By Jaime Showmaker
“Get outta my way! My name’s Picket and I’m gonna get you, Redeye Garlackson,” I hear him shriek as I make my way down the basement steps. I round the corner in time to see my 6-year-old leap from the toy chest, wielding his wooden sword in the air, blanket-cape flying behind him. As he lands roughly on a stuffed animal, he looks up and smiles. “Oh, hi Mommy! I was playing Green Ember.”
As he collects himself out of the heap on the floor and runs off, calling behind him “‘til the Green Ember rises or the end of the world,” I cannot help but smile, my heart overflowing with gratitude.
Stories have the power to shape lives and form souls. Stories give us glimpses of all that is possible within us. They tell of things that have been and hint of things that could be. Stories caution us, inspire us, instruct us, and mold us. And one of the goals of my life as a mom is to fill my children’s hearts and souls brimful with stories. I want them to feast on heroic tales and daring adventures. I want them to bear witness to difficulty and suffering, sacrificial love and profound beauty. Through the power of stories, I want them to understand what it means to be human and to hope in ultimate restoration and redemption.
And that is why I am so sincerely grateful for those who share that vision.
If you have been a follower of the Storyformed blog or listened to the podcast for any length of time, you know that we are HUGE fans of The Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith. Often called “new stories with an old soul,” Smith’s books have the unique quality of conveying timeless truths while addressing the challenges that confront the modern reader. The first two books in the main series are favorites of all of my boys, and I am thrilled that I can now share with them the third installment, Ember Rising.
From the moment I began reading, I was swept away in the non-stop adventure that fills Ember Rising. I was breathless--engrossed in the daring escapades of our beloved sword-bearing rabbits. Like Smith’s prior four novels, Ember Rising is chock full of spectacular action, but the intensity and stakes have increased. Courage, fortitude, duty, innovation, and sacrifice are all required. The journey is perilous and the outcome uncertain. But, like all of Smith’s stories, Ember Rising echoes with an undercurrent of beauty, goodness, and purity that nourishes the deepest parts of the soul--the part that longs for hope in the midst of darkness.
In my opinion, it is Smith’s best novel yet. The plot has thickened; the characters are even more richly drawn; and the writing is succinct yet beautiful. Fans of the series will be happy to discover answers to questions they have held since the first book, even as twists in the story develop and new questions arise. Ember Rising is a book that is deeply satisfying on its own, yet it begs for more, as the adventures of the inhabitants of Natalia and the Longtreader family continue.
Although I had the privilege of pre-reading the book before it’s official Spring 2018 release, I have great news! The Kickstarter for Ember Rising is now LIVE! This means that if you support the printing of the book by pledging during the Kickstarter campaign, you can also receive a copy of Ember Rising before its public release. Also, by supporting S.D. Smith in the launch of his newest book, you can not only be one of the first to get a copy of Ember Rising, but you will be an integral part of bringing more of these beautiful, wholesome stories into the world for our children.
Click HERE to back the project and get an early copy of Ember Rising (or an audiobook copy, narrated by Joel Clarkson), as well as lots of Green Ember swag! But hurry, as this is a time-sensitive campaign!
“May these stories be a spark in your heart to ignite flames that fight fiercely against the darkness.” S.D. Smith
The Green Ember Series Recommended Reading Order:
The Black Star of Kingston (a prequel)
The Last Archer (a side novella)
Also, click here to hear our Storyformed podcast with special guest S.D. Smith