Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin Book Review

 
Review Written By Madi
 
Book Title: Keepers of the Covenant
Author: Lynn Austin
Source: Litfuse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 500
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0899-7
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year of Publication: 2014
 
 
Book Description
The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king's palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.

When the battles come to an end, Ezra's brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude's widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple--but the fight to keep God's Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges...this one for the survival of God's covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.
 
 
Book Review
This book is a treasure. It's not very often that you find an author capable of mastering such a difficult genre, but let me tell you, Lynn Austin NAILED IT. This is possibly the best book that I have read all year. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives of God's people during the time of Ezra. Though I have of course read the story in the Bible many times, I feel like I got a whole new insight into the story through Keepers of the Covenant. I also read the first book in The Restoration Chronicles, and I really enjoyed it. One way the two books differ, though, is that book one (Return to Me), since focused on a different story, included a little bit more emphasis on witchcraft. It was not condoned or anything, and it was definitely required to properly tell the story, it was just something that I was not super comfortable with. Keepers of the Covenant, however, did not have that stuff in it, so I was glad about that. This book is very well written. It is very descriptive, deeply insightful, and quite the page turner. I look forward to rereading this again one day. It was a sweet reminder that God is in control, even when everything seems to be against you and you think there is no way out. After reading this there's a good chance I will go reread the account of Ezra in the Bible to see how this book measures up, so this novel is also encouraging me to spend time investigating these things for myself, as did the last book. These aren't the only books by Lynn Austin that I have read, in fact, I have read quite a few. This is one of my go-to authors because I know that if she wrote it that I will like it. I have yet to come across one of her books that I regret taking the time to read. I highly recommend this book and it's author to all Christian Fiction lovers.
 
 
Blessings,
Madilyn
 
 
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book by the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz Book Review

Review Written by Madilyn
Book Title: Love's Fortune
Author: Laura Frantz
Source/Sponsor: Revell Buzz
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2043-8
Publisher: Revell
Year of Publication: 2014
 
Book Description
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.
 
 
Book Review
 Rowena "Wren" Ballantyne is just a little slip of a girl that was raised in the mountains of Kentucky with a big story to tell. She comes from a wealthy and prosperous family in Pennsylvania that she doesn't even remember. She hasn't seen them since she was just a baby, and in all honesty she doesn't really want to go visit them now, but she isn't given much of a choice. When she gets to her grandfather's plantation, she is immediately stricken with culture shock. There was nothing even close to her simple back wood life here. Why, she couldn't even wear simple dresses around the grounds! She was uncomfortable, and she couldn't help but feel out of place. I don't want to share any more for fear of ruining the story for those of you who plan on reading it and just haven't gotten the chance to yet, but I will tell you that this book was just downright fabulous. It was super entertainging, has a very original plot, is quite suspenseful and is extremely well written. I have only read a few other books by this author, but so far I haven't been disappointed with any of them. "Love's Fortune" was no exception. I highly recommend this book to any one interested in historical fiction. I really, really enjoyed it and I think that anyone with a taste for good, Christian fiction will as well.
 
Blessings,
Madilyn
 
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book by Revell Buzz in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.
 


Tried & True by Mary Connealy Book Review

Review Written by Madilyn
Book Title: Tried & True
Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1178-2
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
 
Book Description
Kylie Wilde fought in the Civil War dressed as a boy---and now she's homesteading as a man! When somebody tries to burn her property, land agent Aaron Masterson inspects her claim---and realizes she's a woman. Will he keep her secret? And when the attacks continue, will she marry him just so she won't have to be alone anymore?
 
 
Book Review
If you have been following this blog for long, you know that I am a total Mary Connealy fan. Like, every time she releases a book, I get it. Never fails. She has a way of making stories set in another time seem some how . . . relevant. I already have a thing for cowboys, but her stories just seem to amplify that. I usually can't think of a single bad thing to say about any of her books, but sadly, this time I can. "Tried & True" just wasn't the same quality as some of her other work. I mean, it wasn't BAD, it was, in fact, good, but it wasn't GREAT. I was a little disappointed in it, if I'm being completely honest. I have come to expect more from such a well known Christian author. It just wasn't as suspenseful as I was expecting. There were times when it could be somewhat predictable, and it started to seem like all the other western fiction out there. There was nothing really to make it stick out. Now, that being said, it still had the professional style about it that I've come to love. It was a good, one time read, and I enjoyed it, but it is not exactly a new favorite.

Blessings,
Madilyn

D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.