Review: Fool’s Errand, The Chadash Chronicles Book One by David G. Johnson
Five Stars! A Modern Masterpiece of Fantasy Fiction! Johnson is a Worthy Successor to Tolkien and CS Lewis!
By Nicholas Downing, Founder of Flagship Fiction and Author of the Talon Trilogy
What just happened? Am I back here on Earth or still exploring the fascinating new world David Johnson has beautifully hand-crafted to serve as the stunning setting for his impressive Chadash Chronicles series? If Fool’s Errand is any indication of what is yet to come, consider me both a big David Johnson fan as well as an avid reader of the Chadash Chronicles! Although obviously inspired by timeless biblical principles, I’m confident readers of all beliefs and religious backgrounds will find this book to be an enjoyable and satisfying read. Bottom Line: Christian values are most definitely embedded throughout this story but you don’t have to be a believer to appreciate how good this book and its author truly are.
Johnson is clearly blessed with both unparalleled imagination and the remarkable ability to paint a fantastic but plausible portrait of a world created by God but bound by different rules. Truly, this is world-building at its finest. Nearly every scene or element in this story is well thought-out, well-reasoned, and well-executed. It would not surprise me a bit to find out the author spent several years developing every nuance of this world and its cast of memorable characters, heroes and villains that are sure to inspire and intrigue readers for many years to come.
Which brings me to my next point… Johnson’s technical mastery of character development is almost as impressive as his phenomenal world-building ability. I was drawn deeply in to each character almost from the opening scene. From the infectiously-likable thief Thatcher to the mysterious mage known as Melizar, Johnson doesn’t just introduce readers to his characters. He makes us see parts of ourselves in each of them and in so doing, he forces us to genuinely care about them.
Now, there are a few instances where readers preconditioned to receiving instant gratification or handicapped by short attention spans might not appreciate the occasional tendency of the author to overload the reader with information and backstories that don’t always seem to be directly connected to the moment at hand. But as far as this reviewer is concerned, I believe the incredible depth displayed by Johnson’s storytelling made me appreciate the authenticity of his work all the more. Also, I suspect the author is counting on readers WANTING to know as much about these endearing characters as possible. I also suspect much of the information we are provided in Fool’s Errand are relevant and useful facts, not just for the full enjoyment of Book One, but also future chronicles to come. Which is good because there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be reading this book many, many more times over the years.
Another thing that impressed is Johnson’s ability to effectively bridge the gap between Christian and secular fiction, especially with regards to the realm of fantasy fiction. Through the use of an alternate Prologue and Afterword, he manages to create a work of art that can be enjoyed by all, regardless of one’s religious beliefs. That being said, I personally recommend that all readers (especially Christians) read both the Prologue AND the Afterword. First, to better understand and appreciate the world the author has created and his purpose for doing so. Second, because they are beautiful, moving, and wonderfully-crafted works of art in their own right. But most of all, Johnson manages to show rather than tell of Christ’s love through the nature in which his main characters interact with one another and the ethical decisions they make during the course of this grand adventure. I must admit, Johnson’s indirect approach to evangelism is extremely effective (as evidenced by some of the incredible praise he has garnered even from nonbelievers!) and will probably do more to win souls for the kingdom of Christ in the long run than many more overt Christian works.
In short, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Fool’s Errand and I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of the Chadash Chronicles. Aside from a few scenes of intense battlefield violence and a few minor language expressions the stringent CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) would probably frown upon, the book is very family-friendly. I would recommend it for mature teenagers and adults alike. Some minor instances of sensuality and/or adult situations are briefly introduced but thankfully, Johnson never quite crosses the line. All-in-all, a fine example of authentic Christian Fantasy Fiction that can be thoroughly enjoyed by almost everyone in the family!
To learn more about the Author, visit www.faithxfiction.com
To purchase a copy of Fool’s Errand or to check out other titles by David Johnson, visit the Author’s Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/David-G.-Johnson/e/B00EBID91Y/