Nov 08

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Lia London’s The Circle of Law: Wisdom, Wonder, and Wowsers

Lia London’s The Circle of Law is the second indie-published book I’ve read because I enjoyed another work by that author. Magian High is plain fun, a light and fluffy sort of literary dessert, which, like parfait, everyone should love.  The Circle of Law, however, is something entirely different: more serious, darker, and bigger in scope.  Everything tallied, I do believe I like it better because of the meat.

The Circle of LawThe story takes place in a fantasy realm where certain people, the Ancients, or Governors, are selected by fate to assume control over one of several natural forces: the wind, the earth, the water, life, and death, to name a few.  It is not an easy calling.  Can you imagine being responsible for seeing that it rained when it was supposed to and where it was supposed to?  Woven throughout the narrative is The Law, a collection of valuable precepts.  These laws are not ones that have to be obeyed.  Everyone is free to follow them or not.  No, they are more fundamental laws, statements of how the spiritual universe works, and with the choice of obeying or not obeying them necessarily come the consequences of that choice.

They are laws like, “Pride leads to ignorance, humility to knowledge,” “Serving others serves self; serving others serves no one else,” and “Empowerment is not entitlement.”  There are so many, and they are so sound, that the author should make a poster of them and offer it for sale.  The Ancients are the keepers and teachers of the law, so what happens when they start abandoning it and drifting apart?  Briefly, everything goes to hell.  But now, a new generation of Ancients is starting to appear, young people who need to understand just how the Law works and how they use it to heal the world.

This all happens in a wondrous land populated by captivating characters and rendered in a compelling story.   And it is so cleverly written.  Some stories have what I call OMG! Moments.  You know, that time when you read something that makes several little things suddenly fall into place and you go, “OMG!”  There are sections where I think London tried to do this on every page, and did a marvelous job of it.  Then there are the moments when a precious proclamation of wisdom comes from the mouth of a sometimes unlikely character and the reader responds with an, “Oh, wow!”

“I’m not being pridey,” she said.  “I’m reconnizing truth, Father Ibbin!”

This is the paragraph I left when I first wrote this review, but I just can’t leave it out any longer. There are books I’ve plodded through from a deep sense of commitment waiting for the story to start.  The record thus far is about 30% through, which takes a lot of dedication to endure.  No such problem with The Circle of Law.  I was hooked within just a few pages and identifying with one of the main characters, Marki.  Hardly anything has grabbed me that fast, not even The Hobbit.

There are two levels on which the reader can enjoy The Circle of Law, and to illustrate that, I’ll call your attention to a much more famous work: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Legion are the people who have read the Narnia books and who have watched the recent movies.  It is an expansive, breathtaking work of fantasy in an unusual world, with lots of great action and fascinating characters.  That is one level, just a great fantasy story.

What the general public might not realize as they sat in the movie theater is that author C. S. Lewis was a devout Anglican, much to the chagrin of his equally devout Catholic buddy J. R. R. Tolkien.  That is the other level.  The Narnia books are a heavily symbolic, almost allegorical statement of the Christian faith.  The witch is Satan or evil, Aslan is Christ, Edmund is fallen man, Lucy is unquestioning faith.  The list goes on and on and Christians can spend hours watching, reading, then rewatching and rereading to extract all the juicy tidbits.

That is how The Circle of Law is, both an exciting story and a rich goldmine of spiritual commentary.  Only unlike C. S. Lewis, London has broadened the scope to virtually any faith.  Muslims, Hindus, and even atheists can pull universal wisdom from its pages.  It is rare to find a story which is an enjoyable read on one hand and a source of intellectual stimulation and spiritual wisdom on the other.  This is a book that not only offers hours of reading pleasure, but days, weeks, or months of introspection and contemplation on how one is living his life.

So here is my challenge.  Click on the link above, buy it, and see if you have what it takes to read on both levels.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.duanevore.com/lia-londons-circle-law-wisdom-wonder-wowsers/


  1. Lia London

    Oh wow! I’ll be smiling for about a hundred years for this one. Oh…. wow! Thank you, Duane!

  2. Duane

    Oh, and I forgot to mention how you had me hooked and identifying with Marki in just a few pages.

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