A Preface: In Pursuit of an Heir

“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”— J.R.R. Tolkien

Escape then, according to Tolkien, is quite a noble task. Ever since I was a young boy, my mind wandered just as Tolkien’s did and escaped reality many hours a day, to which this book is a testimony of that escape since this story was originally created in those youthful days. In the solitude of my backyard I paced, with arms waving like a  conductor bringing the stories or literary music to life. I sought escape from the eyes of my family as I did this and it perturbed me when they watched me; not because I was ashamed of what I created but because I felt the same way one does when you are hiding a treasure dear to you.

That is the way I have felt until I was encouraged by my father to write my stories down. He recognized my gift of imagination and creativity and to this day I remember our conversation. I cannot even recollect how long ago I began to write it but as do all major projects, it began slowly. This story was never diagrammed or outlined on paper; my composing and conducting went from brain to fingers as I typed my book out on my new laptop. Having remembered that I can guess the writing process began sometime after I got my first computer which was the summer of 2008. From head to flighty fingers my thoughts fled for the course of about two years. Some days were slow, the words and story forming like water dripping from a faucet but other days were akin to monsoons. Intervals of rest or writers block came and went but the greatest interval of not writing came sometime in 2009. Once again my father, indirectly through a sermon, encouraged me to write again. The first draft was finally finished in 2010 when I entered Georgia College and State University to pursue a degree in English Literature.

The story you are about to read is truly a story based on Escape, many forms of escape. There are petty temporary escapes from many dangers but the real escape is an escape from slavery to liberty and death to life. This is the first book of two which are collectively called The Tale of Beredain and Estel. This first book, In Pursuit of an Heir, is more concerned with adventures and travels as well as getting to know the characters.  The second half will be much more militant. Some skirmishes and small but decisive battles are fought in the first part but its central  battle is more emotional and political; the second half of this tale, In Pursuit of Liberty, will be filled with more flesh and blood battles.

The world in which the story is set is entirely fictional and the book’s concern is with the relations between two nations, one conquered and the other tyrannically ruling it. The nations are Silvania and Voronda; two very different nations whose conflicts are not unlike those between England and Scotland.

When I created Beredain, the main hero of the story, I desired that his actions, his words, and his desires be exemplary of a Godly man. His way of honor and chivalry is one that is lacking in our modern culture and so are his virtues: valor, love, strength, and honesty. He is a man who if real, would be the ideal king for any nation. Estel, the noble heroine and the most important character of the novel, is honestly what I desire in a wife. She relies on her guardian for support and he gives it to her more than she could ask or wish and shows valor that women should possess. Perhaps she is a bit tomboyish in Pursuit of an Heir yet her femininity shall be restored as she matures and war takes place.

My worldview in many regards is plainly or metaphorically played out in this story and is greatly influenced by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As Tolkien put it earlier, by writing fantasy we are playing out our “being made in God’s image”. God is a creator and therefore we create stories where we escape from the horrors of the world into the dawn of His Marvelous Light and yet our escape is even  a way of fighting. The literature I write is not entirely an escape from “The City of Destruction” into Paradise but is a battle against the evil of an imperfect world to bring it to a state of paradise. It is not abandoning the world of reality to utopia; it is confronting it in a majestic, literary fashion. With this in mind I ask that you sit back and enjoy this book, close your eyes and remove yourself to another world where evil is fought in a more timely and exciting fashion.


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