Book Review: Quest For Light, Adventure of the Magi

This post is sponsored, but all opinions are 100% mine.  I promise.

I just finished reading Quest for Light, Adventure of the Magi written by Byron Anderson.  Let me tell you a little bit about this book.

It’s the story of the men who saw the star in the sky pointing to the newborn Messiah.  You can read all about it in the book of Matthew in the Bible. Quest for Light goes behind the scenes and expands the details for you.  I love novels that put skin on some of the Bible stories.  Who were the magi?  What did it look like when they traveled across the Middle East?  What dangers did they face?  How long did it take them?

This book gives many of those answers as it takes you on their quest:  the physical journey and the spiritual journey.

The story begins with Balthasar–a Mede descended from Persia–seeing a magnificent star in the sky over the western sky.  Many others cannot see it, so he calls for his friend Gaspar to come and discuss it.  Gaspar, too, sees the star and together they determine they must leave their families and follow it.  It takes many days to prepare for their journey and Balthasar leaves his youngest son and wife to go on a 2 year journey.

Gaspar and Balthasar travel together with their group of faithful servants and as they travel they unexpectedly pick up a friend/co-traveling companion named Melchior.  He joins them for the entirety of the journey and is regarded as an equal.

As they travel to this unknown God, they are very open to respecting other beliefs and religions.  As they journey, they encounter bandits and sandstorms which take them from a belief in their personal god named Ahura Mazda and his servant Zoroaster to a belief in Yahweh, the Hebrew God.

You experience their relief when they finally make it to Israel and their uneasiness in dealing with Herod.  You experience their joy when they mean the Messiah.  And you experience their rushed panic to leave into safety for the presence of the Sent One.  And their sadness to leave Him.

And then the book ends.  With hope.  They rejoice for finding the savior and their lives have now discovered real joy.

Pros:

  • No one knows who the Magi actually were, but tradition tells us there were three names Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior.  Byron expands on that tradition and gives each man a personality and a life.  There is no way these are non-fiction, but due to the nature of historical fiction, even if they aren’t real, men with these exact lives COULD have. 
  • Balthasar brings his oldest son with him on the journey and you see the boy becoming a young man (at least I do–or is that just my mothering eyes)
  • The way Byron weaves in their faith journey is so tangible and real that it’s extremely exciting to “watch” these men come to faith in Yahweh. 

 Cons:

  • Some parts of the narrative are slow.  I loved the beginning which discusses the historical life of a Mede in Persia–one with great influence.  I was enthralled with that history, but the story didn’t move along quickly at first. 
  • Also, there were times when I felt like the book was just reporting their movements.  I wasn’t transported with them in their journey.  I can’t pick out sections for you, but occasionally that happened. 
  • I had a hard time following who was who with their foreign names.  After a while, I just made sure that I kept the Magi straight and didn’t think too much about the rest. 
Quest for Light Adventure of the Magi is a great book to read with your children ages 10 and up. I think younger children would like the adventure it brings but need a maturity to understand the significance of this story. 
With that said, I would read it with my seven year old if she expressed a desire to learn about the magi.
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About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
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