Rise of the Dibor
The White Lion Chronicles – Book One
by Christopher Hopper
ISBN: 0972548602 (Trade Paperback)
Pub Date: June 2006
Publisher: Tsaba House
Christian fantasy and science fiction is starting to make a niche for itself. Powerful bestsellers are rising fast since the Left Behind Series made its appearance. With the movie version of C.S. Lewis’ immortal The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, more Christian based books are beginning to surface.
Add into the mix a small publishing house and a bright new author by the name of Christopher Hopper you get the feel more Christian allegory is on the way.
The premise of Hopper’s first book, The Rise of the Dibor, ask a simple, yet thought provoking question, “What if Adam and Eve had never sinned? What if mankind knew no wrong? Would we still have an enemy?” Hopper answers that question with an emphatic yes!
There is an ancient evil out there bent on destroying all that is good. It will stop at nothing to see that paradise is turned into sinful chaos. As in all good and evil storylines, good has a champion, or in this case champions. Luik, son of Lair, along with his friends are given a commission by the King of Dionia to stop this evil. With the guidance of a skilled master warrior, Luik and his friends are molded into strong and well versed fighting men. Dark days are approaching and many have to rally to save their world.
Rise of the Dibor is a hard book to get into. Though the Dionian language may prove difficult (the use of footnotes helped) it has some flavor of Tolkienese.
One wonders what happened to the editors on this first edition? Did this get passed over on a lunch break or something? One may expect some editorial mishaps from a small press, but this was very poorly edited. Reliance on the spell-checker is not good enough. The human touch and eye were needed on this. Most of the errors were homophones, the meaning could be deduced by the context, but one would hope that these mistakes will be corrected in later editions. The book layout is very nice and effective. However, a more dramatic cover might have been implored to lure readers to buy.
The writing seemed very weak at the beginning. However, by the middle of the story, it had improved enough to carry the remaining of the book. Several of the characters introduced in the beginning simply fail to show by the end of the book. Anorra is one such character that had a hopeful beginning and became a phantom by the final page. Despite all this, Christopher Hopper weaves a story filled with grand characters and stunning scenes with threads dealing with spiritual warfare, discipleship, and the inevitable need for a savior, all standard elements in popular Christian fiction.
Beyond the weak beginning, this is a good tale and Christopher Hopper has created a world filled with believable and likable characters. Hopefully the next book in the series will be better edited and have a much stronger beginning.–Steven Fivecats, Editor