Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Light of Ancient America, Vol 1 & 2--by Gary T. Wright



Reviewed By Heather Moore

As a historical fiction author myself, I might have a unique interest in reading the two-volume set, The Light of Ancient America. Whenever I read historical fiction, I’m looking for an experience, unlike my modern-day life and usual concerns. I want to be immersed in a tale that is rich and filled with the sights and sounds of another era. I want to meet characters who were challenged in ways and experienced things that I can only imagine.

So with all of these usual expectations, I cracked open Signs and Wonders, the first volume of The Light of Ancient America.

The first thing that impressed me was the author’s Historical Notes. It gave an overview of the purpose and background of not only the book, but the events that occurred during this time period. I found this helpful—not necessarily for myself—but if I were to share it with someone who had little knowledge of the Book of Mormon, I would be assured that they would “get it” before diving into the story.

The first volume begins about five years before the birth of Christ. A time when there are many prophets on the earth prophesying of His coming, and many others who are denouncing His name. In the Book of Mormon lands, the Gadianton robbers are a force to reckon with, for both the Lamanites and the Nephites.

The main character is none other than Gidgiddoni and his brother Jacob—two sons from the same family with opposing beliefs. The story is primarily of two brothers and their rise to power and position within the city of Zarahemla. With it comes greed and jealously on Jacob’s part, and he is party in sending his brother into exile. But even in exile, and working as a mere slave, Gidgiddoni’s leadership skills rise above all others. He is rightly given the nickname of Jaguar, which he becomes known as all around the country. Jaguar quickly redeems his good name and much to the dismay of Jacob, earns his full commandership back and is even promoted.

As Jacob dives into deeper waters of treachery, he joins the Gadianton robbers and plots to murder the leaders who have the control he seeks—including his own father and his own brother. He succeeds in poisoning his father, but Jaguar makes a narrow escape, thanks to his wife.

By the second volume, Honor & Arrogance, the situation escalates as the people start to falter in their belief. Even after the great signs of Christ’s birth, many years pass before the sign of his death comes. During these years, Jacob gains immense power and influence, using the Gadianton robbers as his pawns. On the other side, Jaguar must use all of his resources and strategy to stay one step ahead. Trials and temptations continue to abound and at one point, Jaguar faith is put to the ultimate test. When the great and terrible signs of Christ’s death come to the New World, everyone’s lives are changed forever.

These historical volumes are full of rich detail and immaculate research. It will open the minds and hearts of the readers and bring them to a greater knowledge and appreciation of the greatest era of mankind to date. The era when Christ lived and reigned upon the earth.

More information about buying the book, and reader group discussion questions, can be found on the author’s website:

3 comments:

Brittany said...

Sounds neat- I was looking for a new historical fiction book!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great review! Makes me want to go out and read both books right now. There are so many wonderful books to read- there just isn't enough time. :) Thanks for the great write up.
Wendy

DeweyOlsen said...

I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
http://www.isaiahexplained.com/
The site has free lessons on every chapter.
Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

“Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Professor Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (1. 6. 2003)

“It is my testimony that this man has been brought forward and trained at this time to help those inside the Church into Isaiah, and those outside the Church, Jew and Gentile, through Isaiah into the Church” —Arthur Henry King, author, former BYU professor and London
Temple President.

“Dr. Gileadi has achieved a major breakthrough in the investigation of a book of such complexity and importance as the Book of Isaiah”—Professor David Noel Freedman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Dr. Gileadi’s work will render obsolete almost all the speculations of Isaiah scholars over the last one hundred years . . . enabling scholarship to proceed along an entirely new line . . . opening new avenues of approach for others to follow”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada.

“Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

“Avraham Gileadi’s unsealing of the Book of Isaiah will forever change people’s
understanding of Judeo-Christian religion, lifting it to heights hitherto known only to prophets and saints”—Arie Noot, corporate executive, Edmond, Oklahoma.

“Isaiah Decoded is a huge breakthrough for the seeker of truth—Jew, Christian, Moslem, and agnostic. From an ancient writing, Gileadi has brought to light eternal truths about the nature of God and our relationship to him that have lain buried for centuries in the dust of time”—Guy Wins, fifth-generation Jewish diamond dealer from Antwerp, Belgium.

“Gileadi is the only scholar I know who has been able to express the Jewish expectation of the Messiah in relation to the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth”—Daniel Rona, Israeli tour guide, Jerusalem, Israel.

“Dr. Gileadi has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the Book of Isaiah and of the scholarly literature dealing with it”—Professor Ronald Youngblood, Bethel Theological Seminary, San Diego, California.

“Avraham Gileadi’s books and tapes take the casual observer of Isaiah’s words and transform him into an enlightened and lifelong student of the Word of God”—Allan and Nancy Pratt, LDS mission president, Toulouse, France.

“Dr. Gileadi has awakened a whole new depth of my understanding of Isaiah’s prophetic message. His books and tapes illuminate the urgent relevance of Isaiah’s writings to our own day”—Becky Douglas, supervisor and sponsor of three orphanages in India, Atlanta, Georgia.

“Dr. Gileadi’s translation [of the Book of Isaiah] is clear and smooth, allowing the reader to appreciate the power and beauty of Isaiah as conveyed in the Hebrew original”—Professor Herbert M. Wolf, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

“Gileadi has uncovered an amazing message written in a divine code by the prophet–poet Isaiah. This will give comfort, hope, and joy to masses of people as they cope with the perplexing events now unfolding before their eyes”—Fenton Tobler, thirty years elementary school principle, Las Vegas, Nevada.