Title: Light of Mine
Author: Allen Brokken
Series: Towers of Light, book 1
Major Themes: Spiritual Warfare, Fantasy
Synopsis: When their parents suddenly disappear, can the children survive and keep the light shining in the tower on their farm?
For the past three years, I have been reading reviews of Allen Brokken’s Towers of Light series of books. All the reviews I have read have been glowing, with mothers reporting that their children were competing for the books. I never signed up for any review tours because I personally don’t like fantasy very well, but I’ve been realizing lately that several of my children really do like it. So, when I had the chance to sign up for the Light of Mine Unit Study—Premium, I jumped at the chance, especially since Towers of Light Christian Resources LLC was willing to ship us a physical copy! The package we were sent included two copies of Light of Mine, two unit studies, two mp3 players preloaded with the audiobook, and a thumb drive with the audiobook.
Light of Mine is almost a cross between The Chronicles of Narnia, Pilgrim’s Progress, and The Little House on the Prairie. As the story begins, Lauren, Aidan, and Ethan are enjoying life on the farm with their family. Then, father shows them plans he has drawn up for a tower. Soon he tells them it is actually a lighthouse. Why would they need a lighthouse here, though, so far from any water? The next thing they know, after the lighthouse is built and a special lantern is installed, which shines the Light, Father has to go away to help conquer the Darkness that is spreading across the land. Then, when Mother disappears as well, the children must care for each other and take care of the farm.
When they have some strange dreams, the children know they need to go to church and ask the advice of the pastor. When they arrive there, however, the pastor is missing and the Bishop has taken his place. He preaches the opposite of what their Pastor preached, and some other strange things happen. The children don’t know what to think, and when the Bishop sends someone to “help” them, things get even stranger. Can the children keep their light shining and push back the Darkness, or will the Darkness overcome them? And, who can they trust? Many things are not as they seem!
Although I do not enjoy fantasy for the most part, I found myself quite engrossed in this story. After about the halfway point, I did not want to put it down but had to keep going and find out what happened, and whether the children were able to keep their light shining. Would they figure out the truth before it was too late and the darkness overcame everything? Would they see their parents again? Many fun animals with special powers come alongside the children to help them, such as Sparkle Frog and Daddy Duck.
Both of my schoolboys absolutely loved this book. They listened to the audiobook as fast as they possibly could. After working through half of the study, both of them told me they wanted to do unit studies of the other four books in the series, too, just so they could get to read those books! With that kind of enthusiasm, I bought the other books, and they are looking forward to reading them when they arrive. Before I read the book, after they had listened to it, they told me they didn’t think it was suitable for their seven-year-old sister. After I read it I had to agree; there are some pretty graphic scenes when the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness battle each other. Some demonic creatures enter the battle, and a person is killed. The boys seemed to be fine with this story; they are 10 and 13.
I highly recommend Light of Mine to any child who enjoys fantasy. It does not feel “moralistic,” but the point of the book, to let your light shine by doing what God wants us to, is quite clear. I asked the boys if it felt preachy, and both quickly said no, but both had easily picked up the main focus of the book. It would be easy to do a book study with this; there are study questions at the back of the book for each chapter.
WARNING: As mentioned above, there are demonic creatures (“hell hounds”), and a fight in which someone is killed.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults