Larkin has reinvented the Christian fairy tale, writing in the style of C. S. Lewis.
Joran is a simple blacksmith in his village of Tebron. He is convinced he sees his wife in a romantic situation with another man and angrily sends her to her parents. In his subsequent dreams he sees his wife imprisoned in a castle above the ocean. Joran soon finds out she never arrived at her hometown and has mysteriously disappeared.
As he sets out to rescue her, Joran comes upon an entrapped wolf. Joran frees the wolf, with whom he can mindspeak, and Ruyah becomes his faithful helper and traveling companion. Through various adventures, Joran learns that only he can free his wife. She is trapped in a prison created by Joran's anger and jealousy. Yet he is in his own prison of despair.
Joran finds out what he must do to free his wife and travels a treacherous journey with Ruyah at his side. He must confront various forces hindering him, from without and within. At one point Joran is in such despair he quits trying and falls into a spiritual prison of lethargy. Only a spiritual battle, initiated by his faithful friend Ruyah, saves him.
As the story progresses, Joran realizes errors he has made and is convinced he is not worthy of forgiveness. Faithful Ruyah continues to encourage Joran, helping him understand what must be completed to free his wife. At the end, in the style of C. S. Lewis, Ruyah is much more than just the wolf of Tebron.
This is a great tale. Joran must find the strength to battle his own inner doubts and emotions as he struggles to free his wife. As the reader approaches the end of the story its allegorical nature is revealed. The ending is so satisfying it would make the book worth reading on its own. The whole story is well written, however, and well crafted. This is a very rewarding read. I recommend it for teens and adults who love a good fairy tale (with a happy ending).
Living Ink Books provided me with a copy of this book for review.
You can order this book from ChristianBook.com: http://www.christianbook.com/wolf-tebron-book-gates-heaven-series/c-s-lakin/9780899578880/pd/578880?item_code=WW&netp_id=800671&event=ESRCN&view=details
Author's website: http://www.cslakin.com/
Author's blog: http://cslakin.blogspot.com/
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