“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” - Matthew 10:34
Demons are preparing to launch the Final War to destroy humanity.
Can one young woman wielding the Sword of Jesus ensure our survival and redemption?
Will she lose both her love and her soul in the process?
I am Sidney Stone, guest blogger and author of the featured book: Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War. Because of the spiritual aspects of my book, I was asked to write a blog post about the Holy Books and the Fantasy genre. With the background of my book, I will focus on just Christianity and Fantasy.
There is a well established tradition of Christian Fantasy and writers such as Stephen Lawhead, Doneta Paul, C.S. Lewis, Wayne Thomas Batson and one of my favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien of course. It is a difficult task balancing the fantastical realm and motif with the spiritual. Many Christians deride books such as Harry Potter and the Twilight series due to the emphasis on “magic” or, in the case of Twilight, sex and the occult. But what makes any book great, and especially in the Fantasy – Horror genre that I set my stories in, is taking these fantastical elements to illustrate basic truths about the “real” world and our own human life experiences. It is Sam and Frodo’s loyalty and devotion to each other that speaks to the human heart, not the fantastical Middle Earth.
In my book, for instance, I use the Bible to flesh out my story in several ways. First, using Matthew 10:34 (“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”) literally, my heroine Jennifer Ainsley discovers that only she is destined to wield the Sword of Jesus against the demons. The sword is both a physical weapon – it slices and dices demons cleanly, but it is also a symbol of how God has not forsaken mankind and that we are not fighting demons alone. Furthermore, I embellish the story of Jesus’s 40 days and nights in the desert to add in his own literal battles with the demons and how he saved humanity from extinction.
There is also expansion of a story in Revelations that gives the background on my version of demons. Fallen Angels yes but my group has also rejected the Underworld to destroy Earth and holds Lucifer in equal contempt as they do God. Lucifer broods over his fate as our tormentor when he would rather help us and be worshipped by us. Instead, we reject him just like God who sent him to exile.
My ending has a graceful spiritual note that reveals not only the capacity for love that we and our Creator have, but, also reveals what is truly at stake in the book. Not just our physical extinction, but also our spiritual extinction has well. I have used Fantasy, Horror and Spirituality to tell a story, but at its heart my book is really about love and loss. That is what gives it its meaning and, hopefully, makes it a compelling read.
About the author:
Sidney Stone is a hiker, deer whisperer and non-pretentious wine connoisseur. An addicted reviewer on Yelp, he is also creator of affordable housing (although technically he is homeless part-time), thinks The Replacements are the best band of the Eighties and loves to boost his LinkedIn count with people he doesn't know.
He lives in both Northern and Southern California while constantly traveling to Orange County to visit his son, who can now beat his father at ping pong and chess rather easily (and is charmingly arrogant while doing it). A graduate of UC Irvine and Pepperdine University, Sidney wishes he chose at least one university to attend that had a college football team to root for.
The first scene Sidney thought of for Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War included a rather large massacre (take that for what it is worth). However, inspired by the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker; the book's violence is offset by dark humor and deep human emotion just like in real life where Sidney's darkness is offset by creatively placed sarcasm and an overwrought romanticism. For example, while Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War is a Fantasy-Horror novel, Sidney also still tears up at the end of both Field of Dreams and An Officer and a Gentleman.