Echoes of Narnia

Nate Morgan Locke, Creative Director, Speak Life

To be a rider of Callenlas, under the seven-pointed star of Elior, is a deep privilege, and those who read the tale of Cairn, son of Oran, will share his ambition. From the training fields of Ilith to Falnarth Peak to the port at Cleor, each chapter draws us in and drives us on.

The air of Callenlas carries echoes of Narnia. Your children will want a shelf full of books like The First Skyrider. 

Even better than the first book

Felicity Carswell, Podcaster, Two Sisters & A Cup of Tea

This beautifully crafted, richly imagined story is even better than the first book in this series. Hess has outdone herself as the reader is swept into a compelling tale that reverberates with the sound of King Jesus and the glorious gospel.

Humanity with all its sinful foibles, is evident throughout the array of characters that cross the pages, but we are drawn again and again - like our protagonist - to the grace and mercy of the king. We watch a young man grow up, and mature, against the backdrop of dragons, stars and mind arts but the familiar strands of man and God mean that we are all in with our flawed hero and long for him to give his whole heart to his King.

I didn't want this book to end, and would highly recommend it for it’s masterful storytelling as well as the way it shows us King Jesus. 

Like if Harry Potter met How to Train Your Dragon

Bethan Lycett, Author, The Pearl of Great Price

After throughly enjoying the first book in the Callenlas Chronicles I waited eagerly to see if there would be a follow up book. Much to my surprise this is actually a prequel, and provides an amazing background to the dragon riders we meet in The Dark Star, and the book expands on the readers understanding of King Elior and the history of Callenlas too.
Hess’s style of writing is not only beautifully rich, especially with regards to the characters, but she weaves together an incredibly compelling story which made for a book I didn’t want to put down. The story is like if Harry Potter met How to Train Your Dragon, but better! I can’t wait to see what Hess writes next.

...Read more reviews here

Fun story raising good questions

Phil Sweeting, parent and associate pastor of Monyhull Church, Birmingham

Full of gadgets, surprising plot twists, and terrible puns, this was a book we enjoyed with all our children. At the surface it is a great adventure story, but it also raises thoughtful questions about the relationship between faith and science, that which we can explain and that which we can't. Recommended.

6 stars!

Sarah, aged 8 - 12

5 stars! No! 6 stars! It was amazing, gripping and tense. Great main characters. The main villain is disguised at first and I love that. When I read it, I felt like I was there with Joe and Beth. I totally recommend it.

Strong spiritual message


There is a strong spiritual message woven through the story which is communicated sensitively and honestly. I can't wait for my granddaughter (nearly two) to be a few years older so I can share it with her!


A truly brilliant adventure

Felicity Carswell, Podcaster, Two Sisters & A Cup of Tea

The Dark Star is an intriguing adventure from the start. We’re introduced to our two protagonists, both involved in different missions, and who’s paths eventually cross. Gospel glimmers strengthen as we meet the kind and strong king Elior, and we begin to see why one young boy says that ‘he’s finally found someone worth following’.

We feel ourselves pulled towards Jesus as we hear his voice through this story. Beautifully crafted, compellingly told and full of Bible truth that threads through a truly brilliant adventure. I loved it!

I can't believe this is a debut novel!

Tama Fortner, ECPA award-winning and bestselling writer

Debut author H. R. Hess invites readers to soar into a world of dragon riders, Sendings, and stars that come down to walk the earth. It is a world locked in war and the timeless battle between good and evil. Here, Zaphreth leaves behind all he knows to embark on a mission to infiltrate his enemy’s inner circle. On the other side of the battle lines, Runa escapes her father’s palace and a life she did not choose. When their paths unexpectedly cross, the adventure truly begins.

As a reader, I’ll confess that fantasy isn’t my go-to genre, but I’m so glad I gave this one a try. Hess exhibits a care with words that is too rarely seen—her writing is simply beautiful.

The Dark Star is for every boy who feels the pull to be something more, and for every girl who longs to choose a life of adventure and meaning.

I enjoyed the battle

Toby, age 12

The Dark Star was a magical and inspiring book. I really liked the way it used dragons without focusing on them. I loved it when Zaphreth finally met King Elior and was surprised by his forgiveness just like God is. And I enjoyed the battle between Elior and Lur at the end. 

Wholesome, great pace and intrigue

Rob Seabrook, author

This genre may not be my usual reading, but I really enjoyed escaping into this new world, engaging with the young heroine and hero. The book is ideal for readers aged 8 or 9 and above. Pace is so important to keep all readers engaged, and this one races along, the reader quickly getting drawn in to the adventures of the two main protagonists.

There is plenty of lovely description and intrigue to keep the pages turning. I have a feeling that there will be many of young readers waking up a bit bleary eyed, having read well into the night!

It is a wholesome, clean book with strong underlying principles that allows younger readers to fire their imaginations and be inspired.

I am very much hoping that there is a sequel or two on the way! 

Got me back into reading!

Aryan Sanghrajka, reader

I am not a very big reader, however this extremely well written book got me back into reading. Thank you Rich Castro, outstanding novel!

Teens will definitely relate 

Peter Andrews, Urban Saints

Rich Castro has taken the friendships, fears and frustrations of teenage life and crafted a high-octane fantasy adventure that demonstrates why underestimating the talents and tenacity of young people is rarely a good idea.

I want it to be a TV series! 

I've never read anything like it

Donald S Whitney, author and Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

This is truly a unique book. I’ve never read another like it. Geoff Thomas has gathered both famous American folktales and historical vignettes and blended them with Gospel truths, all delivered in a way only a great Welsh storyteller and preacher like Geoff can tell them. Whether you are new to these stories or it’s been years since you’ve read them, you’ll enjoy encountering them in this classic collection.

A most enjoyable read 

Jonny Gibson, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia; author of The Moon Is Always Round

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘The moral of the story is …’ In this delightful book, Geoff Thomas draws out this principle from a number of American folktales, but with a big difference: he applies the moral in the story to Christ and the Christian life in surprising ways: some comparative, some contrastive—all creative! A most enjoyable read!

"Tell us another one!"

Mary Beeke, wife of Joel Beeke, author of Law of Kindness

Geoff Thomas is the consummate storyteller. Our children used to clamor, ‘Tell us another one!’. On these pages you’ll find a fascinating mix of American folktales, with flavors from various nations. The bonus is the application—wisdom for everyday life and for eternal life. It’s golden!

I love it

Noah Levy, reader

I love the way the book tells you more about God and Jesus. The best story I think was Casey Jones because he risked his life to save others like our Saviour Jesus.

Excellent bedtime read 

Christine Farenhorst, Christian Renewal Magazine

There are Aesop's Fables and now there are Geoffrey's Epilogues.

Geoffrey Thomas has embroidered a stitch of Biblical truth into the material of a number of folktales; he has inserted a shoot of Scriptural veracity into the appendages of popular stories.  Some of these stories such as Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit, feature well-known characters; others such as the hunted Goose, are not as familiar.  But all have this in common in their epilogues: the pointing of hearts to the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book, and there are three more in the works, can be used for bedtime discussion; for heart-searching of both young and old alike; and for considering the fact that this life is but a step away from eternity.