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VOYAWhen he was thirteen, Prince Abramm renounced any claim to the throne of Kiriath and entered holy orders. But at twenty-one, just as he is to end his eight years of preparation by taking his vows, he is kidnapped and sold into slavery by his brother and the high priests of Abramm's own order. With the help of Meridon, the captain of the king's guard who accompanies him into slavery, Abramm not only survives but turns from a weak, bookish prince into a powerful warrior, a good thing because he spends the next two years as a gladiator. As he continues to win in the arena, legends develop around Abramm and Meridon: Could they be the deliverers of whom the prophecies have spoken? Abramm's struggle with his faith keeps him from accepting his own role in the prophecy. He violently rejects the Terstan religion that Meridon practices even as he is drawn to it. The resolution of Abramm's inner battle mirrors the external war between the oppressed masses and their evil rulers. The Terstan religion is a clear proxy for Christianity, and readers who enjoy their sword-and-sorcery with a strong allegorical component might like the exciting fight scenes and the hair-raising escapes. Characterization, however, especially of the two females in the book, could be much stronger. Libraries that include Christian fantasy titles might want this book, although some readers could be put off by the violence, mild sex, and magic that both good and evil characters practice. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, Bethany House, 432p., Trade pb.Ages 15 to Adult.