Cloak of the light is a fascinating story about a young man who finds himself in a curious situation, being able to see those in the supernatural realm, just as the series title suggests — Wars of the Realm.
I have read Chuck Black's Kingdom Series, and enjoyed it to an extent, but never had the gumption to read The Knights of Arrethtrae series. I generally like all that he writes, as it all has a purpose, and a higher message. Thus is the case with Cloak of the Light.
I love the idea of the story, someone who gains the ability to actually see angels and demons, I mean, I loved Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and this story falls in the same genre of spiritual warfare, and indeed I do like the story as a whole, but there are some things that I would like to review in this post that could have been better.
Primarily my problems are with the structure and description of various things, or with how things are put. I think that some of the things are rather awkwardly stated, such as the following
"It was apparent that he had inherited his dad's athletic prowess and muscular physique. When most of his friends struggled for every ounce of muscle added, his workouts simply toned and defined the muscles that his body naturally grew." — Cloak of the Light, p. 8.
It was almost painful to read the first time. I had to jump back and read it several times to realize that Black had actually written that. It is true, it is important to note that Drew is exceptionally strong and well built, but it was a mistake to put it as blandly and bluntly as that so early in the book.
Let's just say that the entire first quarter of the book was written sloppily. There were other parts as well, like,
"When Drew had mastered the environs in the States, their trips reached beyond the borders of the US to further expand his training. That's when Jake started infusing combat training into their trips—and Drew soaked it up like a sponge." — Cloak of the Light, p. 6.
Ugh—need I say more? It just doesn't sound right, put like that. It's not my story, so I'm not going to suggest an alternative to what I think is rather cumbersome.
Maybe it was supposed to be like everyone else's awkward teen years, in which case, bravo! Mr. Black.
But don't be too quick to write it off your reading list, it gets better later on.
If you can just get past the sixth chapter (before which I almost set the book down and stopped reading) it actually does get pretty good. As he becomes an adult the awkward descriptions cease and an intriguing plot takes shape, out of the rather shapeless first six chapters. I suppose, though, that if they weren't there it would be sort of hard to follow and perhaps empathize properly with our protagonist.
As the story progresses it reaches the final climax, which doesn't seem like the final climax because we don't know what will happen after the last chapter of the story. We are waiting for the final book, Light of the Last, to arrive at our library and eventually at the MACHÉ conference. Hopefully it will be ready before then.
All in all I, despite the rough beginning, I would have to give Cloak of the Light slightly more than . It isn't quite as good as Peretti's spiritual warfare books, which I would give hands down.
I must say that his second book, Rise of the Fallen, was written far better than Cloak of the Light. As a result, I have high hopes for the third in the series.
And as always, thanks for reading.