Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Book Review: 'The Birth of Malgyron' by John DeFilippis

New Jersey author Dr. John DeFilippis earned a BS from Rutgers College, his Masters from School of Theology at Seton Hall University, became a Catholic priest and then left the priesthood for a career in education, earning his PhD in educational leadership from Seton Hall University and became a Director in the Division of Academic Affairs at New Jersey City University. Following the economic recession he turned to writing – and his four part series of novels - THE MEDALLION OF MAVINOR – is his debut.

Having had the pleasure of reading the first installment – The Quest of the Thirteen – promises the subsequent novels in the series will be worth successors. The author uses the concept of a Prologue well – the opportunity to offer background for the coming story as well as to introduce the overall feeling of his writing: ‘Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, King Gobius of Mavinor rules his kingdom as a good, just, and fair monarch. He prays fervently and frequently for The Author’s guidance, living only to do His will for the people of Mavinor. But just over a year into his reign, those same people for whom Gobius lives his life begin to quietly turn against him. The excitement and hope generated by the discovery of the Medallion begins to fade as King Gobius preaches messages of love and forgiveness, telling Mavinor’s citizens to reject divorce, give their possessions to those less fortunate, never give in to anger or envy, and shun the pursuit of wealth in order to devote themselves to a higher purpose. He begins to loosen the strict laws of Mavinor, choosing instead to show mercy to criminals by overturning the harsh sentences handed down by the Tribunal. Resentment towards the king and his teachings begins to grow, and the people start to question whether indeed he was the right choice to succeed Onestus. The citizens of Mavinor begin to wonder if they were duped into permitting a simple fisherman to become king by virtue of retrieving a legendary object. The tide in Mavinor begins to turn, and soon the atmosphere starts to revert back to what it was before the Medallion was discovered. If the people only knew the extent of the destruction they were about to wreak…’ A fine preparation and degree of anxiety for the story to follow.

The synopsis offers the story’s outline: ‘The Birth of Malgyron takes place more than a year after Mavinor’s new king begins his reign. It details the struggles he faces in bringing his people closer to "The Author" and the lessons of The Scrolls, as well as the futility of his efforts to broker peace with his neighbors. As the king’s list of enemies continues to grow, an evil plot is hatched against him, a plot that will have enormous ramifications for the entire world if it is successful. For unbeknownst to those who unwittingly participate, Mavinor’s king is no ordinary ruler. He is the chosen one, the fulfillment of a promise made by The Author generations ago to the people whom He loved. As the plot escalates and begins to reveal itself, the king’s supporters do everything in their power to thwart it and save the future of Mavinor and the entire world.’

Fine reading for evening escapes from the world as we live it. And that is refreshing to find in a solid novel. Grady Harp, September 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.