REVIEW: The Prophet of Edan by Philip Chase

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

Reading The Prophet of Edan, the second book in Philip Chase’s Edan Trilogy, is a transcendent experience, epic in scope yet deeply personal.

The Prophet of Edan chronicles the War of the Way, a holy war launched by Bledla, Supreme Priest of the Kingdom of Torrlond, the self-declared Prophet of Edan who commands an army of enslaved dragons in his quest to conquer the land of Eormenlond. Bledla argues that his control over the dragons is “irrefutable proof of Edan’s blessing” in support of his blood-soaked war.

Cover for The Prophet of Edan by Philip ChaseWhile The Prophet of Edan is full of exhilarating dragon-fueled battle sequences, this outward action is balanced by a delicate introspection that showcases some of Philip Chase’s most lyrical prose to date, especially as he recounts lead protagonist Dayraven’s journey of self-discovery.

Throughout literary history, ravens symbolize wisdom, magic, and understanding, often acting as psychopomps that connect the physical world with the spiritual realm. In Greek mythology, the raven is also a symbol of Apollo, the god of prophecy, providing a direct connection with The Prophet of Edan. Philip Chase is also heavily influenced by Welsh mythology, where ravens represent bravery during battle. Even today, a flock of ravens guards the Tower of London; a superstition dating back to the English Civil War states that, if the ravens are removed, the entire Kingdom of England will fall.

Dayraven’s path toward enlightenment is, for me, the highlight of The Prophet of Edan. Dayraven is torn between earthly pleasures and embracing his call toward something greater, afraid of losing his attachments while also recognizing the need to detach himself for the benefit of those he loves.

There is a strong Buddhist element to Dayraven’s training, which evokes the lyrical reflections of Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse’s masterpiece of self-discovery. The mystical introspection of The Prophet of Edan also reminds me of the journey of enlightenment in Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, where the main protagonist seeks inner truth in a world full of cruelty.

Dayraven’s internal struggles pit his own identity versus that of the elf-shard, which became embedded within him in The Way of Edan. Dayraven often feels like the elven will is somehow taunting or controlling him. As he strives for deeper meaning, Dayraven oscillates between fighting this magic inside him and accepting its presence.

Dayraven’s journey of self-discovery is set against the seemingly unstoppable Torrlond war machine, where Bledla exploits Torrlonders’ faith as a rationale for military and political conquest. Bledla’s outward manifestation of magic is juxtaposed with Dayraven’s internal quest toward finding the magic within himself. The conflict between Bledla and Dayraven also highlights the contrast between organized religion and a more personal spirituality, especially when the former becomes a perversion of the faith that it supposedly professes. In many ways, The Prophet of Edan also serves as a commentary on the inadequacy of any religion to decipher the full mysteries of the universe.

Moving beyond this spiritual commentary, another highlight of The Prophet of Edan is the relationship between Dayraven and Sequara, a young sorceress and future queen who is wise beyond her years. Sequara forms a special bond with Dayraven and helps him to find his own inner truth. I was truly touched by the development of their relationship throughout the book, which left me in tears by the end.

Philip Chase also excels in worldbuilding, having created an expansive fantasy world with Eormenlond, which is fully explored in The Prophet of Edan. The Prophet of Edan seems to have a greater influence from George R.R. Martin compared to The Way of Edan. In true style of A Game of Thrones, Philip Chase does an excellent job introducing us to the various cultures and politics across a sprawling world.

The pacing of The Prophet of Edan is excellent. I was a bit afraid that the plot would wrap up too cleanly at the end of this second volume, leaving little to be explored in the third book of the trilogy. Fortunately, my concern turned out to be misplaced, and Philip Chase left me eager to continue with Return to Edan, the final volume of the trilogy which will be published this fall.

The Prophet of Edan is an instant classic, the perfect follow-up to Philip Chase’s masterful debut, The Way of Edan, and a glorious lamentation that somehow transcends its own epic scope.

5/5

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John Mauro

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.