Book Review: The King’s Scroll

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerWhen Jaye offered a review copy of The King’s Scrolls for the blog tour, I wanted to participate, but knew I probably wouldn’t have time to read it between the time I got it and now. So my brother volunteered to give it a read and share his thoughts. Here’s what he has to say.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00020]The King’s Scrolls continues the adventure of Kyrin, Jace and their friends. Arcacia is rapidly becoming a dangerous place for a follower of Elom to live. Kyrin and Jace struggle to protect their loved ones from the emperor and his men as they attempt to preserve the last complete copy of the King’s scrolls (aka, the Bible). The stakes raise as they are forced to choose between the two things they care about most.

This country mirrors, in a fantasy world, the path our own country is following. Just as the US was founded upon Christianity, Arcacia has been faithful to Elom, but in recent years leaders have plunged Arcacia into spiritual darkness. This book challenged me (Jon) to think about what my reaction would be if the US follows (or continues to follow) the same course. How much am I willing to give for my faith? This book is very clean, but due to intense situations would probably be best for young teenagers and up.

Thanks Jonathan for doing the review for us today! What do the rest of you think of this book? For those who have read it, what did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, does it sound like the sort of book you want to get your hands on?

Author Interview: Jaye L. Knight

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerIt’s been a long time since I did an author interview, so for those of you who enjoy author interviews, today is a day for celebration! 🙂 Jaye L. Knight (previously known as Molly Evangeline) was putting together a blog tour for her newest release, so I signed up to host an author interview. Hopefully you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed coming up with the questions. Having done a bunch of interviews for the publication of Counted Worthy, I know how repetitive questions can become, so I wanted to give Jaye something fun to answer and us something fun to read. 🙂

  1. Who is your ideal reader? Describe the person who would most enjoy the Ilyon Chronicles.

My goal when I first published Resistance was to have a series geared toward new adult/college aged readers. I personally love young adult fiction, but sometimes you wish the characters were closer to your age. So Ilyon Chronicles is ideally for readers 18-25+ who enjoy YA fiction, but are looking for older, more mature characters. 🙂

 

  1. If Jace and Kyrin could pick one person, dead or alive (but from their world), to spend a day with, who would it be and why?

Well, Jace would probably choose his mother (and I can’t say whether she’s alive or dead as that’s for a future book). He doesn’t know anything about her, but I know he would like to find out where he came from and what his past is. As for Kyrin, I think she would choose her deceased grandfather, Jonavan Altair. For most of her life she was taught to believe he was a traitor, but since she found out he wasn’t, she would definitely like to get to know him. Especially since she lacks a close relationship with her other grandfather.

 

  1. What are Jace and Kyrin, respectively, most afraid of?

Besides losing loved ones, I think Jace’s greatest fear boils down to rejection, especially being rejected by Elôm (God). It terrifies him, really. As for Kyrin, she’s most afraid to lose her loved ones. She’s so close to different members of her family as well as Jace. She would give up anything else, but losing someone she loves would crush her.

 

  1. Which of your “good guy” characters would be most likely to rob a bank if teleported into our world?

Haha! Oh my goodness, that is so funny. I have no idea why, but the first person to jump into my mind is Kaden. I really don’t know why. But, giving it a bit more thought, I could see Daniel doing it. Maybe more so than Kaden.

 

  1. If you could chose to spend a day with one of your characters, which one would it be and what would you do together?

This is so hard because I could choose so many for different reasons, but I would probably have to go with Jace. He is, after all, my favorite character I’ve ever written. I’d take him to one of my favorite places to go hiking and spend the day in the woods exploring. (And keeping out of sight of his fangirls, lol!) I’d see how much I could learn from him since he knows so much about the forest.

Enjoy the interview? Visit Jaye’s blog to enter her release giveaway. She’s got a pretty cool package of stuff for one lucky winner.
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Book Review: Angel in the Woods

Angel in the Woods

“Only a fool trusts to his eyes,” the Giant said. “You remember that. The eyes can only show you the appearance of things. You will never understand anything until you learn to look past appearances.”

Whimsical. Quaint. Flowing. A fairy tale that defies the normal constructs of the genre. A fantasy defined by it’s depiction of the ordinary.

When I began this book, which opens with mention of “the Pixie,” I couldn’t tell quite what I had stepped foot into. For someone unversed in the creatures of fairy tales, I wasn’t even sure what a pixie was. I still don’t know, for it turns out the character called “the Pixie” is an entirely human girl bearing that nickname. While the first books I read from Rachel Starr Thomson‘s collection (The Seventh World Trilogy) drew out the haunting, terrifying darkness of evil, this book displays the power of goodness and the sparkle of light.

If you want to read an edge-of-your-seat, blood-pressure raising narrative, this book will disappoint you. However, if you’re looking for a story that will inspire you to become a better person and leave you with a warm glow in your heart, Angel in the Woods will do so in a manner as unique as the story itself.

KINDLE USERS ALERT: I can lend the Kindle version of this book to one of my blog readers. If you have a Kindle and would like to read Angel in the Words, say so in the comments, and I’ll send it your way. (Please, only ask if you have time to read it within the 14 day lending period.) First come, first serve.

Book Review: The Runaway King

Runaway King, TheBack in January, I reviewed The False Prince, book one of the Ascendancy Trilogy. All three of the books are now on the market, and I enjoyed all of them. As I mentioned in my last review, if you enjoy The Ranger’s Apprentice series, you’ll certainly enjoy The Ascendancy Trilogy as well.

After reading other reviews, I expecting The Runaway King to be good, but not quite as good as The False Prince. In some ways that expectation was true, but in many ways it was not. The beginning of the book was good, but felt a bit too similar to the last one. After it got going, though, I forgot my concerns.

In fact, in some ways, I liked this book better than the last. Jaron is forced to make several emotionally difficult decisions and, in my opinion, he chooses well. He has more responsibility, or at least more obvious responsibility, in this book. In The False Prince, he really only had to worry about his own safety. In The Runaway King, he fights for the safety of his country, of a little girl attacked by thieves, and of his friends. He’s still not an impeccable role model, but there were some good morals in the story and I’m confident Jaron will be a good king.

If your an older reader looking for edge of your seat, heart in your throat reading, you might find yourself disappointed by this book. However, if you’re looking for a good, honest adventure tale, The Runaway King will deliver exactly what you’re looking for.

Book Review: Abaddon’s Eve

Abaddon's EvenConfession. I have not been reading much lately. In fact, I haven’t finished a book in over two weeks. For someone who needs to post a book review once a week, that’s not a very good thing. 😛 The good news is, I’m sticking to my deadlines for Counted Worthy. Maybe when it releases one of you can guest post a review of it. 😉

Abaddon’s Eve is the last book I finished (Goodreads says I completed it on August 6th). Here’s what I thought of it.

Rechab and Alack, young people on the cusp of adulthood, have no idea how drastically their lives are about to change. Alack wrestles with his genuine but impossible love for Rechab, while Rechab does her best to shield her heart from her imminent and permanent separation from her childhood friend. Their parting occurs far differently than either expected. Kol Abaddon, the crazy prophet from the wilderness, comes to Bethabara preaching destruction on The People of the Great God. When Alack catches a glimpse of the vision, he follows the prophet into the desert to begin his training as a prophet of the Great God. At the same time, Rechab finds an unlikely friend in Flora, a wealthy woman considered to be unlucky. When a foaming servant declares that Rechab is marked for service to a false god, she flees Bethabara with Flora’s retinue. Neither Rechab nor Alack truly know the Great God they now serve, but their journeys will bring them closer to Him.

I really enjoyed this story and look forward to the next book. Anyone who has enjoyed Prophet by R.J. Larson will most certainly like Abaddon’s Eve as well. Though not one of two focal characters, my favorite character in this story is Flora (the rich woman who befriends Rechab). She is introduced as a powerful, smart, savvy woman, but her vulnerability unfurls with the story. She is a seeker, a lover of God who fears she cannot be fully accepted by Him because she is not of The People. She’s a flawed character with great strengths and a beautiful heart. I can’t wait to see where this journey brings all of the characters.

Giveaway!

I read Abaddon’s Eve on my Kindle, so I can lend it to anyone else who has a kindle or kindle app. If you would like to borrow it for 14 days, just leave a comment, and I’ll pick one of you to lend it to.

Also, Prophet is still free for Kindle. If you haven’t read it yet, go for it while it’s still free.

5 Favorite Books

5 Favorite Books_2Last week I asked each of you to enter a giveaway by leaving a comment listing your five favorite books. The winner of that giveaway is…

Abbey!

Abbey listed the following as her favorites.

 I’ve only read the first two books on her list. I really like Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Shadow Children Series, so maybe I’ll give The Missing Series a try at some point.

Thanks to all of you for sharing some of your favorite books. I know it’s hard to cull only five books out of extensive reading lists. I always wholeheartedly agree when people compare selecting favorite books to forcing a mother to pick her favorite child.

Since I made you guys struggle through that process, I figured it was only fair to share five of my favorite books as well. Like all of you, I have a lot more than five favorites. These five are the closest I can get to picking five to go on top. (This list excludes the Bible and non-fiction books.)

  •  Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn. This book is a heavy hitter that chronicles a tale of faith and persecution in China. It is one of the things that inspired me to write Counted Worthy. One month I hope to run a review series on books that have impacted me. This one would definitely be on the list.
  • A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. On days that I’m not feeling well, A Little Princess is my go-to book. I love curling up and burying myself in the sweet, familiar story. I think I’ve re-read this book more than any of the others on my shelf.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy.  This is another re-read favorite. I’m not the biggest fan of classic-style writing, but I find The Scarlet Pimpernel easy to read. From past posts I know that many of you also have a soft spot for this common wayside flower in England. 😉
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditchby Jean Lee Latham. I’ve been known to tell people that their homeschool education is not complete if they haven’t read this book! Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is the most captivating biography I’ve ever come across. Nathaniel Bowditch is the kind of person parents want their kids to emulate.
  • Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court, by Chuck Black. I love the entire Knights of Arrethtrae series, but I think Sir Bentley is my favorite. Each time I read one of the Knights of Arrethtrae books I’m amazed by Chuck Black’s talent in crafting such scintillating stories that are packed with so much truth. They’re the type of books I get excited to recommend to people.

You can check out more of my favorite reads by viewing my favorites shelf on Goodreads!

What do you think of this list? Will any of these books make it onto your to-reads list?

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Book Review: Prophet

Prophet

“It’s snowing ashes,” Ela repeated. “I’m going up to the wall to look for the fire.”

What happens when the responsibilities and struggles of a prophet of the Lord are transplanted into fantasy? This book is built around that very premise. Seventeen year old Ela knows that a silver-haired prophet has failed. The Infinite even told her she would die young if she agreed to be His prophet. Yet once she heard His voice, she knew she could never live without it, and so she agreed. Her “yes” launches her into a life of knowing the future. She spends her days pleading with hardened people to change their ways and trust the Infinite before it’s too late. For all her foresight, Ela doesn’t know if they will heed her warnings in time.

I couldn’t tell from the synopsis of this book if I would like it or not. Two of my friends gave it good reviews on Goodreads, so when I saw it at a homeschool conference for a good price I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did! I regret not buying book two while I had the chance. There is a (very) light love element, but it’s not at all offensive. I found Ela to be a relatable main character. Kien was roguishly loveable. And Tsana, Ela’s little sister, was adorable. Best of all, it made me appreciate Old Testament prophets and the Spirit of God on a deeper level.

P.S. I was a little concerned that a female prophet would come off as feminist, but she doesn’t at all. The author does a great job of focusing on “The Infinite” rather than fussing over a girl prophet.

Book Review: The Heart of Arcrea

Heart of Arcrea, The I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for The Heart of Arcrea, so it’s been on my to-read list for quite a while. The homeschooled author theme for this month seemed a perfect reason to finally get to it, and I had good intentions, but it didn’t quite happen. So starshining4ever saved me by agreeing to do a guest post and review it for me. Enjoy her review!

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This is a great read! No magic but clearly a fantasy because of some fictional names, creatures and plants. I love the strong Christian message! It’s not often you get that in a fantasy.

A boy’s father being taken from him sets off a passionate quest. The strong moral character of Druet faces its tests when he is joined by a series of unlikely companions whom he must mold into a successful traveling band. Jealous lords, spies, a princess bound by fears, and betrayal pose challenges to the achievement of his goal. Can Druet find the heart of Arcrea and become the land’s king? Can he even hold his group together? Or will it be torn apart through internal strife or by outside enemies?

The characters are amazing… Druet is really someone you can sympathize with and Nathaniel is the perfect “mate” (aka friend) for him. Talon and Bracy are hilarious—unlikely companions who learn to get along and become best friends. And can I just say that Renny is really cool?

The medieval setting is well done. The fights are really well written. The mystery is well carried out…I was still guessing through most of the book. There are even sprinkles of humor. It’s a really great, encouraging book all around.

Oh, and:
“We found the heart of Arcrea and all I got was this stupid tunic.”

Best. Line. Ever.