First time for 2011! May the King of All Monsters continue to warn those who visit my little corner of cyberspace of impending spoilers!
Ahem. Sorry, I guess I got carried away there for a moment.
The first time Lakin really made me wonder what she was trying to say was when Joran visited the Sun's palace. The Sun's mother, Sola, discusses what keeps her child burning, namely human wickedness. At first, I thought that was clever and perfectly in keeping with the fairy tale nature of the story.
But then Sola said this:
The ironic thing is . . . the Sun will not speak to the sons of men because of his anger, yet his anger is what keeps them alive, for if he ever stopped burning, that would be the end of man. So another balance is required. Men must keep doing evil to keep the Sun burning. You could conclude, then, that maybe wickedness has a place in this world, and in another sense, is its very foundation.So is Lakin implying that wickedness (or sin, to call it by another name) is a necessary part of this world? That it must exist to keep things in balance? Sola said that one could conclude that but this statement is never challenged by anyone. And it left me a bit uncomfortable because while sin might be foundational to a fallen world, I would strenuously object to the idea of sin being somehow necessary to God's creation.
Now if that was all that I found that worried me in this book, I would never have brought it up. But then there's the ultimate fate of Ruyah the "wolf."
In the end of the book, Ruyah turns out to be Joran's birthfather, one who sacrifices himself so Joran and Charris can be saved. This act allows him to claim the sunstone to defeat the all-consuming darkness that took his wife.
At times, Lakin paints the wizard as an immortal being of great power. Other times, he sounds almost human. By the time the book was done, I got the distinct impression that the wizard was a powerful human being, a long-lived one, whose sacrificial act somehow elevated him to a status worthy enough to claim and use the sunstone.
And that caused all sorts of alarm bells to go off in the theological centers of my brain. If I am correct that the wizard/Ruyah is supposed to be a sort of Christ-figure (and heaven knows that I've been wrong about such things before), then this portrayal drifts entirely too close to adoptionism for me to be comfortable.
Now maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills. Like I said, I've done that before, most notably with Donita K. Paul's Paladin character and Auralia in Jeffrey Overstreet's books. But as I've said before, we, as Christian authors, have to be careful when we create characters who could be mistaken for allegories for Christ. People might make some assumptions about what we're trying to say about the Real Deal, and that could be problematic.
So what do you all think? Am I overreacting yet again? Maybe some of my fellow tourists will have a different opinion. Well, there's only one way to find out:
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