Opelika native promotes novel


By Morgan Bryce

Inspired by the likes of fantasy authors Robert Jordan and J.R.R. Tolkien, Opelika native Br. Benedict Dyar is actively promoting his first novel “The Flame of Telbyrin,” which was published last year.
Describing it as a “fantasy adventure with (elements of) action, double-crosses, romance and suspense,” Dyar said the book also possesses characters and storylines derived from the Bible.
“I enjoy writing stories full of it. I believe readers will get that message in our world where fiction currently seems widely dark … the book is really a Christian fantasy,” Dyar said. “I hope the readers will really take that message home.”
The book’s setting is Telybrin, a world inhabited by elves, humans, wood fays and the story’s antagonists, the Meldrons. In the world’s center is the Sacred Flame of Telybrin, the exact location where the creator brought the world into being.
Protagonists Orilin and Larilyn Alandiron discover that the flame’s brightness is slowly being snuffed out, and must determine the cause before it is too late.
Book critics and reviewers have praised the book, with many describing it as “cleverly written.”
“Masterful storytelling with a spiritual perspective. Even readers who aren’t already fans of the fantasy genre will be in drawn in through Brother Benedict’s twists, turns and double-crosses, with sprinkling of humor throughout,” wrote journalist and editor Greg Richter.
Fellow author Laura Axelrod said she enjoyed the novel’s “deftly drawn characters and (its) distinctive storyline.”
Dyar’s love of both writing and the fantasy genre stems from his childhood. While progressing through the Opelika City Schools system, he would craft stories for his mother to read and enjoy. Jordan’s and Tolkien’s writings were particularly influential in his high school years.
Writing is now a natural process for Dyar, with personal inspiration for stories coming during his days at Cullman’s St. Bernard Abbey.
“I get my ideas for my stories purely for my love of fantasy adventure. I enjoy writing stories full of light; something that will make my readers walk away feeling great and hopefully want to read more,” Dyar said. “It’s when I’m exercising or doing my job of baking bread here at the monastery when the ideas mostly come.”
Dyar’s next book-signing event will be at the annual Bloomin’ Festival April 6 to 7, a benefit for the St. Bernard Preparatory School, which is run by fellow Benedictine monks.
For more information, contact Dyar by email at brbenedictrose@gmail.com. Copies of the novel are available on Amazon and Goodreads.


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