Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?
A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.
Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all.
If he reveals the truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:
“If there comes among you a prophet saying ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light.”
“Why do you think people are so fascinated with outer space?”
The claim on Star Trek was that space is the final frontier, but I’m not so sure that’s true. We as humans are fascinated by anything beyond our reach, whether it’s a physical place like outer space, or a frontier of knowledge like the human brain.
Or an athletic feat like running faster than four minute mile.
In 1954, no human had ever broken the four minute barrier for a mile run. In fact, according to physiologists of the time, attempting such an effort was considered dangerous to the health of any athlete who attempted it. In 1957, Roger Bannister, ignoring the limits set on him by the so-called experts, broke that barrier. Within a few years, more than a dozen others had also broken it. Today, there are a number of runners who have run under four minutes in competition over a hundred times. And the latest world record is a full seventeen seconds faster.
Why the breakthrough? New training techniques? Better nutrition? More likely because what had once been considered impossible had been shown to be possible
The great science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, wrote: “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
Human beings despise limits and are always trying to push beyond the boundaries. Perhaps that’s why dystopian fiction has become so popular today. We hate anything that restricts our potential. Dystopian societies may be on other planets, in our own world, in our past or in our future. But they have one thing in common—they’re all about limits.
In my dystopian novel, There Comes a Prophet, the two main characters, Orah and Nathaniel, stumble upon a past that far exceeds anything they believed possible. And once they discovered what had been accomplished, they refused to ever be limited again, even at the risk of their own lives.
Venturing outside of our comfort zone and exceeding who we are—these are longings so basic to our nature they can be seen in a new born child.
That’s why we love to “boldly go” wherever our imaginations may take us, to outer space or beyond.
I went into this story with no expectations, this being Litwack’s first published novel. However I was not disappointed. He takes you on a journey with Nathaniel, Thomas, and Orah, from innocence to world changers.
There Comes a Prophet is a story about how even the best of intentions can go horribly wrong. And how problems can actually be solved without violence and bloodshed. There are many parallels with our own society shown in the story. It is certainly a good book for young people to read, to start discussions on how things could change for the better and how things could change for the worse.
Really my only complaint is that it should have been made into a trilogy, with all the obstacles the characters had to overcome being as large as they were. I would have liked more details and insight into the characters, more information and time at the keep, and less glossing over the passage of time. The whole book takes place over a year, but the passage of many of those months is glossed over. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I am a sucker for more information. 🙂
Actual Rating: 3.5
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The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. There Comes a Prophet is his first novel in this new stage of life.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.