Konig’s Fire – Marc Schooley
They call him Nebuchadnezzar. He makes the fires seven times hotter. But he can’t escape the burning of his conscience. Deep in the heart of a Romanian forest, Nazi forces have established a concentration camp that makes Auschwitz and Dachau pale in comparison. None survive. At the Nachthaus, everything burns. It is into this harrowing world that Sascha Konig is thrown into.
Konig is a Nazi, yes, but what he sees terrifies and disturbs even him. A force more evil than Hitler controls the Nachthaus; there’s something otherworldly about the way the guards and officers behave. But Konig will do as all good Germans have done: stay silent, do his job, and stay alive. Then the forest rebels against them. Plant creatures called Pflanzen-Kriegerin mount an assault against the fortressed mine of Nachthaus and Konig isn’t sure if this is his damnation or salvation.
In the depths of horrendous evil can come the faintest shimmer of good and this is the refrain of Konig’s Fire. Ex malo bonum. Out of evil, good. Even the Nachthaus and all its evil can produce something good. The question is whether or not Konig’s heart will understand that in time.
Konig’s Fire, Mark Schooley’s sophomore novel, is a stunning work that epitomizes Christian speculative fiction with its wild forays into extraordinary circumstances and ideas. Plant men, possessed commanders, the eyes of the gypsy girl, the face in the wall, ex malo bonum—Schooley weaves together a tale that leaves the reader glued to the page, engaging mind and soul in an epic journey through the heart of evil in order to find the light. The word rages, the Nachthaus roars, but in the end the ultimate confrontation will be between the Master of all fires and the one they call Nebuchadnezzar.
In what has become his trademark form, Schooley weaves Biblical imagery seamlessly within his plot, tackling Christianity’s greatest question in the form of fiction—Why is there evil? Why does God allow evil? Konig’s Fire is the personal story of one man as he discovers that answer.
As a special note, I’d like to mention that Konig’s Fire is a Christy Award nominee in the Visionary category, alongside The Last Christian by David Gregory and To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson. Congratulations to Marc on the nomination and wishing him the best come selection time.
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