Giant Slayers

Coming September 2016

ebook_cover3The Kingdom or the Girl?

Demons attack him.
protect him.
A seer foretells his shocking destiny.

In a primitive land filled with magic, witches and giants, a sixteen-year-old musician named David is summoned to chase away the nightmares haunting the King each night. But more than bad dreams trouble the King. Demons torment him, and David will need more than music to break the curse.

Demons are only the first sign of a deeper and darker evil that plagues the countryside. Bent on revenge and an insatiable thirst for power, the Witch of Endor and a giant named Goliath lead an invading force against the kingdom. King Saul’s army is crumbling and only a champion can save them, but who would be fool enough to face the giant?

Princess Michal is frustrated by the constraints of palace life, but David’s arrival makes things infinitely more interesting. She finds herself drawn to him, but a romance with a poor musician is strictly forbidden for the king’s daughter. Only by defying her father’s wishes and risking her freedom do they have a chance to be together.

Armed with just his sling and his love for Michal, David must prove his worth by defeating Goliath against impossible odds. Worst of all, he must choose between saving the kingdom or being with the girl of his dreams. He can’t do both.

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​Great authors view both history and mythology with different perspectives and in writing Giant Slayers, Jeff Altabef and Ken Altabef have made the biblical story of David and Goliath come alive like never before. Deviating completely from the phraseology of biblical text, the authors have written a story meant to enthrall both the learned and the newcomer to mythology. The book starts with simple descriptions of a farmer and his little family of three sons and a daughter. Each son is different from the other while the youngest daughter is playful and carefree, most attached to the youngest son, David. David spends most of his time tending to the sheep and often strays away from the known pastures, sometimes herding his little flock through rarely trodden paths over the mountainous areas. A glimpse of some extraordinary ability is seen when David faces a charging bear and an attacking mountain lion with his weapons being the shepherd's staff and his faith in the Lord, and overcomes them. The day comes when the farmer collects his family and they head to the town with the early harvest to catch the earliest traders. David loves music and plays his lyre for the townspeople and receives some coins for his effort. The king’s son hears him playing and, being impressed, he gives David a generous tip, also inviting him to come to the palace and play before the king himself.

The story is built skillfully by Jeff and Ken Altabef, who weave a fabric of events which keeps the reader enthralled. The colorful cover is attractive. The narrative flows nicely and, slowly but surely, builds to a great climax and more. David meets King Saul’s daughter and is enthralled. He sings and plays for the king, who is so moved by the wonder of his music, that he is able to sleep and the demons who used to disturb him are put to flight. Then comes the day that the Philistines find a great champion, a giant named Goliath, and position their armies to invade Israel. The build-up of the story to the moment when David faces Goliath in the open field of battle in one to one combat is riveting. To tell more would be to spoil the beauty of the tale and the many lessons of courage, bravery, faith and love it tells. Giant Slayers is an incredibly well narrated tale and it has changed the very foundations of my perspective of the mythological past! This is a memorable effort and deserves the five stars I am awarding it.

Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite

Giant Slayers by Jeff Altabef and Ken Altabef is an adventure fantasy that will draw readers into the world of David, a musician who is invited to a land where the king wants him to drive away his nightmares and safeguard the kingdom from the Witch of Endor and Goliath, a giant. David needs more than his music to save the land and, at the same time, David falls in love with Princess Michal. Now David is left with either saving the kingdom or being with the princess. Can he do both? If not, which one will he choose?

The story is whimsical, adventurous, and has giants, witches, and all the fantasy and excitement readers are looking for. There is a stream of diverse characters; these are well sketched, making them memorable to readers. The narration is vivid and descriptive, making the characters and scenes come alive in front of readers. The author manages to keep the pace and movement steady till the end, making the story compelling and entertaining. David's dilemma of choosing between saving the kingdom or being with the princess is palpable, and the skeins of fantasy are woven deftly through the plot till the end. The book will make readers believe in magic, giants, witches, and fantasy, and find a sense of belonging and normalcy in that world. The book is definitely a must-read for all those who are looking for entertainment, intrigue, and some escapism.

Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite