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Book Review of The Sword Bearer by John White

Published June 2, 2016 by nruhwald



“It was John’s birthday. He would be thirteen. And what’s more, it was on this day that his grandmother would tell him the mystery of his locket . . . And of his parents. But it was not to be. Before he could find out, he was magically transported to the land of Anthropos where he was startled to be hailed as the Sword Bearer, the slayer of the Goblin Prince. Here, in the imaginative story of the early history of Anthropos, John White captures the excitement and wonder of another world.”


John White’s The Sword Bearer features a Bristish-grandfatherly narrative voice, and a magical adventure undertaken by a realistically imperfect child protagonist. Much like another well-known British author of fantasy children’s books we all know and love. Granted, John White is not C. S. Lewis, but who is?

I enjoyed The Sword Bearer because it provides interesting characters and dramatic adventure. And I’m always looking for biblically-sound Harry Potter alternatives. The Sword Bearer is both entertaining and spiritually meaningful.

I just wish that Anthropos, John White’s fantasy world, seemed a little more convincing. The world of Anthropos seems to solely consist of what is being portrayed in the novel and nothing more. If this was a movie, the audience might have a nagging awareness that what they are watching is a movie set.

The protagonist, John, in his imperfection strayed into un-likability for me a time or two. Fortunately, my interest in other characters kept me reading until John got himself sorted out, but generally I prefer to be able to root for the main character throughout the story.

Beyond that, The Sword Bearer is a wholesomely entertaining read, perfect for those of us who have reread The Chronicles of Narnia a dozen times and are looking for something a little different.


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