The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson

The Door Within (The Door Within Trilogy, Book 1) by Wayne Thomas Batson: This is the story of Aidan, a rather emotional 15-year-old boy who finds some old scrolls in his grandfather’s basement that lead him to The Realm, a fantastical land of knights, unicorns, and dragons. I spent much of the book with a nagging sense of deja vu. About halfway through I realized that this story was more or less The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe sans talking animals. It was all there: the Other Land discovered by a child but disbelieved by all their elders except for the old man who owned the house; the semi-medieval setting; and the heavy Christian allegory, without which the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (if you don’t recognize King Eliam as Jesus right away, you’ll spend much of the book wondering how he can be responsible for so many things he’s not present for). And despite its thickness, it also is unquestionably a children’s book. The characters are simple, the action is straightforward, and there are even potential vocabulary words in italics (portcullis, gauntlet, etc.). However, I’m looking at it through adult eyes. I’m sure this would be a very enjoyable book for a child, and it is in fact quite reminiscent of some of my favorite books from my youth. The description is very detailed without dragging, most of the characters are charmingly written, and the story is fun. I’m curious to see how the rest of the trilogy plays out.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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