The Door Within
A book review for parents
This first fantasy book in the "The Door Within Trilogy" by Wayne Thomas Batson is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
The Door Within is written for kids ages 10 to 14. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
When Aidan Thomas moves to Colorado with his parents to care for his aging grandfather, he begins having strange dreams about knights warring in a distant realm. In the basement, he finds ancient scrolls that tell the story of a kingdom called Alleble, its wise King Eliam and its former sentinel, the traitor Paragor. Following his grandfather's advice and the scrolls' message to "believe and enter," Aidan crosses into The Realm — a world full of knights, unicorns and dragons — and finds himself at the heart of a struggle between good and evil. By relying on the strength of his king, who is always with him in spirit, he wins a great battle for Alleble.
The story is a clever and clear allegory of the battle Christians wage against Satan. Though God is never mentioned, savvy readers will recognize that King Eliam represents God, and Paragor is the Devil. Aidan confesses loyalty to the king before his fellow knights in a serious but joyful ceremony. Though King Eliam's warriors are trained for physical battle, they're frequently reminded that their message depends on truth, not bloodshed. You will not find Bible quotations, but biblical concepts are woven throughout the story; and Aidan realizes he must convince his family and friends back home that King Eliam is real before they face a dark fate at the hands of Paragor.
At the outset, Aidan's parents appear overly concerned with work and highly skeptical when Aidan mentions the scrolls he's found. They've heard "The Story" contained in the scrolls before but believe it to be a fairy tale. Aidan's father (whose double, or "glimpse" in The Realm was a doubting ruler) becomes a believer in the end. Aidan's grandfather (who also turns out to be Captain Valithor of the King's Elder Guard in The Realm) urges Aidan to believe in himself and the purpose to which the king has called him.
Other Belief Systems
Soldiers and civilians die, sometimes at the hands of Aidan and King Eliam's other knights. The portrayals are not particularly graphic, and the king's soldiers don't take killing lightly.
Grateful that Aidan has saved her life, Gwenne kisses him on the cheek.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- What characteristics of God are found in King Eliam?
What attributes of Satan exist in Paragor?
- Greed and pride lead several of the characters to ruin and almost destroy Aidan.
What are some of our greatest struggles, and how can we enlist God's power to help us overcome them?
- Among our friends and family, who hasn't accepted God's salvation?
- How can we share the truth with them?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.