Lady's Reviews > The Paradise War

The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead
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's review
Apr 10, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, christian-fiction

Definitely just the first act in a larger story, The Paradise War is good. not great. but definitely good.

I have to admit I didn't love the writing or the description. Even in trying to give words to an astounding world I felt like the description was trying too hard, or I was trying too hard to understand. The language is simple and uninteresting, until in brief moments when his words ring absolutely true and then I liked it a lot!

I didn't like the central character much; he was petulent and hard headed in understanding things. But that was kind of the point. The characters are all so wholly formed you can witness and recognize the shifting within them. The transformation of the characters is interesting precisely because of who they were when the adventure began.

The thing I liked so much were the ideas underneath the whole of the world, more than the things themselves (you might say the Form of the forms), and that those ideas held sway over events and characters and were forces in their own right. I love when Stephen R. Lawhead is describing the Otherworld and the manifest world. When Lewis is learning about fear and kingship and sovereignty, of the power and importance of the bard to the fabric of the land.

I suppose I liked the story and I didn't dislike the way it was told at all. But I certainly didn't love it either, when I could have, I think.

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Quotes Lady Liked

Stephen R. Lawhead
“To friends! Life belongs to those who love, and where love reigns is man truly king!”
Stephen R. Lawhead, The Paradise War

Stephen R. Lawhead
“It is the poor man who clenches so tightly to the gold he is given - for fear of losing it. The man of wealth spends his gold freely to accomplish his will in the world. It is the same with life.'
Suddenly ashamed of my conspicuous poverty, I lowered my eyes. But Scatha placed a hand beneath my chin and raised my head. 'Cling too tightly to your life and you will lose it, my Reluctant Warrior. You must become the master of your life, not its slave.”
Stephen R. Lawhead, The Paradise War

Stephen R. Lawhead
“The Otherworld does not supply the meaning of life. Rather, the Otherworld describes being alive. Life, in all its glory - warts and all, so to speak. The Otherworld provides meaning by example, by exhibition, by illustration if you will. ... Through the Otherworld we learn what it is be be alive, to be human: good and evil, heartbreak and ecstasy, victory and defeat, everything. ... where does one first learn loyalty? Or honor? Or any higher value, for that matter? ... Where does one learn to value the beauty of a forest and to revere it?'
In nature?'
Not at all. This can easily be proven by the fact that so many among us do not revere the forests at all - do not even see them, in fact. You know the people I am talking about. You have seen them and their works in the world. They are the ones who rape the land, who cut down forests and despoil oceans, who oppress the poor and tyrannize the helpless, who live their lives as if nothing lay beyond the horizon of their own limited earth-bound visions. But I digress. The question before us is this: where does one first learn to see a forest as a thing of beauty, to honor it, to hold it dear for its own sake, to recognize its true value as a forest, and not just see it as a source of timber to be exploited, or a barrier to be hacked down in order to make room for a motorway? ... the mere presence of the Otherworld kindles in us the spark of higher consciousness, or imagination. It is the stories and tale and visions of the Otherworld - that magical, enchanted land just beyond the walls of the manifest world - which awaken and expand in human beings the very notion of beauty, of reverence, of love and nobility, and all the higher virtues.”
Stephen R. Lawhead, The Paradise War

Stephen R. Lawhead
“As I understand it, the Celts venerated all sorts of plexus-type things: the seashore, dawn, dusk, the edge of the forest - anything that was neither here nor there, so to speak.”
Stephen R. Lawhead, The Paradise War

Reading Progress

April 10, 2010 – Started Reading
April 10, 2010 – Shelved
April 10, 2010 – Shelved as: fantasy
April 10, 2010 – Shelved as: christian-fiction
April 10, 2010 –
page 256
April 11, 2010 – Finished Reading

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