Fantasy

The Sword of Goliath – Anthony Jones

on
30 August 2018
The Sword of Goliath Book Cover The Sword of Goliath
Anthony Jones
Fantasy
September 2, 2016
338

The Sword of Goliath focuses itself primarily on a man named Jacob (or Jake) Stanton, who is spending his days in San Quentin Penitentiary for a crime he did not commit. Jake was wrongly accused, unfairly tried, and unreasonably sentenced for the murder of his wife, and he's just lost his final appeal. As Jake begins to mentally prepare for life inside the walls of San Quentin, he's assigned a new cell-mate, Stephen Stross. Stross befriends Jake and, in earning Jake's trust, convinces him that he is a member of the Shaddai. The Shaddai, descendants of the Biblical Nephilim through the bloodline of Seth, are on the hunt for twelve artifacts that will help them to win the final battle over the demonic Grigori; they believe the key to finding one of these powerful artifacts, the sword of Goliath, rests inside the mind of Jake Stanton. After engineering a successful escape from San Quentin, Jake and Stephen begin the quest for the legendary lost sword, but it will not be an easy effort. As escaped convicts, they are on the run from the law; as Shaddai, they are the targets of the Grigori and its evilunderlord Zoltar. Jake is going to need every resource imaginable, from skeptical law enforcement agent Sam Jericho; to prophets of the Old Testament; to the hand of God Himself. The Final Battle has begun, not only in this world, but in other unseen dimensions; and Jake Stanton may be the catalyst for victory or the harbinger of doom.For those who enjoy stories spun out of Biblical speculation, there is much to love about The Sword of Goliath. Foremost is the fact that the cornerstone of this novel is based around a true mystery of the Bible, the fate of the Nephilim. Whereas Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Knox's The Genesis Secret rely on heavily debunked assertions to support fallacious premises, Anthony Jones contrives this tale around a piece of scripture that, across millennia, has yet to be fully explained or understood. However improbable, the nature of this book still lies within the realm of "possible," and that alone lends a huge amount of credibility to the author. Also to Mr. Jones's credit is his ability to extrapolate the ideas of angels and demons, as well as Divine Intervention, through the use of interdimensional worlds. One such world is The Crossing, a Purgatory-like land eerily similar to Dekker's Other Earth in the Circle series. It is in The Crossing that the Shaddai can communicate with deceased loved ones, Shaddai ancestry (including the prophet Samuel), and even Jesus of Nazareth; The Crossing, as well as other dimensions, serve to both simplify and enhance such Christian ideals as human suffering, unconditional love, and the nature of sin, using both imagery and appropriate narrative. Regarding appropriate narrative, Mr. Jones does the reader a third and final favor: He writes for the appeal of a wide audience. A glaring problem in the Christian Fiction genre is that the characters are often too faithful to be flawed; conversely, secular fiction finds characters so flawed that even a dynamic revelation or redemptive event can't bring them closer to God. The Sword of Goliath makes no assumptions about the religious background of the reader and instead seeks to tell a good story steeped in the Christian faith while allowing its characters to struggle under the weight of their own humanity. As soon as I read the final page, I immediately scoured the internet in an attempt to find information on the next installment of The Bloodline Chronicles (alas, I came away empty-handed). The story is fresh, the writing is smooth on the whole, and the main characters are likeable and sympathetic heroes. Anthony Jones has included in this novel everything essential to beginning a traditional high-fantasy saga, albeit with a contemporary, faith-based twist. Adult fans of Frank Peretti's Darkness duology, Ted Dekker's Circle series, and Lewis's Narnia Chronicles will enjoy what Mr. Jones has brought to the table.

Eternal

Anthony Jones has created a wonderfully imagined take on the angels versus demons story, with a Herculean task to recover the Sword of Goliath, one of the enchanted weapons of God. This is a book of supernatural fantasy that embraces the bloodline of angels and the seemingly eternal fight of good versus evil. Those angels that remain loyal to God are known as Shaddai and those that rejected God are called Grigori. There exist 12 instruments that make up a talisman of invincible power that should either side collect, would eliminate the other. The Paladin are the selected 12 Shaddai preordained to use the 12 enchanted instruments and likewise, the Mesa are 12 dragons chosen by the Grigori to use those 12 instruments. The battle between good and evil will continue until one destroys the other.

The novel is very cleverly plotted to utilise many religious beliefs and enrapture us in a thoroughly beguiling and captivating story. Jake Stanton is serving a life sentence in San Quentin State Prison for the brutal and horrific murder of his wife Teresa. His recollection of the night she was murdered was

“… when something shook him. He jumped to his feet and saw a dark shadow move across their bedroom towards the bathroom. As he went for his gun in the nightstand drawer, he felt pain on the top of his head and warm blood pouring down his forehead before all went black. He woke with Teresa’s name on his lips. Jake dazed and in pain, found himself handcuffed in a hospital bed. Here he was met by two Sonoma County detectives who showed him pictures of his beautiful wife, bloody and hacked to pieces.”

When in jail, Jake is joined in his cell by Stephen Stross, who opens Jake’s mind to the power he possesses and his destiny, should he choose to accept it? That destiny is to recover the Sword of Goliath and its location resides in his subconscious and through time will make itself known. The story unfolds in a very engrossing and pacey manner where the race to find the sword cannot be more crucial. The Grigori are hot on their tails and don’t even need Jake alive to learn what he knows – they just have to consume his brain.

As the hunt continues the death toll rises and the police are brought into the story where detective Sam Jericho leads the investigation along with an expert in religious myths, Dr Ruth Springer. This introduces a romantic dimension and an aspect of the story that grounds it back in everyday life and not all just fantasy. It also provides layers to characters that aren’t just all GOOD or BAD, but shades of grey.

The structure of the book has short sections within each Chapter and I find this works really well for the early snappy and gritty pace that’s set. The narrative is very intelligently woven between the religious beliefs, legends and real-world conflict that Jake, Stephen and his brethren are embroiled in. I did feel the story dragged a little bit in the middle with Jake coming to terms with his family situation but the additional strand from Detective Jericho in trying to make sense of the strange incidents, corruption and attempts on his life became interesting, and for me started to capture the attention again.

A highly recommended book. Many thanks to Anthony Jones, for a free version of the book in return for an honest review.

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Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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