As Guardian of Ajalon, the third book of the Poison Tree Path Chronicles by Joan Campbell begins, Shara is wrestling in a spiritual crisis of her own making. Accusatory, shame-filled thoughts engulf her. An evil menace encroaches upon her friends’ sanctuary and home – in pursuit of Shara. Her reckless search for love, identity, and purpose led her enemy, Lucian, there. As she escapes Lucian’s imminent threat, her once joyful, resolute, hope-filled nature is overcome. As she trudges forward, she can hardly make herself believe that this terrible Rif’twine wood could lead to resurrection and life when she deserves a trail of mortifying penance.
As a work of Christian fantasy, Campbell’s Guardian of Ajalon interweaves courage, heroism, sacrifice, and horrific loss to finally reveal the King – the deepest source of hope, strength and love – to Shara, to Nicho, Shara’s love, to Nyla, Queen of Tirragyl, to Klyden and Elxa of the Charabians, to Pearce, Parashi Warrior and Protector, and to everyone – once and for all
The story of Shara speaks to our present reality. We are each on a faith journey. We may walk towards Light, Mercy, and Grace offered through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ or we may select an altogether different path of dark, self-centered, ruinous pursuits. The fact that Shara struggles in her faith walk is characteristic of the human condition. Paul, the apostle acknowledges this working out of faith in his exhortation:
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
New American Standard, Philippians 2:12
I heartily recommend Guardian of Ajalon, not just as an excellent work of Christian fantasy and the culmination of a fantastic trilogy, but also an opportunity to encourage and strengthen you in your own journey with the Grace and Light of Jesus Christ.
If you haven’t read the first two books of Joan’s Poison Tree Path Chronicles, Chains of Gwyndoor, or Heirs of Tirragyl, I would love you to pick up a copy and begin the perilous, faith-stretching journey of Shara.
Here they are – just click on their titles: