I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book quite like this one. Having read the fourth book in the series, Sustainer’s Smile, I knew the setting and characters, but I wasn’t expecting everything that was in this book!
Characters: Kelton was a pretty chill dude – I loved that he was shy and reserved. His desire to obey the Lord and draw close to Him was so admirable. I wish I could be like him all the time! Haeward and Philip were good side characters, full of lots of wisdom, and I liked that Philip had parts in the first and second parts of the book. The rest of Kelton’s family made brief appearances, and it was good to see Liliora again after reading her book last. All the royal people weren’t my favorite (I think I got a little confused about who was a goodguy and who wasn’t,) but Ruemyr was interesting, and I enjoyed seeing her character arc.
Plot/Setting/Writing Style: The setting mainly existed of two places – Haeward’s Hill, where Kelton went to meditate and seek the Lord for extended time, and his normal house back in the village. Haeward’s Hill sounded like a really amazing place to be! The writing style was well done – not too over-dramatic or dry, but steady, calm, and well-edited. It matched the book. As for the plot … okay, if you read this (which I think you should!), don’t expect some a grand adventure plot. Yes, there was a plot about the passing of the crown to someone else in Taerna, but the rest of the book was by far my favorite. Another reviewer mentioned that this book reminded her of a devotional – and I totally agree with the sentiment. It was a lovely devotional with a gentle story behind it.
Romance: I loved that Kelton didn’t have a romance. He didn’t feel as if he had to get married to be satisfied or make his life better. I loved that one of the final scenes was Kelton praying – there just seems to be such an emphasis on romance in Christian fiction, and it was beautiful to see a character delighting in the Lord and finding his utmost joy in God. Definitely a great part of this book! However, the one romance thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was (view spoiler)[Ruemyr’s marriage to Watt. I wasn’t under the impression Watt was saved at the time, and the Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Stories like Esther’s were mentioned, but just because a person in the Bible does something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right. I was just a little uncomfortable with that. (hide spoiler)] However, the very minimal romance was extremely clean and a tiny part of the plot.
Theme/Moral: So this is where I was blown out of the water. I love books that make me think, and this author really excels with that. This is one of those fiction books that you can actually learn and profit from. The importance of God’s Word, loving Him supremely, obeying Him in all ways, and so many other massively important truths were contained in this book. I was very challenged by the ideas presented in here, and it was so amazing to see the emphasis on the importance of the Bible in every moment of our lives. This was so good!
Overall, this was a thought-provoking, challenging read. No, this isn’t some crazy exciting fantasy novel, but it will make you think and consider your own Christian walk. And in my book, that’s exactly what a story should do.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.