Bramwell uses beautiful description and vivid imagery to connect the reader to the story and the story to reality–the realities that too many of us take for granted or discount as fantasy. Bramwell instead uses his created world to describe the life of faith. Fans of Tolkein and Lewis will feel right at home. Those who know the Bible well will pick up on plenty of insightful symbols used in the plot. Any reader who enjoys science fiction or fantasy genres will connect quickly with the characters and join them on their journeys.
Even with an intertwining of multiple characters involved across two passages of time, Bramwell is ethereal in his care for each and every thread of the story. Brilliantly fresh, The Gift and the Defender is a volume for almost any age. I would add that I’m just starting my second round with this gem, and even now it seems to reveal new glistening enchantments that I missed with the first dance. Well done! Looking forward to an expanded series!
The Gift and the Defender is a superb blend of medieval fantasy crashing into modern reality. You will enjoy the rich depth of story and the journey as it unpacks and then builds to the end – but not the conclusion.
I like many kinds of books, but sometimes I find one that makes me think, “Wow, did he really just go there?” The Gift and the Defender is one of those books in the best sense possible. Adventure and unbelievable “fortune” collide as LCMS Pastor Tyrel Bramwell offers an insightful tale about human nature.
Bramwell offers the rare combination of imaginative, substantive, and fun.
What happens when you mix allegory and adventure with fantasy and futuristic drama? Bramwell’s book, The Gift and the Defender. It is both a gift and a defense. It is meant to be unwrapped, read, and enjoyed, like a childhood Christmas present, offering the reader greater delight the further one dives into its pages. And this gift – a narrative glimpse into reality and a biblical worldview woven into a well-crafted story – is also a defense. The Gift and the Defender is an apologetic that is sorely needed, a tonic in a world drunk on the lies of postmodernism. It is a marvelous example of a narrative and imaginative apologetic, a story which points to the greatest story of all time.
This first novel by Bramwell is an exercise in human nature. Time, place, and cultures change, but a sinful human nature always remains. We are all sinners in need of grace and the Light of Christ… This reviewer’s recent reading of this novel was a joy. The author has a pleasant and unique voice, respectful of those who enjoy Lewis and Tolkien, but not imitative.
What John Granger (Hogwarts Professor) is to J.K. Rowling, Rev. Tyrel Bramwell is to Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The brilliance of Bramwell’s work is that he leaves the translation of the text alone and lets it stand on its own merit and from that merit he injects the truth of Christianity into the story, giving flesh to the bones of tales as old as time. The story pops out as always, yet there is a simplicity to the language so that a child can absorb what Bramwell is teaching. Finding the Truth in Story: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Vol. I is a must have for the family library and for those times when your little one wants “…just one more story then I’ll go to sleep.”