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Prynne's Island by Claralice Hanna Wolf (Christian Fantasy)

Prynne's Island by Claralice Hanna Wolf (Christian Fantasy)
 
(1 reviews)  

In the midst of a world of ambition, greed and class distinctions, Adam Prynne sets out to build a society based on love and mutual respect. He's the right man for the job; he has the vision, and the mandate. The "Red Prophet" has planted a seed that sets young Adam thinking differently than his peers.

The questions he asks make people uncomfortable--everyone but Zoe, who becomes his wife. Then, he receives the gift of an island, the very island prophesied by the "Red Prophet". It's not just any island. Its only other inhabitants, the ever elusive unicorns, testify to that.

They speak sometimes--to those who have ears to listen. Some, among Adam and Zoe's children, and others who come to share the vision, do listen. Some hear other voices. Can Adam, Zoe, and his posterity overcome the darker side of human nature and build a world of equality and justice? Can they make it last, generation after generation? Let's see...

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ISBN/EAN13: 192163619X / 9781921636196
Page Count: 324
Trim Size: 5" x 8"

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Prynne's Island by Claralice Hanna Wolf (Christian Fantasy)
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1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Robby Charters
Rating: 5 Star

It's an experiment -- a society based on love and mutual respect, in which all are treated justly as equals. Can such a society hold to its original vision generation after generation?

The story begins with a bizzar character, "the Red Prophet". He's a clown, something of a pied piper. Once he has everyone's attention, he starts in, saying things one wishes would be proclaimed in any centre of power today.

Then, he gives Adam Prynne, a mere boy, his mandate.

Adam doesn't think like everyone else. He asks all the wrong questions. He rocks the boat. It's with a sigh of relief that they see him depart for an island far far away, over the mountains. The island was given to him by the king, but it's a special island, with tall cedars and unicorns.

Adam, his wife Zoe, and their two sons begin their new life. They are joined by other like thinking people in the struggle to create a paradise.

The human factor is authentic. Things don't happen automatically. Relationships take work. Adam and Zoe learn much, sometimes the hard way, but they make a solid beginning. The vision, the prophecy of the Red Prophet, important events, subsequent prophesies and light from above, are all written in a special Book.

Though the story covers seven generations, Claralice has skilfully woven the lives into a common thread through which we see each stage of the island's history, as the community grows from an extended family into a large town. The Red Prophet's words echo throughout, as various ones recall them. They are a warning, sometimes unheeded by those who most need to listen, and sometimes an encouragement. The unicorns also speak, but only certain ones have the ability to hear them.

As the end, we see who are the true successors of Adam Prynne, and who only think they are. Does the vision survive? Does it end in a tragedy?
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Sample Chapter

Prologue
Sage and Stranger

An old man, small and bent, came out of the inn and paced the arched stone portico. He shivered, stepped out of the deep shade, and slowly crossed the sunny garden to the edge of the lake where he stood staring at an island that lay a league across the channel.

Sky met water in a shimmer of sunlight, forming a backdrop against which the island appeared as a dark cloud in a pale blue sky: Prynne's Island. Its towering headland of stone had originally been a mate to the bluffs behind the sage, but now they had a harsh and jagged profile. Often in the oblique light of the setting sun, it made him think of a clenched fist. Now, under the direct afternoon sun, it showed up for what it was - a carelessly quarried deposit of red sandstone.

A great weariness burdened the old man. It had come over him that morning as he sorted the papers and records which he had accumulated over the years. He realized how many more questions his research had raised than he had ever been able to answer. He felt as though the island itself rested on his back, and he could not throw it off. He had come out of doors to try to clear his brain.

He turned, chose a bench in a wind-sheltered corner, and sat down.

The inn was old; red stone darkened to purplish gray, clay tile roof, green with moss. In the garden grew ancient olive trees, silver-green leaves gently draping the gnarled trunks. This part of town was old and charming, for, as trade had grown, the stream that edged the grounds of the inn had become too small for the barges and ferries that plied the lake, and wharves and warehouses had moved away. That left the inn isolated in a peaceful backwater, nestled under the towering red bluffs which stopped abruptly at the lake. Today water lapped gently at the edge of the garden, a soothing place for an old man to warm himself in the sun.

His appearance was that of a scholar: high brow, deeply set, intelligent eyes, long, slender hands, and an air of dignity. Snowy hair fell over his shoulders and glistened in the sun.

A stranger came out of the inn. He stood a moment in the shadow of the porch, looked about the garden, then walked across it to stand before the old man.

"Venerable?" He waited for acknowledgment.

The scholar looked up, squinting against the brightness, to see a large man in travel worn garments and shabby boots. In his left hand, he carried a leather bag, his right was thrust deep into his cloak. This was a man in his middle years - or of great age, judging by the deep creases about his face and the haunted look in his eyes. The sage pulled his mantle closer about his shoulders in a gesture to disguise a shiver that the stranger's mien aroused in him.


Chapter One
In The Beginning

In the beginning the island knew no human habitation. No ringing ax disturbed the stillness, no smoke of cook fires frightened the small beasts. Only bird song, wind tune, water music; only fragrance of flowering shrub, sunshine on cedar, rain on dried leaves, earthy and fresh. Very occasionally a visitor came, a warden or forester on official inspection for the king. But each time he left after a day and it remained unspoiled for the little creatures that made it their home.

The island itself seemed like a creature; gamboling with the winds that brought the early rains; basking and purring in the winter sun; submitting patiently to the hot dry months. A first view, seen from the mainland, also gave the impression of a great, live beast. To the west, a promontory of red sandstone, with a fringe of pink sand at its base, resembled the beast's head resting on its paw. This headland dropped abruptly to a valley, then rose again gently to form the beast's back, sloping to end in a sandy spit that curved like a tail back toward the head. When harsh storms swept down the lake, waves dashed against the head, sending spray almost to its mane of evergreen. On quiet evenings when the setting sun ignited sky and water, the red cliffs appeared to be a face inflamed.

Most of the island was heavily forested; fir, larch, oak, chestnut. Juniper crowned the headland. A grove of purple beech occupied the basin, a favorite nesting place for small birds. The branches crisscrossed to form a maze where golden orioles felt safe from the sharp eye of the hawk. In the darkness below, there was only light undergrowth - violets, honeyberry, ferns.

The pride of the island was its cedar - ancient giants, straight and smooth. Here and there one lay felled by the storms of long ago, small mountains of rotted humus that nurtured moss and coral fungi. The tempered light fell on bracken tall enough to conceal the unicorns, those shy beasts that hid their colts there.

Two streams watered the island. One drained the promontory - a trickle in dry season, a noisy, tumbling torrent during the rains. The larger creek's source was a spring at the center of the island, halfway up the hill. Along its course grew willows, bulrushes, the white-blossomed water jasmine. Here kingfishers rivaled for the largest fish, but left myriad water beetles to the red-breasted fly catcher. Where the two streams joined, the forest opened into a meadow, bright with sun loving flowers - lupine, day stars, tropic gentians. Beavers had formed a pond where wild ducks made their home, the unicorns came to drink, the bullfrogs splashed. The pond fed a small river, which flowed smoothly south to the lake, ending in a cove at the base of the towering headlands.

In the beginning the island was a jewel - a crown jewel. It belonged to the king, and no man lived there until it was given to Adam Prynne, a royal gift for a loyal friend.

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