30 May 2013

Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer

Goodreads | Amazon
The throne is redeemed, but the battle is just beginning.
In the dark corners of an ancient land, evil lurks in the shadows. Powerful druids haunt the spaces of their lost territory. Double-minded noblemen fight for domain and influence. Invaders from the north threaten the kingdom of Magnus. This land of promise and redemption is mired in deceit and corruption. 
The Orphan King, once victorious in conquest, appears to be losing his grip on his seat of power. Thomas rules Magnus, but does not know whom he can trust. His enemies anticipate his every move, thwarting him at each turn. Something is not right.
Under attack, both in the supernatural and natural worlds, Thomas must reach back into the secret layers of his past to find the strength and wisdom to fight his battles. When the mist clears, who will stand with him?

Intertwining the natural with the supernatural, the historical with the fantastical, Brouwer’s narrative is an addicting read, filled with unexpected twists and heart-stopping turns. Geared towards young adults, this is exactly the type of book I love to read, albeit a tad simplistic, when I am in the mood for a light and easy read. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone with an interest in the genre of young adult fantasy and light reading. However, I would advise reading The Orphan King first - as the first novel in the Merlin's Immortals series, it provides the necessary background needed to truly understand the plot. And again, I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this novel. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and honestly review it and I always enjoy a fresh, new book experience.

29 May 2013

So Shines the Night by Tracy L. Higley

Goodreads | Amazon
In a city teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of the Way.

She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.

But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.

The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of the Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.

When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything – Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

With danger and uncertainty lurking at every page turn, Tracy L. Higley’s So Shines the Night dares to take an imaginative look at events in Acts 19. Bringing classic biblical characters to life, like Paul and Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla, Higley’s vivid and well-researched narrative explores the beginnings of Christianity as it confronts a pagan city head-on and turns the characters’ lives upside-down. This combination of real, historical events with the conflict-ridden storylines of Daria and Lucas is exactly what I love about historical fiction novels. Challenging me to consider the day-in, day-out reality of the early church and its effect on the lives of ordinary people, this novel is definitely a recommendation to anyone with an interest in biblical fiction. And as usual, I truly appreciate BookSneeze for providing me with a free copy of this novel and the opportunity to review it honestly.