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: