Day of War, Lion of War Series #1   -     By: Cliff Graham
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Day of War, Lion of War Series #1

Zondervan / 2011 / Paperback

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In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a man named Benaiah is searching for a fresh start in life. He has joined a band of soldiers led by a warlord named David, seeking to bury the past that refuses to leave him. Their ragged army is disgruntled and full of reckless men. Some are loyal to David, but others are only with him for the promise of captured wealth.

While the ruthless and increasingly mad King Saul marches hopelessly against the powerful Philistines, loyal son Jonathan in tow, the land of the Hebrew tribes has never been more despondent-and more in need of rescue. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-wracked battlefields, Benaiah and his fellow mercenaries must call upon every skill they have to survive and establish the throne for David-if they don't kill each other first.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0310331838
ISBN-13: 9780310331834
Availability: In Stock
Series: Lion of War

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Publisher's Description

Day of War, author Cliff Graham's first novel, has earned him a film option for the entire book series—Lion of War—from director David L. Cunningham (Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man films). In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a man named Benaiah is searching for a fresh start in life. He has joined a band of soldiers led by a warlord named David, seeking to bury the past that refuses to leave him. Their ragged army is disgruntled and full of reckless men. Some are loyal to David, but others are only with him for the promise of captured wealth. While the ruthless and increasingly mad King Saul marches hopelessly against the powerful Philistines, loyal son Jonathan in tow, the land of the Hebrew tribes has never been more despondent—and more in need of rescue. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-wracked battlefields, Benaiah and his fellow mercenaries must call upon every skill they have to survive and establish the throne for David—if they don’t kill each other first.

Author Bio

Cliff Graham is an Army veteran and the author of the Lion of War Series, soon to be a major motion picture franchise from director David L. Cunningham (The Path to 9/11)and producer Grant Curtis (the Spider-Man films). He currently lives in the mountains of Utah with his wife and children.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

From the first page of Day of War, Cliff Graham throws his reader into a tumultuous series of both physical and emotional battles, every time bringing his characters back to the unfailing covering of God. Though a man named Benaiah is the book's main hero, the story follows various soldiers who are either a part of David’s army or his enemies. Rough and realistic, the tale refuses to shirk from any of the positive or negative aspects, jumping between struggles with a criminal army, a hated Philistine alliance, and Israel's inner conflict. Bringing biblical characters to life, Day of War is impactful, pulling readers into the pages.

Whereas it is frequently a tendency for Christians to turn Old Testament history into simple stories with morals, Graham's recounting of the times of David ignites new life into figures sometimes worn out by repetition of their tales. He keeps a firm grip on the Scriptures, maintaining historical details while regaling the readers with descriptions so real they place readers inside the battle. At the forefront of characters' minds is their reliance on God, their "covering." Yet, there are also those who have turned away, portrayed in such a relatable way that any Christian who has ever lost sight of God will recognize himself in the character. God, who is loving and just, continues to look after his own: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

The plot focuses mainly on Benaiah, a man with a dark and terrible past who runs from both God and his emotional devastation. But the story is not that simple, and there are various chapters scattered throughout the book that deal with David, Saul, the Amalekite enemies, and other key men.

Despite having powerful characters who are overwhelmingly human, there was one aspect of Graham's that did not work. Guardian angels and demons are at one time locked into combat, but they seem out of place and, fortunately, do not appear for the majority of the story. If the supernatural element is continued in future books, this will not be an issue, but it does seem a bit out of context.

With only a few simple phrases, Graham can determine whether or not a reader will adore or abhor a character. Mundane facts are given life, and statistics and names now have personalities and meanings. Benaiah, a man who buries himself in war, is not always the most likeable or the strongest of characters. Perhaps this is what makes him a powerful protagonist: he is imperfect, and the reader wants to see him grow closer to God and be healed. Some characters make a few comments that are, after a while, a bit degrading to women, but considering the time period it should be overlooked.

Expecting to find this a book geared mainly toward men, I was impressed to discover how much I enjoyed reading it. The ending is intriguing, not necessarily due to a cliffhanger but to the unresolved anger and emotional conflict that remain in some of the main characters. Anyone interested in a retelling of biblical stories, and who is not afraid of the realities of war or struggles with lust, will enjoy reading Graham's Day of War. – Sarah Lyons, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

Army veteran and chaplain Graham (Call of Duty) draws from deep research and experience in war to write about the fascinating and underdocumented stories of the biblical "Mighty Men" of King David. In a tale set in the ancient Near East, the author provides the history buff a biblically based story that is not preachy but is actually quite gruesome, as a ragtag band of men from different countries serve a soon-to-be-king. Readers patient enough to plow through lengthy and repeated descriptions of setting and weather can find dozens of characters who help to paint a rare picture of life three millennia ago. Most of the story is told from the perspective of Benaiah, one of David's Mighty Men, who help David take his rightful throne. Otherwise provocative transitions are awkward ("Then it all changed earlier that evening"). What the story lacks in tension and discernibly individual characters, it more than makes up in developing characters' longing for a homeland and seeking power in a well-drawn ancient world setting. This war novel has additional dimensions that make it unique in Christian fiction. (June) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Hamlet has nothing on David!
    July 2, 2015
    living in grace
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great book! I know it's not exactly as scripture reads, but it really adds to the thought of how David's life must have been.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lion of War Series-both books
    November 22, 2014
    Phil
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent read! Definitely worth the time. These two books make you think deeper about the circumstances that David faced when he was being persecuted and an outcast from the people he loved. These stories also bring to life the other men and people in David's life that were so significant to his survival on the battlefield and their perspective of this "man after God's own heart" in the day to day struggles of life during the time they lived. It is also interesting to think of the other people in David's life that I had not considered before when reading about David. Looking forward to the third book!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Definitely worth reading!
    August 28, 2014
    Alden Epp
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Based on the Bible but not a typical Bible story. Based on a man after God's own heart but a human none the less. This book describes a rugged, tough, and talented along with their experiences warband very well. The dialogue also suits the lifestyle of the men. Filled with just enough description and lots of action to keep the imagination going!
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    fantastic book
    April 20, 2012
    sm2tron2
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    great book, a very fast ready, I enjoyed it from cover to end
  5. SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A great biblical story brought to life.
    April 4, 2012
    shagcmb23
    SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Day of War - eBook.
    Author admits taking creative license with the story, so as long as you don't get hooked up on that, you can really enjoy this book.
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