some deeper meanings behind it all. It's one of those tales that ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
While the author appears to have based the characters on himself and his sons and while his love and devotion to those characters is evident from page-one he said forgets the joy of his characters in the desire to culminate the new setting and the grander plot scheme, at which he barely succeeds. His strong characters carry the story forward but it is a trudging book. God for younger readers who will hopefully glean the worthwhile from the zombie-ridden doldrums of Nemesia's island.
Pop culture references galore and more! I'm impressed by how much this book is able to squeeze in.

I wasn't able to finish the entire story, but I liked the message and the adventure. The fantasy setting reminded me a little of a kid friendly version of The Song of Albion series by Stephen Lawhead, another Christian written fantasy. (Those who have read it are probably looking at me like "WUHH?" though.) :P
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Early on, it felt a little derivative, and it seemed like it might end up just being another Narnia copy-off. But it's not! The story gets better and better, and the climactic scene ROCKS. The blending of Celtic and Norse mythology is pretty clever. Ewan and Hadyn seem very real. (Ewan seems to be an extrovert, while Hadyn's an introvert. Their interactions are fun to read.) I'm definitely looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it
The fantasy and adventure were very good but I felt the book was a bit long and I didn't really conect with any other character except the main two. The other side characters all seemed to have similar personalities. But, I think the series can have some more interesting situations and adventures and I think I will be reading the other books.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I give this book 3.5 stars. I am new to the fantasy world and I did enjoy this book but at times I felt lost (I don't know if it was me or the book). I couldn't put the book down last night until I finished it and now I must find the next book in the series so I know what will happen.

I was able to get this book at my local Dollar General store for $3 and it was worth the price.
Irene O'Neill
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this young adult fantasy book. I found myself re-reading sentences occasionally, as they contained rather profound truths.

Unfortunately, too much time passed between the time I started the book and when I was able to get back to it, and I lost some of the flow. I think if I was to re-read it, I would find myself even more enthusiastic about this book and the series.
M.C. Pearson
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
D. Barkley Briggs has penned a rousing fantasy packed full of Norse and Celtic mythology with a hearty dose of Arthurian legend. With a wide range of emotions, he moved me from the sadness of loss to the giddiness of comic relief, all the way to the excitement of heart-pounding tension. Strap on your armor, pull out your sword, and get ready for an adventure.
Walt Reams
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: noone
The story is pretty good, but the writing style did not appeal to me.

* too many pop culture references and too much current generation slang will cause this book to be irrelevant in a few years.

* incomplete and /or poorly structured sentences make this seem like a story outline that was never completed.

I liked the story, but it has too many flaws to keep my attention.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Among the best YA Christian fantasies I've read. More serious than The Door Within but not outright scary. Characters were good, writing was excellent except for the occasional obvious statement ("heaps of bones. Bones of dead things." Really? Never would have guessed.) I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blaggard's Moon (Trophy Chase Trilogy, #0)
  • Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow (Codebearers, #1)
  • The Restorer's Journey (The Sword of Lyric #3)
  • The Wolf of Tebron (The Gates of Heaven, #1)
  • Dragons of the Valley (Valley of the Dragons, #2)
  • Raven's Ladder (The Auralia Thread, #3)
  • Rise of the Dibor (The White Lion Chronicles #1)
  • Failstate
  • The Errant King (Dark Sea Annals, #2)
  • Tears of a Dragon (Dragons in Our Midst, #4)
  • Kestrel's Midnight Song
  • The Bark of the Bog Owl (The Wilderking Trilogy, #1)
  • North! or Be Eaten (The Wingfeather Saga, #2)
"Dean Barkley Briggs has worked in radio, marketing, and new product development. He also pastored for eleven years. After losing his beautiful wife at an early age, Briggs decided an epic fantasy adventure might help his four boys live courageously through their loss. The five books in The Legends of Karac Tor is the result, with Books 1, 2 and 3 releasing Spring and Fall of 2011. Briggs has sinc ...more
More about D. Barkley Briggs...

Other Books in the Series

Legends of Karac Tor (5 books)
  • Corus the Champion (Legends of Karac Tor, #2)
  • The Song of Unmaking (Legends of Karac Tor, #3)
  • The Ravaged Realm
  • The War of Swords (Legends of Karac Tor, #5)
“Hope never stands alone,” he said in a dry, husky voice. “It is born of valor and perseverance. It rides the back of courage.” 1 likes
“We are lost in this world, but we are never lost, because we know who we are!” 0 likes
More quotes…