Book Review: King by RJ Larson

King by RJ Larson was a fantastic 3rd book in the Books of the Infinite Trilogy.

The third book follows the decisions that the king or Akabe is making.  Akabe is frustrated because the Infinite is silent and so instead of waiting in patience, Akabe starts making decisions based on what he thinks the Infinite wants…not on what the Infinite actually wants.  Akabe flounders and makes tons of mistakes.  There’s a lot of espionage afoot, assassination attempts and general unrest in may different areas of his life and Akabe feels alone.

We can see the direct parallels between Akabe and how the Kings of the Bible must have felt and their trials and tribulations.  Rebuilding when everything has been destroyed with enemies at all sides, it’s no wonder they sometimes made huge blunders!  I sometimes have a hard time deciding what we are going to have for supper…so I cannot imagine the magnitude of pressure these great men must have gone through.  Whole nations rested on their shoulders.

RJ Larson introduces us to a new character, Akabes Queen, who at times I feel equal parts pity and anger.  She irritates me because she is steadfast in her ignorance.  But then after reading about her life with her family, her mistrust is understandable.  I don’t actually get to like her until the very end.

The plot is fast-moving and I would say the only challenge a reader would have is that if they did not read either Prophet (Book 1) or Judge (Book 2) they might get a little lost.  A lot of the book comes from prior knowledge of what happened in the first two books.  I don’t think it would be necessary to read the first two books, though I highly recommend it, to be able to get the gist of the story, but if you were to pick up this book without prior knowledge, I think the reader would get a little lost.

Ella and Kein are perfect in their own way.  Kein has matured so much and would be a person I would like to call friend.  He exemplifies meekness and humility while Ella is the picture of pure obedience, even though she doesn’t want to she does.  I can totally commiserate with Ella.  And even in fear, she rests in the Creator, the Infinite to get her through.

All in all, King was a well written end to an amazing trilogy.  It was fast paced, action packed and exciting.  There are things that made me happy (FINALLY!!! but I won’t tell you Gentle Reader what happens) and there are things that made me irritated with the wilfulness of the characters.

I was sent this book by Bethany House Publishers and I am not required to give a favorable review, but I liked it, so I did.

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Book Review: A Place to Belong by Lorraine Snelling

I was really excited to read this book when I received it from Bethany House Publishers to review.  I mean, I loved the second book in this series (Wild West Wind) about Cassie Lockwood and her merry band of misfits.  There was romance and adventure in the air…who could resist that?

The conclusion of this series, A Place to Belong, really left me wanting more…and not in a good way.

I couldn’t really get into this book.  It was slow and plodding, and at times tedious.  I understand that Cassie had to recover a lot after she was shot but…Oh.My.Word…could this book be any more boring?  A lot of it has to do with Cassie, Lucas and just everyday life.  And while normally, I would love to read about everyday life…I kind of live everyday life…so when I read, I want a little bit of escapism…not more drudgery.  And if my kids are reading this…I don’t mean you. 😉

So, my other issue with this book is the relationship or lack there of between the male protagonist, Ransom Engstrom and Cassie.  We are just supposed to believe that after all the NOT talking she and Ransom are going to declare their love for one another?  Um…yeah, right.  Seriously, I don’t think they have any meaningful conversation until the very end.  I mean, maybe things happened like that in the old days.  Maybe…but I don’t think so.

What I enjoyed about this book was the descriptions of life in South Dakota for the time period.  It’s a hard land…heck, I live in Minnesota and the winters are brutal, so I can totally commiserate.  Especially when they had snowfall in May.  Yup.  Been there, done that.

All in all, the writing is exceptional.  The story itself though…leaves much to be desired.

 

Book Review: With This Kiss: Part One by Eloisa James

I am a HUGE Eloisa James fan.  She is one of my guilty pleasures…a good old fashioned historical romance writer.

With This Kiss: Part One is the story of two children from two previous stories.  Grace is the daughter of the Duke of Ashbourne (The Ugly Duchess).  She is oh so proper, unlike her younger sister, Lily.

Colin is the adopted son of Sir Griffin Barry (Seduced by a Pirate) and has always been amused by Lily.  In fact, he mistakes Grace for Lily…though, let me be clear, there should be no mistake.

Colin gets older and joins the navy.  Grace (and Lily) stay home and grow up.  Grace becomes even more talented at reading people and painting portraits, while Lily becomes a more audacious flirt.

What ensues next is a series of letters, portraits, unrequited love and tragedy.

I actually felt real sorrow when I was reading some of Colin’s innermost thoughts which doesn’t happen often.

This was a short read…and took me no more than 1/2 an hour to read.  It is a serial part of a novella.  Sigh…and it is good.  The next part will be released March 19th, 2013.

YAY!  But I totally hate waiting a week to read more.  I am NOT a patient person! 😉

Happy reading, gentle readers.

Book Review: The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

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I was not sure what to expect when I selected The Tutor’s Daughter from my monthly list of books that I am able to review from Bethany House.  I have never read any Julie Klassen books before and I am sometimes leery of reading an author I know nothing about.  The description of the book was engaging and held my interest versus any of the other books.  I am also very choosey when it comes to period pieces since I am a traditional historical romance novel nut…and this foray into Christian Historical romance can sometimes be interesting.  That is not to say that I do not enjoy the writing, because I do…but definitely not what I am used to.  And I mean that in a very good way, gentle reader.  Don’t get me wrong, I can say I am happy with my choice.

The Tutor’s Daughter is a story about Emma Smallwood and her father.  They run a small, but slightly prestigious boys academy in the Devonshire, England.  Emma’s mother passes away and her father seems to lose interest in life and his surroundings, leaving an unfair burden on Emma.  Emma shoulders the responsibility but there is a longing in her that the reader can feel long before she even expresses the words herself.  Emma is a very dutiful daughter and since this is a period piece, it is nice that the author stuck with what would typically happen in this time frame.

The last student is leaving their establishment and Emma’s father has no inclination to get any more students.  Emma is left trying to figure out what they are going to do.  She makes a rash decision and decides to write to a former patron of the school to see if his other son’s would like to come.  She receives a letter back and it seems to be the answer to her and her father’s prayers…or is it?

Emma has a past with the older two sons of the their former patron.  The eldest son,  Henry, is a thorn in her side while he is at their school.  The reader is taken to the past as Emma recalls the incidents between her and Henry.  He is rude, sarcastic and sullen.  He plays tricks on Emma and steals her things.  He does not seem like a very likable person.  On the other hand, the younger son, Phillip seems to be everything that Henry is not.  Likable, amiable and nice.  How will Emma fit into their lives, now seven years later?

Emma and her father embark on a short journey but enter into a household in upheaval.  They are not wanted by the Mistress of the house and the Master seems to be floating through life without knowing what is going on under his own roof.

The story in engaging and leaves the reader wanting more.  There is plenty of suspense, love, heartache and redemption.  There is a sweet story of finding God in unexpected places and you start to root for Henry and Emma.  But which brother will she end up choosing, if she chooses one at all?

You will have to read The Tutor’s Daughter to find out.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was very happy to have received it from Bethany House for review.  I look forward to reading more of Julie Klassen’s works in the future.