The Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour is featuring The Shock Of Night, the first book in Patrick Carr’s new series, The Darkwater Saga. And this is the second week in Advent during which I want to focus on Peace.
It’s quite an ironic pairing because if there’s one quality by which you’d characterize The Shock Of Night, it would not be Peace. In fact, the main character, the king’s reeve—similar to a sheriff—Willet Dura, is thought by some to be eccentric and by others to be insane. He has few, if any, friends, and the nobles of the king’s court uniformly look down on him, though the king elevated him to the status of nobility by conferring a title on him.
So how do Peace and a troubled mind fit together?
I suppose in general, they don’t. But the reality of Peace is that there is no peace. The world is in chaos, with wars and rumors of wars, with sex trafficking an expanding industry, with domestic violence and abuse on the rise despite the efforts of society to bring them under control, with terrorism spreading from abroad to home.
Peace, peace? We recognized it last year, and we revisit that same truth this year: there is no peace. No means by which humankind can banish conflict and escape discord. We live in a world of greedy, selfish people whose needs and desires collide with one another. Hence, we fight and quarrel.
In the same way, Lord Willet Dura has no peace. He “night-walks” but not as most troubled soldiers home from the war do. He only leaves his quarters in an unbreakable trance when someone in the city has been murdered. As if that wasn’t enough, one of his investigations leads him to the House of Passing and a dying man who imparts a gift many in the realm do not believe to be real. By his touch he can see into the hears of others, absorbing their memories and thoughts. The problem with this gift is that he can easily lose himself, to the point that he no longer knows where he ends and the other person begins.
There’s more. Lord Dura has a secret. He’s created a vault inside his mind that holds past memories—the truth about what took place when he entered the Darkwater Forest ten years ago.
So peace? Not for Willet. Not with people on the left and right trying to kill him. Not with mysteries abounding and the threat from the south growing.
The similarities are fairly obvious. Willet’s world is filled with chaos and mystery and more things out of his control than he imagines—a perfect mirror of the real world. We might pretend or even go through life deluding ourselves that we’re in control, but the peace we so anxiously look for and try to maintain, doesn’t last because we can’t catch hold of time and make it stand still.
Our beautiful children grow up and start doing drugs or become angry, disobedient teens. Our beloved spouse cheats on us or grows cold or loses himself, herself, in their work. Our best friend moves away. We lose our job. The economy tanks. The bank threatens to foreclose. Someone steals our car. Our parents die. Our friend gets cancer. Nothing ever seems right for very long.
But all that bleakness doesn’t take into account the hope which leads to peace. Willet has a hope that quiets his heart. And we here in the real world have hope that can quiet ours, too. Truth is, we have a choice.
Jeremiah 2:11 lays it out for us—we can turn to the Fountain of living waters or we can dig our own dirty wells that can’t even hold water. We end up with a fistful of mud, a world mired in chaos.
Night is a shock. In part it’s a shock because we weren’t build for the night, for the chaos, for the mire. We were created to live in the Light, to enjoy the peace which comes from harmony.
At Christmas we celebrate the coming of the Light Of The World! That’s where peace can be found.
For Willet Dura?
Well, you’ll have to take a look at The Shock Of Night for yourselves. 😉
You can also read what others participating in the tour for The Shock Of Night are saying (check marks link you to posts I’ve found):
√ Thomas Clayton Booher
√ √ Keanan Brand
√ Beckie Burnham
Carol Bruce Collett
√ √ Carol Gehringer
√ Rani Grant
√ Rebekah Gyger
√ √ √ Bruce Hennigan
√ √ √ Janeen Ippolito
√ Carol Keen
√ Rebekah Loper
√ √ √ Jennette Mbewe
√ √ Shannon McDermott
√ √ √ Meagan @ Blooming with Books
√ √ Joan Nienhuis
√ √ Audrey Sauble
√ √ Robert Treskillard
√ Shane Werlinger
√ Phyllis Wheeler
√ √ Michelle R. Wood