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This book just reminds me why I don't like 99% of Christian fiction, and most of that remaining 1% is taken up by C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. Actually, I hate 99.5% of all religious fiction, period - I've read some smug Wiccan/faux-Buddhist-lite/new-age/atheist/vaguely-spiritual-without-committing-to-any-actual-beliefs-but-acts-morally-superior-to-organized-religion fantasy stuff that stuck in my craw like a giant wad of vomit-flavored gum.

The biggest problem is that most authors just aren't talented enough to give us something subtle. Even worse, a lot of them don't WANT to. They seem to hold it up as a point of pride to slap you in the face with their beliefs.

And as a result, people who really aren't very good at writing get published because... there are people out there who will give them money for mediocrity, or outright badness, because they gravitate towards fiction that explicitly reflects their religion. Because I guess having understanding for people who don't believe as you do is for the heathens - better to just have the same stuff echoed back at you.

And... Donita K. Paul is one such. Without that, she's written a pretty crappy fantasy with pretty awful characters and a really poorly-thought-out world.