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Friday, March 27, 2020

Queen by R. J. Larson ~ Book Review

Synopsis 


Fantasy inspired by the Book of Esther... 

Bel-Tygeon, the fallen god-king of Belaal, has bowed to the Infinite and accepted life as a mortal. Now he is desperate to return to his kingdom. Hunted by his enemies, he accepts refuge among the Eosyths, at the bidding of Serena of Clan Darom. But Serena and her family are also Bel-Tygeon's enemies, and he must conceal his true name and royal rank from them--even when he realizes that Serena is the woman he has sought for years. The woman he loves. The woman he longs to proclaim as his queen. Yet she can never be his. 

Serena of Clan Darom wants nothing more than to protect her family and save her people, the Eosyths, from their enemies. She cannot afford to fall in love with a madman. A stranger. Yet honor dictates that she must shelter Ty and protect him with her life. Will one act of kindness destroy everything she's worked for and believed? 

And how can the unknowable Infinite, worshipped by her lord-father, ever help her in their struggle to survive? 

Child of Dust, are you My servant?

Review 


Another awesome book by R. J. Larson!

I enjoyed the setting, which was mainly in the rugged mountains where the Eosyths live. The Eosyths are a group of people who live off of the land, stick together, and support each other. Their way of life is simple, but rich in morals and standards. 

The characters were awesome! My favorites were little Miyna (she was adorable!) and Ayden. Ayden and Miyna were two of Serena's little siblings. 

The Biblical themes were great, and were woven throughout. Throughout the novel you can see the Infinite's hand through it all. This book has some of the story of Esther in it, along with King Nebuchadnezzar, among others.

I would encourage you to read some of R. J. Larson's works. Although they are labeled fantasy, they aren't full of a ton of fantasy. Also, the messages are really good. I'd suggest starting with the Books of the Infinite series. Here are my reviews of the books from that series: ProphetJudgeKing. :) I would recommend the Books of the Infinite series for 13/14+, and I would recommend Exiles (review here) and Queen for 14+!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Happy Purim! ~ The Story of Esther

Happy Purim, everyone! For those who don't know what Purim is, I'll explain it in this post. :)

Many people know of the story of Esther, and how God used her to save her people. However, have you heard of the Purim festival discussed in the Book of Esther? Purim is a Jewish feast celebrating ADONAI delivering them from Haman's wicked plot to destroy all the Jews.

"Mordecai recorded these events and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, urging them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteeth days of Adar every year as the days when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into celebration. These were to be days of feasting, celebration and sending presents of food to one another and giving gifts to the poor."
Esther 9:20-22

What is so cool about the book of Esther, is although ADONAI's Name isn't mentioned in the book of Esther, you can see how He delivered His people. You can see ADONAI's hand through it all.

Here is a great music video of a song called Esther's Song. :)

I encourage you all to read the book of Esther yourself1 :) Happy Purim! 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Rangers Lead the Way! ~ Blog Tour ~ Review & Author Interview


Kassie Angle, author of O to Be Like Thee, is releasing her second book! Tattered Wings is an incredible story!!!! Today I have a book review and an author interview! :)


Synopsis


Some scars can’t be seen. And some can’t be hidden.

Layla Trent’s life is pretty much perfect, except for the little matter of a dog of her own—and maybe a brother. So why does a random nightmare of a princess dress, a hospital, and a stranger who’s definitely not her daddy feel more like an aching wound? And can a broken, glassy-eyed puppy somehow help her release the pain she didn’t even know she was carrying?

Corporal Andrew Reyes has proven he has what it takes to be the best—a US Army Ranger. But when a double tragedy rocks his world, his resolve is shaken to the core. What’s left for a man to live for when he’s lost everything he ever wanted to be? And is the sudden appearance of a teenage girl with a three-legged dog a cruel joke or a divine appointment?

Some scars can’t be hidden. But some don’t need to be.


Review


Tattered Wings is an awesome book! After reading Kassie's first work, O to Be Like Thee, I was excited to hear she was coming out with another book. 

Tattered Wings is a book about hope. It is a book full of trials and triumphs. I liked how God was woven throughout the book- although I felt like there could have been more.

Layla, Andy, and Andy's siblings- they were all awesome! My favorite was Andy's best friend and battle buddy, Isaiah. Isaiah's story was really good, and his love for God and people really showed through. The characters were pretty in depth, which I really enjoy!

I loved the therapy dog aspect of it! Ranger was amazing. He was so attentive, and he understood what people needed- whether it be a hug or a nose bump. :)

This book shows how even when we are battered and scarred, God can still heal us and use us. Never give up!

*I received a free e-book in exchange for review.*


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And now, for the author interview!


What inspired you to write Tattered Wings?

Brad Paisley’s song “Stubborn Angels.” That was literally it. I was kind of mentally making a music video of it in the car one day and got this picture in my head of a double amputee running with a three-legged dog…and decided I wanted to write a story with that scene in it. It was a wild ride from there—but that’s what started it.

What are a few things God taught you while writing Tattered Wings?

The biggest one is definitely, don’t give up. That’s kind of one of the underlying themes of the story, and I never expected to learn it myself like I did. At first I didn’t want to write TW because I was still so attached to my first book—but God would not let me give up, and I’m so thankful for that. And sort of tied to that, sort of not, would be to let your own stories change you, too. If you believe God gives you the stories He does, you have to be willing to believe He does it for a reason.

What is the main thing you want people to take away from your book(s)?

Ooh, that’s dangerous to make plural! XP From Tattered Wings, well…to never give up. *heart eyes* To respect working dogs, to understand that our soldiers and families go through more than meets the eye. That God brings people together for a reason. You never know who’s trying to make a hero proud. From O to be Like Thee…never. ever. forget. Sacrifice is too important to let go unremembered. The least we can do is remember and honor.

Favorite book of the Bible?

Psalms!! (Although I also love Nehemiah…) David and the other psalm writers just pour their hearts out to God without reservation. They aren’t afraid to tell God when they’re going through a tough time and don’t understand what He’s doing. And they aren’t afraid to praise Him with abandon. Reading Psalms is so comforting and encouraging all at once.

What is the silliest/most embarrassing thing you did when you were a kid?

Okay, now I’m embarrassed all over again. XD This is the first one that came to mind… Once when we were traveling we were on an early morning flight and all the other passengers were quiet and mostly asleep, but I was all hyped up about flying, even though it was far from being my first time. As soon as the plane lifted off the runway I shouted at the top of my lungs, “IN THE AIR!” All the other passengers came to life laughing…and I was very quiet the rest of the flight. It might not have been so bad if I’d been like, four… I was nearly eleven. X’D

What is your favorite hobby?

I want to say writing, but that’s sorta more than a hobby at this point. XD So writing aside, running or
horseback riding…changes frequently, depending on which one I’m doing on any given day. X’D Also, that’s kind of fun that you’d ask, since the kids in Tattered Wings *might* love running too and I got such a kick out of writing my run scenes… <3 And somehow horseback riding gives me some of the same thrill as running.

Since Tattered Wings has a therapy dog in it, is the dog based on your own personal dog?

I can neither confirm nor deny. ;) Yes, all the way. To be honest, I had to change so many places where I’d called Ranger my own dog’s name—Thunder—by accident. The only difference is that Thunder has all four legs…plus, Thunder’s still in training as a therapy dog. So storyline-wise, it’s not our story to the letter, but personality-wise and everything else, Ranger is Thunder, and Ranger’s therapy-dog-training scenes are definitely strongly based off Thunder’s. It was a really fun aspect to write into the book.

Thanks for the interview, Kassie!

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About the Author


Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Army girl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unsuspectedly into the world of indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more people understand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her and more of her writing at SoldierGirlStories.com.

Don't forget to click here for more info! :)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Exiles by R. J. Larson ~ Book Review


Synopsis


For daring to trust their Creator, Araine and Nikaros are swept from their homes into a foreign land...slaves to their enemies. 

Araine Khalome of ToronSea, follows the goddess Atea. But Araine secretly questions Atea's power as a goddess. Wrestling with her spiritual doubts, Araine finds old scrolls containing verses that come alive, beckoning her soul. Within these words, Araine senses the presence of the Infinite, the despised Most Ancient God, enemy to all Ateans, and she's captivated--secretly risking her life to read the Books of the Infinite. 

You are forever in My sight...

Betrayed and condemned, Araine is swept away to the kingdom of Belaal, where she is swiftly apprehended and marked as a slave. Caught up in the lethal political and religious struggles within Belaal, Araine joins forces with another slave, Nikaros, a hostage and exiled son of an Eosyth Lord. As they fight to survive the antagonistic royal court, Nik and Araine soon realize that they must also protect the despotic god-king who has enslaved them. 

But the god-king, Bel-Tygeon, has plans of his own. 

Child of Dust, are you my servant? 

Review


This was an incredible book! Larson does a wonderful job of drawing Biblical themes and concepts into her novels, which is definitely my favorite aspects of her novels! God is portrayed beautifully in her novels.

This book shows the cost of following God. It shows that even in persecution- will we choose to follow God or the world? My favorite analogy in this novel was when Araine finds the Infinite's word, (God's Word) and starts reading it, the words look like they are on fire- a golden, beckoning fire. It was a beautiful analogy of how we should view God's Word- alive and powerful. 

The characters were great! I enjoyed getting to learn more about the Eosyth people (a group of mountain dwellers in the series). I liked how Araine was willing to stand up for what was right, even if it meant she might lose everything. Grumps, Araine's grandfather, was a fun character, and he was also passionate about what was right. 

This was an incredible book! Larson does a wonderful job of drawing Biblical themes and concepts into her novels, which is definitely my favorite aspect of her novels! God is portrayed beautifully in her novels. Definitely recommend this book to readers 14+!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Realm of Thorns by R. J. Larson ~ Book Review

Synopsis


A fading empire's strife heralds an approaching Dark Age.

Khelqua, the crown of the Syvlande Empire, has been destroyed. The royal house of Khelqua lies drowned beneath a prophesied destruction of its vast river valley, leaving an ocean of dead waters. Khelqua's ancient royal lineage now rests with two siblings, who have lost their family, their fortunes, and the realm that defines their existence. 

Their chosen destinies stir hope and danger for countless generations to come...as the Syvlande Empire becomes mere legend. 

Review


I really enjoyed this book! As always, R. J. Larson's book amazed me! :)

The characters were so different and interesting. My personal favorite was the fiery Torena. She was a teacher for the royal family of Khelqua, who taught the children and teens the Eternal's Word. "Eternal" is the name they use for God. I loved Torena's personality! She firmly took a stand for what is right and what is wrong. I also liked Eliya and Valo.

As always, R. J. Larson does an incredible job of weaving Biblical messages into her writings. The allegories woven throughout are amazing. The way Yeshua was described was beautiful! 

You can see hints of the Books of the Infinite and Realms of the Infinite series in this book, which was awesome! I highly recommend this book for ages 14+!