Being a history nut, I was interested in delving into James Wardroper’s historical epic The Michmash Chronicles: Bearers of the Light. It spans one hundred and thirty years of Christian history in Britain beginning after the fall of Rome. It’s a sweeping narrative that follows the establishment of the Christian kingdom of Michmash, from the earliest days of it spiritual development to it’s struggle to assert itself against the Saxon threat.
James Wardroper has a profound sense of history and theology. His initial characters, two junior monks named Justin and Linus, travel from Britain to Jerusalem while subsequently taking their own journey from Pelagianism to a more evangelical view of the Gospel. Along the way they meet and are influenced by key figures in Christian history. Their spiritual journey leads them back to Britain and ultimately to the formation of a Christian community. Two generations later, that community becomes a kingdom founded on Christian principles, challenged by the turbulence of the early middle ages. The story itself moves briskly in a manner befitting a docudrama. It guides the reader along to the very end.
If theology and historical acuity are James Wardroper’s strengths, dialogue is his weakness. The dialogue of the story tends to be overly formal and occasionally cumbersome, especially during periods of romance. There is also little in the way of interpersonal conflict. Politics and interpersonal tension are at a minimum. Instead, James Wardroper directs his attention toward triumph of Christian principles over heresy and the chaos of historical transition.
This is the first in a series of stories that carries the reader through Christian history. I look forward to following the developments of the Michmash dynasty. (The Michmash Chronicles is published through Essence Publishing ISBN 155452506-3 42095.)