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Children in the Night

Children in the Night - Harold Myra Children in the Night is a story set in total darkness. The Askirit people live in an underground world that has no sun, moon, or stars, and is too damp for fire. The only light they have ever seen is the light of sparks and luminous sea creatures. Within this world, we follow two major characters: Yosha, a tormented boy who is caught between his desire to seek light and his desire to avenge his father's death; and Asel, a strong-minded young female warrior who challenges her people's isolationism and fear of the "barbarians" who live outside their lands.

This is a tale that spans many years, and takes place against an intricately constructed background. Harold Myra spent ten years on this story, and the detail of the world he created makes it clear why. It cannot be easy to write a story in which every character is functionally blind, but Myra succeeds in creating a setting that is detailed and vivid enough to be engaging. The book starts off a bit slow, but once I got into it, I was quickly caught up in the details, the characters, and the overarching story. Yosha and Asel fascinated me, as did the trio of orphan children Asel rescued from the "barbarian" lands--and, of course, Auret, the battered, disabled boy who changes every life he touches.

Children in the Night is a Christian allegory, but I never felt beaten over the head by it, and I found it enjoyable as a stand-alone story. I read it first as a young teenager, and I strongly identified with the tale of two young people seeking the truth, challenging what they had been told, and fighting for their freedom and that of their people.