• John Micheal Hopkins

The Dark Taal: Discovering a Hero Amid a Crisis

There is a thin line that separates reality from fiction, and in times like these, when geopolitical wars and a pandemic plague the world, that fine line becomes blurred and hard to see. By Dean G.E. Matthews, The Dark Taal tells the story of a young boy named Aridain and his quest to destroy evil while escaping the dark forces lurking behind him.


Aridain’s main task is to recover and destroy the Foundation stones, in order to bring peace and unity to the land of Aymara. However, that task proves to be a difficult one as the evil wizard Kuelack will do everything in his power to prevent Aridain from acquiring the stones, even if it means bringing the boy to his death. Matthews exhibited his talent for probing people’s motivations and flaws while combining supernatural and realistic elements. The whole story takes you to a different world where chaos and power-hungry characters are prevalent, and where greed masks all signs of hope.



But while the book is largely a story of fiction, the themes that it adopts reverberates most at a time when the present world that we live in is dealing with an unprecedented crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Like the opposing light and evil forces in the book, the pandemic has shed light on how our desire for worldly pleasures can lead us to our ultimate doom. While there is no hard evidence stating the true origin of COVID-19, multiple studies link it to either bats or a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Regardless of which one of these is true, these studies signal how human beings easily take for granted the consequences of their actions. The pandemic has also exposed how humans can be selfish, especially when the only options are living or dying.

But unlike in the book, we do not have our own Aridain who can destroy the evil stones and save us from the darkness we live in. Hence, our reality calls for everyone to be a hero in their own way to survive the pandemic.

Remarkable and unforgettable reading experience from the incredible writers around the globe.

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