Book Review and Author Interview with M.H. Elrich

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

I thoroughly enjoy fantasy novels, and I have ever since I was a young reader pouring over The Wizard of Oz series. I fell in love with C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series because of the story so cleverly combined with a Christian message. Aslan is such a potent character to represent the joy we have because of Jesus in our lives. The creative story became a tool to draw me closer to the heart of God.

As an adult, I still enjoy fantasy, though most of it is not Christian. So I was pretty excited to read Etania's Worth: Daughters of Tamnarae by M.H. Elrich, an author I had met through Instagram. Etania's Worth is a fantasy novel that does not add faith as a layer on top, but weaves it into the very essence of the story. I loved how the Christian faith was represented creatively, and yet in a way that encourages the reader to deepen their own relationship with Jesus.

Here is the description for Etania's Worth from Amazon:

Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with a power, or Neuma, she didn’t know she hadthe ability to disable evil beings. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, he wants to use her as a weapon to stop a new threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania doesn’t want to be her father’s new weapon and wonders if that really is the purpose of her Neuma. Yet, the death of a loved one forces Etania on a journey to embrace her newfound power and save her country before it's too late.

What is the recommended reading age?

The main character has just reached adulthood in the story, and there are battle scenes, but I would recommend this as a Young Adult book. (YA Fiction is one of my favorite genres, so that is not to say adults wouldn't enjoy it too!)

Here is my review of Etania's Worth:

Etania's Worth is an immersive journey into a fantasy world where Jesus is represented by their leader Melchizedek and the Holy Spirit by a mysterious force called Neuma. This imaginative exploration of gifts left by Melchizedek to aid his people in their battle with evil is an exciting way for Christians to remember the amazing gift we have in the Holy Spirit.

As a lover of YA Fiction, there are many elements in this story I enjoyed: a race against time through dangerous and varied lands and peoples, a slow build of confidence in their abilities, a healing of past hurts, a struggle against change, and a search to discover their purpose. There is a romantic element to the story, and it follows a natural progression that unfolds beautifully. The Christian aspects of the story blend seamlessly with the fantasy world and fuels the story rather than simply adding on to it.

Etania is an excellent female lead character. She grows and changes and is instrumental in the key scenes in the story. Her relationship with her parents and her romantic interest are multi-layered and realistic.

I loved the presentation of the Neuma and various races so much that I felt that