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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Review: “Prophet” by R.J. Larson

I received my second book Prophet by R.J. Larson from Bethany House Publishers, and I was not sure that I would totally like it.  In fact, I thought at first that this book was not going to grab me.

I WAS TOTALLY WRONG!!!

Prophet is about a young woman named Ela Roeh.  Ela has an incredible image about a village that is being destroyed.  She finds out that the “Infinite” or her area’s God has decided that she is going to be His next prophet.  She is very concerned because her village, Parne, has never had a prophet who lived into old age.

Ela embarks on a journey with her younger sister, Tzana.  They manage to make very few friends but many enemies as Ela follows the Infinite’s guidance.  Ela meets a man in prison named Kien and through a period of time they become friends and eventually they fall in love with one another. 

Ela faces many trials, condemnation and hardship.  She is outcast, beat up, attacked, censored and ignored.  Being a prophet does not pay.  She is tasked with spreading the Word of the Infinite as well as trying to help countries who have given over their way of life to worshipping idols made of sand and stone.  (Sounds somewhat familiar, right?)  If she can convince them to turn back to the Infinite, their Creator, they will be saved.  But the Infinite warns her that her task will be futile, but He will save them to their last breath.  The Infinite speaks to Ela, but not all the time, and He gives her visions to let her know what is going to happen if the people do not repent, turn from their blasphemous ways and acknowledge Him as their one true God.

This book held me in thrall.  I loved how the R. J. Larson took stories from the Old Testament of the Bible and reworked them into a futuristic story set in another world.  The Infinite is a God I can relate to since He is fashioned after mine.  The writing makes it easy to discuss the prophet themes from the Bible as well as look at how false Gods, however they may be brought up, can easily destroy civilizations.  I enjoyed how well rounded the characters are and the pace of the story is very good.

My favorite character has to be the warhorse or “destroyer” named “Pet”.  It’s funny how the horse has become an integral part of the story, but he adds comic relief when the theme and tone get heavy.

I cannot wait for the second book to come out and I look forward to sharing this book with my 12-year-old daughter.  This book was written for young adult, sci-fi readers…but I also think people like me (30 somethings who love a good story) will like it too.  It definitely gives you something to think about and the parallels as to what is going on in our society today, as well as what has happened in the past, cannot be ignored.  It will bring up good discussions in the near future!  Prophet by R.J. Larson is a great read!