Top positive review
There is much CS Lewis in SD Smith's writing and it is lovely to behold
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2016
I am going to venture to guess that Chesterton would have liked this book.
Not because it is the most well written book. Not because it is the most artistic book. Not even that it is the best book of his offerings. But Chesterton and his wife Frances would have loved how much this book loves children and the fiction that feeds their souls.
S.D. Smith is remarkable. He is not the most complex, elegant or flashy writer I have loved but he has to be one of the most humble and honest storytellers I have come across. His writing style is beautiful. I see much CS Lewis in his writing. His stories come from a love of his audience and a skill honed by the classic authors who nourished his soul. And this absolutely works.
This is a story which bears the hallmarks of a love of Middle Earth but not the same intention or mission. I think that the Lord sent JRR Tolkien into his time and place to create Middle Earth to answer the need of that time. To inspire the readers of post-war Europe who were complicit in the eradication of the Shire and the values that dwelled there.
In SD Smith's books we see a related but different passion. His stories speak to the hearts of those of us who are watching the culture crash into our values and rage against the virtue of our children. His stories are told from a more tender point of view and therefore take up residence in the moral imagination of the children of this era and inspire them to love what is lovely, good and beautiful.
Black Star is smaller/shorter than The Green Ember and has a different feel. It is less developed than the Green Ember and the characters are not quite as well drawn. That said, the story arc is really engaging and very powerful.
This is, without a doubt, the kind of book which will support the good we are trying to do in our homes. It is the kind of story which lives in the imagination and continues to whisper truth to the readers long after the book has been returned to the shelf.
Bravo, Mr. Smith. Bravo and many thanks.