Thursday, February 5, 2015

The First Candle - Review

Mind, Body, and Spirit: A Struggle for Spiritual Dominance in 

The First Candle

Author Eric B. Swanson imagines a wasteland where earth’s last inhabitants must battle unseen forces of terror

In the post-apocalypse wastelands of The First Candle, a powerful demon prince is set to destroy the last resistance to his dominion. The first candle of the Menorah beckons roving minstrel Martin Longbow to rise up and gather allies against the spiritual forces that drive earth’s ruthless factions against one another.    

In his debut novel, author Eric B. Swanson imagines a post-nuclear world where there is no division between night and day and resources are paid for in blood.  

The book depicts an all-consuming evil terror causing humans to retreat into factions: an insular militia group, a ritualistic sect, a roving minstrel group, and the cannibalistic wanderers who defy all three.   

With the epic scale of A Pilgrim’s Progress and a style reminiscent of the works of Frank Peretti, The First Candle invites readers to consider the causes behind humankind’s worst moments.  

“When we look around at world events and conflicts, we see people killing people senselessly,” explains Swanson. “The First Candle posits that our real battle is not against flesh and blood, but against unseen spiritual forces.”  

Book Description

Martin Longbow is a minstrel in the village of Nooncrest near the Fission Mountains. In this post-apocalypse world he's fairly content, ignorant of the most important millennium mystery. The foundations upon which the minstrels have built their quiet refuge have begun to tremble, however, and they're not prepared for the quake. Martin is shocked into this new reality when his best friend, Jack, is savagely tortured. They seek refuge in a monastery where Martin is both saved and abused. Though he is not a planner, a fighter, or a leader, he understands there is work to be done to survive attack of the ageless, dark demon prince Agares and his legion of lesser demons. He must act as a candle that good men and women rally to aid. With Alison, a maiden of wood lore; Mist, a savage fighter; Sam, a village leader; and Alex, a black sheik of the desert, the allies work together to defeat the teeming minions of Sax Mantis. Ultimately, they must try to humbly enlist the aid of the mighty Cherubim and Seraphim to help stem the growth of the unworldly demon menace and try to save the world in which they live.

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The First Candle 
By Eric B. Swanson  
ISBN: 978-1-49073-376-0 
Available in hardcover, softcover, and e-book 
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Trafford Publishing 


Frequent readers of the blog will know that I enjoy all genre, and the science fiction/post-apocalyptic setting of The First Candle was no exemption.

This well written story with strong leading characters is full of imagery and description as we follow the adventures of Martin Longbow as he fights against good and evil.

We are introduced to a wonderful array of creatures, savage mutants, swamp beasts, dwarfs and who could forget to mention the evil; demon Prince Agares, Sax Mantis and his minions.

With a wonderful supporting cast; Alison, Alex, Mist, Sam and many more, Martin is lead on an epic journey across land and sea that is both thought provoking and spiritual. 

This is the debut novel for Eric Swanson, and I must say he has done a mighty job.

I give this book 4 dragonflies.

About the author 

Dr. Eric B. Swanson is a scientist and nanotechnologist whose interests include the applications of stem cells in regenerative medicine, creation of new vaccines, and new uses of microsystems and natural health products. Recently retired, Dr. Swanson currently serves to mentor new staff at the National Research Council of Canada. He has authored many scientific papers and holds four U.S. patents. Swanson enjoys family, serving to help raise his grandchildren, benefiting his community through volunteering and church activity and playing bridge where he represented Alberta in the Canada Games in 2014.  

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