The Aedyn Chronicles: Chosen Ones
By Alister McGrath (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
In tween fantasy book, The Aedyn Chronicles: Chosen Ones, Peter and Julia’s parents send them to live with their grandparents in rural England. Amid their bickering, they discover a mysterious garden and its enchanted pool, which transports them to an ancient mythical island.
Once idyllic, corrupt leaders turned the land into a dreary place. Ruled by otherworldly creatures – at one time human, but no longer so – these tyrants oppress the people. Some fall under their control, while others flee. Those who’ve escaped live in hiding, waiting for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy that foretells the arrival of liberators.
Peter and Julia fall on opposite sides of this classic battle between good and evil. Which side will prevail? Will they remain apart? Can they ever return home?
Author Alister McGrath is both a theologian and Oxford professor. The parallels between him and this book to C. S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia are unavoidable. When comparing a book to a classic, the former almost always falls short.
With clear religious references, Chosen Ones may resonate with mid-grade readers and perhaps even more so when read to younger children. However, older readers and those familiar with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will likely find it lacking and an unsatisfying substitute for the original.
Even so, Chosen Ones – abounding with spiritual references and void of objectionable content – is worth considering for a quick romp in a fantasy world.
[The Aedyn Chronicles: Chosen Ones, by Alister McGrath. Published by Zonderkidz. 2010; ISBN: 978-0-310-72192-5; 202 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.