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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
400 pages
Jun 2008

The Book of Names

by D. Barkley Briggs

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Teenager Haydn Barlow is not happy – in fact life stinks! Mom is dead, and Dad is having a hard time coping with his four boys, which puts a lot of pressure on Haydn, the oldest son. With life in tumult, Haydn sets aside the chores Mr. Barlow entrusted to him and follows a whirling forest path into a totally different world: a dreary world in desperate need, one Haydn does not feel he belongs in or should help. Yet the monks he meets sense he is the fulfillment of long-held prophecies, the bringer of light into their darkness. Haydn feels he has fallen into a riddle with no answer. Since he cannot find the path back to his world, Haydn has to face the tasks and the dire difficulties of Karac Tor, whether he wants to or not. He has to find a way of reclaiming lost youths whose names and identities have been stolen.

A widowed father of four sons, author Dean Briggs knows first hand of the complexities and pain which drive his protagonist Haydn into his alternate world. A gripping tale, The Book of Names’ plot depicts the battle between good and evil. This story is a search for true joy, definitely not found in utter wickedness or the slavery of sorcery. Haydn, and later in the story his younger brother Ewan, slowly move toward the delight found by obeying the truth. As I joined Haydn in his quest, I thought of 1 Corinthians 13:13, “…the greatest of these is love.”

The Christian themes within The Book of Names may be recognizable only to Christians who have learned about those premises. Sorcery and magic play a big part in this story, with even the good people having their own magic. Many readers of The Book of Names will need a mentor to understand the Christian aspects of this tale. Yet this is an exciting story, well written, with much good in it. – Donna Eggett,

Book Jacket:

Teen brothers Hadyn and Ewan Barlow are forced to adjust to a depressing new life when tragedy strikes their home. Then a secret Viking runestone opens the door to a world in peril, and they discover a crisis larger than their own pain.