Read on below the blurb for our reviews and interview with Anthony Jones, author of “The Sword of Goliath.”
The Sword of Goliath focuses primarily on a man named Jacob (or Jake) Stanton, who is spending his days in San Quentin Penitentiary for a crime he did not commit. Jake was wrongly accused, unfairly tried, and unreasonably sentenced for the murder of his wife, and he’s just lost his final appeal. As Jake begins to mentally prepare for life inside the walls of San Quentin, he’s assigned a new cell-mate, Stephen Stross. Stross befriends Jake and, in earning Jake’s trust, convinces him that he is a member of the Shaddai.
The Shaddai, descendants of the Biblical Nephilim through the bloodline of Seth, are on the hunt for twelve artifacts that will help them to win the final battle over the demonic Grigori; they believe the key to finding one of these powerful artifacts, the sword of Goliath, rests inside the mind of Jake Stanton. After engineering a successful escape from San Quentin, Jake and Stephen begin the quest for the legendary lost sword, but it will not be an easy effort. As escaped convicts, they are on the run from the law; as Shaddai, they are the targets of the Grigori and its evil underlord Zoltar. Jake is going to need every resource imaginable, from skeptical law enforcement agent Sam Jericho; to prophets of the Old Testament; to the hand of God Himself.
The Final Battle has begun, not only in this world, but in other unseen dimensions.
Stacy’s Review: 4****
I would call this book one of the Christian fantasy genre, but a person does not need to be one of faith to enjoy it. The story is based on Genesis 6, verses 1-6 of the Bible, which says:
” And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
That the sons of God (angels) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
Sons of God taking wives of the daughters of men
The resulting children of these unholy unions, from the angels rebelling against God, crossing a boundary, and corrupting human DNA were the Nephilim:
And Goliath (yes THAT Goliath), who little David fought and defeated in the Bible (I Samuel 17):
David took the sword of slain Goliath, and is the focus of the book, for it has been hidden for millenia, and the evil and good alike are seeking it, for it has magical powers.
I believe that the author took artistic license with the Biblical account, for according to the Bible, good angels did not also come down and have children with women in order to keep the evil ones in check, but for the larger sake of the story, I think it works. It is an example of the classic good battles evil scenario, and is compelling.
Main character, Jake Stanton has known his entire life he was a little different from everyone else, but he could not put his finger on just how. When his lovely wife is slain, and he is wrongly sent to prison for her murder, his destiny begins to be revealed to him. I can’t wait to continue on this journey that Anthony Jones has crafted in book two,The Wizard of Nod. I can’t wait to see what happens to Jake, Stephen and the cast of characters, and if they do ultimately win!
My thanks to author Anthony Jones for providing me with a copy of the books in exchange for an honest review.
The Sword of Goliath by Anthony Jones is the first installment of The Bloodline Chronicles. It’s a fantasy fiction story, which has been drawn from Genesis Chapter 6 in the Bible. I definitely consider it to be faith-based, but I believe the book can be relished by all regardless of their faith.
The main character is Jake Stanton, who is serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Another important character enters the story and becomes very connected to Jake as they are about to set out on a mission to regain the lost Sword of Goliath.
I found it absolutely exceptional the way the author has used Genesis Chapter 6 to create a fantasy of such magnitude, which includes lucid characters and an enthralling story. As you read the story about Jake and Stephen, you’re left to wonder what trials and tribulations will emerge. Will they be blessed, and will Jake’s dreams for a life with loved ones be granted?
I adored many aspects about this book. Right off the rip, I fell in love with the cover. Also, I appreciate the writing style. It’s easy to read and the layout is unique. There were many different attracting components to the story as well. I loved the different worlds the author created, especially The Crossing, which was my favorite element in the story.
I’d recommend this book series to anyone, but highly to those who enjoy reading the fantasy genre. Surely grab yourself a copy of The Sword of Goliath!
I’m looking forward to reading The Wizard of Nod (The Bloodline Chronicles #2).
Thanks to author Anthony Jones for sharing a copy of The Sword of Goliath with me. I’m glad to have read it!
Interview Q&A with Anthony Jones
You can also visit Anthony Jones’ Website at: https://www.bloodlinechronicles.net/
Twogalsandabook.com: Your bio mentions that you were a journalist in high school. Did you choose this because you always wanted to be a writer, or did you stumble into it and found you loved it? Were you an avid reader all throughout your childhood, or was it a hobby acquired later?
Anthony Jones: I have always liked writing but I think I chose Journalism in high school because I was interested in a certain female assistant editor who didn’t know I existed. I was not what you might consider an avid reader as a child. I fell in love with books the early 70’s during what used to be traditional story time in our home. Now I read every day.
Twogalsandabook.com: From early on in the book, I thought the author must have intimate knowledge of how the prison system in the U. S. works. Then I read your bio, which said you retired from Associate Warden for the California Department of Corrections. Had you worked in the penal system many years, and did you enjoy the work?
Anthony Jones: I spent twenty-three years with the California Department of Corrections before retiring in 2013. I was assigned to five different prisons including San Quentin, High Desert State Prison, California State Prison Solano, Ironwood State Prison, and California State Prison Sacramento or New Folsom. Clearly this was not what I put my hand up for on career day in the sixth grade, however, I did enjoy the work. Nothing will give one perspective in life like walking death row at San Quentin.
Twogalsandabook.com: You said, also in your bio, that Stephen King’s book, Wizard and Glass, inspired the story in this book? How did that story merge with the account in Genesis 6?
Anthony Jones: In my opinion, some of the best stories in the world come from the good book. The thought of spinning a tale from the mysteries of the bible has always appealed to me. I am a Christian man and would never approach the holy text with disrespect, so a fantasy tale based loosely on scripture seemed best. Since Genesis 6 is one of the biggest mysteries in the bible, I thought it would be a good place to start. I suppose the inspiration I drew from Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass was how he managed to put together a small group of gunslingers and send them on a quest to face the evil in Thunderclap with the end goal of righting the wrong at the dark tower. I liked the comradery of Stephen King’s, Roland Deschene, Cuthbert Allgood and Alin Johns. They are my Jake Stanton, Stephen Stross and Daniel Jackson. Friends thicker than brothers.
Twogalsandabook.com: Out of all the Stephen King novels, which would be your favorite?
Anthony Jones: I like Stephen King a lot, but I also find some of his work disagreeable. Horror and gore is not really my cup of tea. But books like The Stand, The Green Mile, Gerald’s Game, The Talisman, Hearts in Atlanta, and all of The Dark Tower volumes are terrific. I think if I had to choose I would stick with Dark Tower IV Wizard and Glass as it captures all of what I love about the author. It is a tale of adventure, love, brotherhood, battle, and magic.
Twogalsandabook.com: In Chapter 3, you mention Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. “the Night Stalker”. Did you have dealings with him during your career in the penal system?
Anthony Jones: Richard Ramirez was on death row during my tour of duty. I did have contact with him. He was one of many very strange condemned men I had dealings with.
Twogalsandabook.com: The escape made by Jake and Stephen from prison sounds similar to what the convicts from Alcatraz did. Was that your inspiration for the fictional escape in the book?
Anthony Jones: Funny you should mention that. San Quentin built in 1852 is constructed a lot like Alcatraz. As a matter of fact, many of the locks from Alcatraz were installed at San Quentin. And your assumptions are well placed. The escape from Alcatraz simply made the most sense. Especially since it is based on actual events. The tunnel I described exists so I was obliged to include it.
Twogalsandabook.com: If the witch of En-dor served and worshipped Zoltar, how did Zoltar not know that the Sword of Goliath was hidden in her possession all those thousands of years?
Anthony Jones: In my story, the witch, Tabatha, is more of a free agent then a partner of Zoltar. Tabatha did not worship Zoltar, she worshiped gold and jewels and magical objects of power. Both characters embraced the seven deadly sins and were on the side of Morning Star but for different reasons. Zoltar was a mesa dragon who wanted the Sword to assemble the powerful talisman. Tabatha held the sword for the magic it possessed and greedily kept it a secret.
Twogalsandabook.com: Can you give us any clues as to what is coming in the future installments in the series?
Anthony Jones: I have completed the second installment and it is available. “The Wizard of Nod” is the second book and I have been told it answers many of the questions readers had with the first book. As you might imagine, the tale picks up almost where the first book left off. Jake, Stephen and Daniel begin a quest for the Staff of Moses. This book introduces new villains including the Wicked Wizard of Nod and his new general Azazel. I have plotted the third installment; however, I have set it aside as I work on a new idea.
Twogalsandabook.com: Have you written anything else?
Anthony Jones: The Sword of Goliath is my first novel. I have also published the second installment in The Bloodline series, “The Wizard of Nod.” I have many short stories and several starts to a book. I learned a long time ago, just because you start a novel, there is no guarantee it will be completed until you reach the end.
Twogalsandabook.com: Do you plan on writing more after this series? Would it be the same genre?
Anthony Jones: I think I will write until I am physically not able to do so. I do enjoy writing fantasy fiction, but I am not opposed to trying something different. I love to journal, and I have lots of ideas for books. Not to mention, my ten year old daughter is a lover of writing and storytelling. She is quite good and I’m not just saying that because I love her more than life itself. Also, my good friend and partner D. B. Lewis from San Quentin is writing a novel. So we three often share breakfast at our favorite restaurant and discuss our stories.
Twogalsandabook.com: What ambitions do you have for your writing career?
Anthony Jones: I am not a struggling novelist trying to make a living from selling books. That said, I like the fact that people are buying my stories. I suppose there is much to be said about one day having a best seller. However, I am happy to keep working towards that goal for as long as it takes.
Twogalsandabook.com: What are you working on now?
Anthony Jones: I am working on a science fiction story currently titled “Legacies” set in the near future in a post-apocalyptic USA following a second civil war. In this novel a father and daughter survive in the California wilderness while trying to cross from the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the Warner Mountains where they believe they may have surviving family worried about them.
Twogalsandabook.com: What was the most difficult part of writing the book? Were there any scenes that you altered or deleted?
Anthony Jones: William Falkner is quoted as saying “When writing you must kill your darlings.” (Meaning to delete your words) Stephen King teaches this in his book on writing as well. I think for any author cutting/delegating your own work has to be the most difficult part of writing the book. But you must kill your darlings!
Twogalsandabook.com: Was much research required to write The Sword of Goliath?
Anthony Jones: Actually I did very little research when writing The Sword of Goliath. Once I finished the first draft I felt the consequences. I was forced to make many changes as I read and re-read the book and cross referenced it with other materials. I learned the hard way research is necessary.
Twogalsandabook.com: Has a trailer been made for The Sword of Goliath?
Anthony Jones: Not at this time.
Twogalsandabook.com: If The Sword of Goliath were made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?
Anthony Jones: Being a casting director is not really my wheelhouse. However for fun I might cast Chris Pratt in the part of Jake and maybe Ryan Hurst as Stephen. But what do I know?
Twogalsandabook.com: How do you deal with writer’s block?
Anthony Jones: If I reach a point where the story is not flowing easy, I stop and simply do something else. Maybe research or read. It’s never a good idea to force a plot forward.
Twogalsandabook.com: Where is your favorite place to write? What is your ideal writing atmosphere?
Anthony Jones: My beautiful wife Sherri is likely my greatest inspiration and my biggest distraction. So I get very little writing done at home. I suppose a quiet place is ideal. I wrote The Sword of Goliath in 2011 in my travel trailer on the California Arizona boarder parked on the Colorado River. I was alone and worked in the evenings while assigned to Ironwood State Prison. In 2016, I wrote The Wizard of Nod in motel rooms on my laptop while traveling to the 33 prisons working as a Consultant to The Department of Corrections.
Twogalsandabook.com: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Anthony Jones: I really don’t consider myself an expert on the matter. I am the one more likely to take advice then give it. I tell my daughter to never give up. Keep writing and try not to become discouraged. When you make it to the end of a story, you will know it was worth it.
Twogalsandabook.com: Is there anything you would like to add that we have not discussed?
Anthony Jones: I want to thank “Two Gals and a Book” for your generous reviews of The Sword of Goliath and for featuring my book on your blog. I am honored to have you as connections and friends on goodreads. I have received lots of positive feedback through messages and e-mails about the book but it is the reviews that authors crave. For we live and die by the reviews we receive.
Twogalsandabook.com: Are there any social media platforms that readers could connect with you on?
Anthony Jones: My web site ~ https://www.bloodlinechronicles.net/
Twogalsandabook.com would like to thank Anthony Jones for sharing his book “The Sword Of Goliath” with us and for agreeing to do this interview.