I have not been this excited to read a book series since I read the first Harry Potter book back in fourth grade. But I feel like I’m about ready to burst at the seams! And this is coming from a guy who is most definitely NOT an avid reader most of the time, though I was as a kid. But Chronicles of Brothers, a book series by British writer Wendy Alec is quickly becoming a new favorite!
I checked out the first book, The Fall of Lucifer, on a whim from the Ohio Digital Library less than three days ago, and I absolutely cannot put it down. It’s over 400 pages long, but I’ve blown through almost 60% of it already!
The five book series is supposed to tell the Biblical story, from the War in Heaven and the fall of the rebel angels, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, to what is supposed to happen according to the Book of Revelation at the end of the world. The five books in order are:
- The Fall of Lucifer
- Messiah: The First Judgement
- Son of Perdition
- A Pale Horse
- End of Days
I may not even be finished with the first book yet, but this thing has just GRABBED me! Wendy Alec is an absolute master at vividly describing places, emotions and moods. I have been hanging on every word so far! The strongest points of the book are her description of how beautiful Heaven is, how all-powerful, holy and indescribable God is, the brotherly bond between Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel, and the heartbreaking descent of Lucifer from a pure angel with a truly good heart, to that of an absolute monster driven by pure hatred.
Not many would see the Devil or the fallen angels/demons as sympathetic or tragic characters. After all, they ARE indeed evil and hellbent on destroying mankind by any means necessary. But I definitely see Lucifer as a tragic character. I almost feel sorry for him. Key word: almost.
As soon as Man is created, Lucifer’s heart changes as he starts to wonder if he and the other angels are being replaced as God’s favorite creation. His fall starts slowly. But once he becomes convinced that Man will push the angels into the background, he starts to turn millions of other angels against God. By the end of his turn, he has gone from a good, loving angel who truly adores God and his fellow angels, to a truly insane, murderous madman. Wendy Alec is so great at showing the shift in moods and mental states, that I’d say Lucifer actually shows signs of mental illness by the time the darkness fully consumes him.
The War in Heaven is also vividly described. It’s a tense, visceral scene. Plus no matter what side the angels find themselves on, whether they are a rebel angel or loyal angel, many are torn by the battle. They don’t want to cross swords with their friends. Michael and Gabriel, Lucifer’s two closest friends and brothers, are absolutely shattered at having to put down their brother’s rebellion.
Another key player in the battle is an angel named Zadkiel, who still loves God, and wants to serve Him. But he is also one of Lucifer’s closest friends and his most trusted subordinate. In the end, he is in tears, as he decides to side with the rebels. The decision tears him apart.
The greatest example of Wendy Alec’s mastery at conveying heartbreak and sadness though, comes after Lucifer and his rebel angels are defeated, and just before they are cast out of Heaven. Yehovah (God) and Christos (Jesus) don’t kick Lucifer out of Heaven outright. They show their mercy by giving him one final chance to repent and ask for forgiveness. They want him to stay. But through tears, Lucifer rejects the offer. He and his rebel army, are then expelled from Heaven, while all the angels who stayed loyal to God, weep bitterly over their lost friends and brothers.
From that point on, Wendy Alec does a fantastic job of keeping the story flowing. She masterfully weaves an epic story on three fronts: What’s going on in Heaven, in Hell, and what’s going on with mankind. So far, I have read up to after The Flood, where the only survivors on Earth are Noah and his family in the Ark.
If the other four books in the series end up being as good as this first one has been, I can’t wait to read them! Someone could and should make the entire book series into epic movies if the writing stays this good!
While there is no substitute for studying Scripture, praying, and trying to follow God the best we can, I actually think these books can help strengthen peoples’ faith. Next to the Bible itself, Chronicles of Brothers would be a good companion! People may get occasionally bored with reading Scripture from time to time. It certainly has happened to me multiple times. No one is on fire with their faith in God all the time. Anyone who says they are is fibbing, and I would question if their faith is real. To me, real faith requires a questioning mind, overcoming doubt with an open heart aided by God’s grace, and wrestling with anything that God is trying to teach us.
But Chronicles of Brothers, a fictional book series, can help strengthen real faith, and can bring to life the greatest true story ever told: The redemption of humanity through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and the eventual ultimate triumph of good over evil! 🙂