As a parent and a reader that loves stories filled with magic and adventure, Emberoks is a very satisfying read, without sacrificing its greater message. If you or your young reader are looking for a book that touches the world of magic and fantasy while positively addressing spiritual matters, this is a must-read. Although this book is light enough for your kids to enjoy, the deeper message and coming-of-age adventure will appeal to anyone that loves a good story. The fantasy-filled novel is set in today’s age, but harkens back to the woodland tales spun by literary giants Tolkien and Lewis—stories that acknowledge the great mysteries in this world while pointing back to the Creator.
An innocent camping adventure turns into an epic journey to save his little brother and sister, and young Kristofer experiences a world he’s previously only heard about in stories. With a little “magic” and some help from the mysterious guardians of the woods, Kristofer battles darkness and learns what it means to be man.
I had the privilege of talking with the author, Andrew Duncan, about his debut novel. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What sparked the story Emberoks?
A: My sister had done a number of clay sculptures of these creatures that loved crystals. At a fair where she was selling these I told her she needed a book like “Gnomes,” which was popular at the time, and told her I would write her a children’s picture book about her sculptures. It turned into Emberoks.
Q: Do the characters represent people in your life?
A: Not really. I used all my children’s and my sister’s children’s names for characters.
Q: How did your children react to being “characters” in a story?
A: I think it definitely made them more involved in listening to the story to see how the character with their name fared.
Q: How did your experience/faith shape this story? What message do you hope to communicate?
A: Basically my message is that growing up is about learning to truly love which means a willingness to sacrifice your comfort, your wants, your grievances, your fears, and, if necessary, your life for others. Jesus is the preeminent example of the sacrificial love and forgiveness necessary to truly love.
Q: What type of books do you like to read/what books or authors do you consider major influences?
A: C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald are probably the greatest influences on my thinking. Tolkien is also pretty major and L’Engle had some influence. Current writers that I enjoy are Orson Scott Card, especially the Ender’s and Ender’s Shadow series, and Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever Series. Peretti is also always interesting and fun.
Q: What was the last book you couldn’t put down?
A: I am just starting the last 4 books of Donaldson’s series mentioned above. The most recent nonfiction books I am enjoying are Discovering Biblical Equality and What Paul Really Said About Women.
Q: What kinds of stories are you drawn to?
A: A good fantasy, sci-fi, or alternate reality story. One that takes you out of this world (though not too far) seems to give fresh eyes on the real world and a way of examining the things in our everyday lives from unique and revealing vantage points.
Q: What is your next project?
A: I have three projects brewing. One is a children’s story that my Mom wrote but never polished or finished for publication. Another is about an everyman on an unusual mission behind enemy lines. And I have begun to get ideas for a sequel and a prequel to Emberoks, one involving a young girl finding out what true beauty and true womanhood are and another concerning Jasmer’s story hinted at in Emberoks.
Find Emberoks for sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lulu.com, and the iTunes Bookstore. To read the first half of the book for free, check out www.Emberoks.com.
This interview was done by Melissa McDonald