A conversation with her sons over scrambled eggs one morning led best-selling author Priscilla Shirer on a new writing journey that became The Prince Warriors.
The young adult novel follows bickering brothers Xavier and Evan, along with several friends and classmates, into the mysterious land of Ahoratos, where they discover the part they play in an invisible battle raging all around them.
After seeing the way a story captured the imagination of her oldest son and fielding questions from two of her sons on spiritual warfare, Shirer had the idea of communicating that very real topic using a fictional story.
Shirer says the recently released first book of the trilogy from B&H Kids tries to “capture the epic tone of a mysterious and intriguing adventure novel while simultaneously uncovering principles about spiritual warfare, particularly the armor of God.”
While her latest book departs from her previous best-selling devotional books like Fervent and The Resolution for Women, this, much like her acting debut in the Kendrick Brothers’ film War Room, is another in a long line of risks from Shirer.
“When I think back on the journey that the Lord has taken me on over the past 20 years of ministry, most every single thing He’s set in my path to do has been outside of my comfort zone and has required a full reliance on His strength in order to accomplish it,” she said. “With this series, God has given me a fresh opportunity to flex new creative muscles and trust Him again and again.”
For her other books, Shirer studies a passage of Scripture or biblical topic and then takes a year to craft lessons to help readers comb through the appropriate verses. By contrast, The Prince Warriors took around six years from start to finish.
In addition to working with veteran fiction writer Gina Detwiler on the story, Shirer says this has been the most collaborative project she’s ever done. “Usually, I’m writing my projects all alone from start to finish,” she said. “But with this series, there have been many minds lending their expertise to the end result. I believe that the project is stellar because of it.”
Shirer invited several theological scholars to read through the book to ensure nothing would be unbiblical, but she was also committed to “having fun dreaming up a fictional environment and story.”
She wanted to strike a delicate balance of presenting truth in a creative way. “I wanted hints of spiritual things to be tucked below the surface of the story, not so deep they can’t be mined, but not so conspicuous that a young reader would find the story ‘cheesy’ and not stay until the end. The fact is, youth can smell ‘cheese’ a mile away. I wanted to do my best to avoid that stench.”
Shirer hopes The Prince Warriors helps young readers recognize the reality of spiritual warfare and the existence of “divine armor that will enable them to walk in victory. Alerting the next generation to this reality as soon as possible will prepare them to be adults who make right choices, live in an awareness of spiritual realities, and fight their battles using divine weapons that actually work.”
The Prince Warriors is the first book in a trilogy from Shirer. The Prince Warriors and the Unseen Invasion and a related devotional entitled Unseen are set to release this October with the third book in the trilogy coming next spring.