The Inheritance, a Christian fantasy novel by Donna Sundblad, is a modern-day version of Pilgrim's Progress. This is not a rewritten version of John Bunyan's classic, but an original fantasy story, one that proved to be exciting and hard to put down.
The protagonist, Jejune, is unhappy in Lofty Thought. He feels there is more to life, that something is not right in his village. Surrogate, the lady who is his guardian, is good to him, but he misses his parents. Sometimes he wonders if they are still alive. His father and mother had set out on a quest to find Truth, but never returned. Jejune wonders if they found what they were looking for.
Jejune does not get along with the pundits (wise men) who rule his village. The day before his Coming of Age ceremony, he finds out his father had been the ruler of Lofty Thought, but his position left him unsatisfied and he, too, knew there must be something more. This is why he had undertaken a quest to find Truth. His mother, who had ruled in his father's absence, eventually followed along.
Jejune inherits the ruling position in Lofty Thought, but instead chooses to set out on his own quest to seek what is true. Before he leaves, he puts Surrogate in charge and declares that anyone who seeks to be part of the Illuminati must set out on a quest and complete it.
Jejune sets out to find the All Knowing One and the Eternal City with his alter-ego companion, Wigglewot. While searching for Wisdom, confusion and doubt set in when he meets up with Worldly Wisdom and her sister, Heavenly Wisdom. The reader gets to accompany Jejune on journeys that take him though places such as Syncretism, where anything goes and everyone just agrees to disagree, and Rumor Lodge, where the food and rooms don't cost money, only juicy gossip. The reader journeys with Jejune through the Valley of Shadow, a valley full of dangers and temptations. Then, Jejune discovers he has the Condition and must find a cure before he will be allowed to enter the Eternal City.
The author has skillfully woven symbolism throughout the book. Each character's name has a special meaning. For example, Jejune means understanding or describing ideas in a way that is too simple. Chary means unwilling to do something because you are afraid that something bad is going to happen. The names of the villages also have meaning. Syncretism, the village where anything goes, means the attempted fusion of different systems of thought or belief.
Jejune meets many people along the way, along with a lot of opposition, both friendly and unfriendly. He almost gets married for the wrong reasons, then falls in love for real. At the end of his journey, will he be reunited with his parents? Are they still alive? Will Jejune find Truth at last?
I believe that anyone would find The Inheritance a joy to read, no matter what your age or beliefs. This book mirrors the walk we have as Christians in a world filled with things that distract us from our Lord and Savior. Younger readers may not yet be able to grasp all of the symbolism that is intricately woven throughout Jejune's journey, but that will not take away from their enjoyment of the story.
My copy of this Christian fantasy novel was sent to me free of charge by the author, Donna Sundblad. If you would like to purchase a copy for your own reading pleasure, I have provided an Amazon link for you below. Right now, it is only available as a Kindle ebook and can be read with Kindle, either a hand-held one or one installed on your PC. It will also be available in print at Amazon in the near future.