I am sure that many of us can say that we have read The Chronicles of Narnia, either when we were young or as we have grown older! Fewer though, have probably read Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. And fewer yet, have probably read The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson. This is not because the Pilgrim’s Progress or The Door Within lack in quality, but rather as culture shifts the reasoning behind what makes a good book a good book also shifts. The Chronicles of Narnia and Pilgrim’s Progress are timeless classics. In my opinion, every Christian should have to read these two books. What all three of these books have in common is that they are each allegorical in the way the authors tell the story. For example: in Narnia, Aslan is a Christ-like figure, not Christ himself, but a type of Christ. In Pilgrim’s Progress, the character Christian is, well picturing the spiritual journey of a Christian! In The Door Within the storyline and characters are very similar to biblical ones just like the first two classic books.
The Door Within is actually the first book in a trilogy. So, there may be more posts on the other two books in the series if I get around to reading them!
What makes this book so good is the fact that it is readable. It is classified as Teen Fiction/ Youth Interests/ Youth Children, so the vocabulary is simple, yet direct. The author actually teaches Reading and English to middle-schoolers, so he knows how to connect to his audience well.
Here is what the back cover says:
Three ancient scrolls beckon Aidan Thomas to enter another world: A realm of knights, warriors, kings, unusual creatures, and mysterious Glimpses who can travel between worlds. Soon Aidan is training to become the Twelfth Knight of an elite unit who will join Alleble in its long fight against the evil Paragory. With the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance. Will Aidan be willing to risk everything and trust the One True King?
Aidan Thomas is a young teen. His family moved to Colorado to live with and watch over his grandfather. Aidan is not athletic at all. He is not popular. He does not make friends easily either. Before he moved he had just begun a wonderful friendship with another boy who was athletic, popular, and could be friends with anyone. Yet, this boy chose to be friends with Aidan. Then, his family moves away. Aidan has to start all over.
Aidan eventually becomes bored at his grandfather’s house, so he rummages through the basement and stumbles across some old clay pots. Inside are three very old, but still fancy, scrolls. He takes them into his room and begins to read. The story of the scrolls lines up with stories from the Bible. In particular, the fall of Lucifer and the Crucifixion. The allegory is not meant to line up in the scale of time with Scripture, but the story is still powerful. It shows the King laying down His life for His people. Paragal is the Lucifer-like character who aspires to be the King and if you have read the Bible, and any other allegory about this, you will know that it is impossible for someone to overthrow the Most High. There can only be one and He will not share that position with another outside of Himself.
So, you should know how the story will go by now. Paragal “kills” the King of Alleble and starts his own “kingdom.” But, his title in that kingdom is not king. It is Prince. Interesting…
I won’t give the rest of the story away, but just know that if you desire to read it set aside a couple of hours and read it in one sitting. I read it in two sittings since my schedule is busy.
I recommend this book to anyone really. But, for those of you who are parents of 8,9,10-year-olds I recommend you read this book to them. Anyone older than 12 could easily grasp the vocabulary. You will be amazed at the transformation in Aidan and in his family. Maybe, you will see yourself and your children transformed as well through the power of allegory.
“Adventures are funny things.
Many are merely happy accidents—a single spark that ignites an unexpected chain of events.
But some adventures are meant for you and you alone.
And whether you want them or not, they seek you out of a great crowd and take you somewhere you never thought you’d go.
Often, these unlooked for adventures require a sacrifice too great to imagine.”
― Wayne Thomas Batson