Wednesday, March 24, 2010
CSFF Blog Tour: Faery Rebels Day Three
So today, we're concluding our tour on R. J. Anderson's Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter. And I almost asked what's becoming my stock question about this book, a question that I've asked in many of these tours before. Is this book even Christian?
Pardon me while I go put on my asbestos undies. In the past, when I've asked this question, I tend to stir up a bit of trouble. But I couldn't help but wonder that as I read this book.
On the one hand, I'd be tempted to say, "No, not really." After all, this is a mass market book. The only time a human mentions God is in the book's dedication (an oblique reference, to be sure) and in the acknowledgments. In other words, it's not the characters, it's the author!
In the Oak, the faeries are constantly invoking an individual that they call the "Great Gardener." While their belief in this Gardener is never explicitly explained, I got the feeling that the Gardener is their title for God. It certainly evokes such stories as Genesis 2-3 or Isaiah 5 or Matthew 21:33-46.
But while the title may evoke such Biblical stories, that's all it does. One could also argue that given the preponderance of magic in the story, with its usual division into light and dark magic, that the Gardener is a little-g god rather than the big-G God. The Gardener could even be their title for some impersonal force of nature (although that might be stretching it a little).
With those thoughts in mind, I was ready to ask my usual question and then duck. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe there is a somewhat Christian message in this book and it all focuses around the Sundering.
Oh, before I go on, I think Godzilla had better make an appearance. Hang on . . .
Now that that's out of the way, I'll continue.
The faeries of the Oak are in a bad way. They've been cut off from the magic and they're becoming more and more selfish and self-centered, shallow and petty. Faery society is all about bargaining and debts. Knife is completely confused when she first observes human beings because they're so open with each other and willing to help. By the end of the book, we learn why this is so (and don't worry, in spite of the sign, I'm not going to go into great detail). As I considered this and my "usual question," I realized that this book has a lot to say about our Sundering, our separation from God.
Just like the faeries of the Oak, we human beings have been cut off from our "magic," from the supernatural, from God. It's a condition that's existed since the Fall and our Sundering has a similar effect on us, similar to the one the Faeries face. Love for God and love for our fellow human beings goes hand in hand. If there's problems with one, we're going to naturally have problems with the other.
That seems to ultimately be the problem with the faeries. Their lack of community feeds the Sundering; the Sundering increases their distance from each other. It's a self-destructive circle that ultimately has no end and must be fixed from the outside. It's not something that the faeries can fix for themselves.
Wow. Where have I heard that before?
Now maybe this is just me rambling and I'm reading too much into things. That's certainly happened before. Oh well. Go and see what the rest of the tourists have to say:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul