I really enjoyed the book once I got into it. I just had a little trouble getting into it.
Ela is the prophet of the Infinite. The synopsis says she's undignified and hot-tempered, but I didn't see that in the beginning (although I did see it later on). All I saw was good-little-girl Ela making the right decision and following the Infinite, no matter the cost. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm just saying I wish it had gone slower. I'm kind of curious about what Ela's relationship with the Infinite was like before.
I did find it a little annoying that the Infinite told Ela that she would die young if she became a prophet, but Ela hardly hesitated. There was no inner conflict - "Do I follow the Infinite or do I live to a ripe old age?" She just did the right thing immediately.
Later on in the book, after there'd been some time to flesh out Ela's personality, I liked her much better. I just think R. J. Larson jumped into the whole prophet thing too fast.
I connected better with Kien than Ela in the beginning. Kien was just a fun character. I loved how he could be optimistic and witty even when he's in prison. He was the kind of person I'd like to hang out with. (I'd say more, but that would involve spoilers.)
I'm glad Tzana wasn't a really major character. She was sweet, but she was a little too perfect to be a relatable character. (Tzana is pronounced TSAW-nah. I'm also glad of the pronunciation guide in the front.)
The plot was highly reminiscent of Old Testament prophets, but I enjoyed it, just the same. It had enough battles and political intrigue and assassination attempts to satisfy adventure-loving me, while enough of Ela's relationship with the Infinite to make me wish my relationship with God was like that.
Overall, what I'm trying to say is, despite the fact that I didn't connect with Ela at first, I really enjoyed the book. And I plan to read JUDGE, the next book in the series, when it comes out in November.
I received a copy of PROPHET for review from Bethany House publishers. Their generosity did not influence, or seek to influence, my opinion of this book.
I enjoyed this book and I can hardly stand the idea of waiting until October for the next one. The story was enthralling, and as I finished I was compelled to read the prophets in the Bible, to see with new eyes the challenges and difficulties those called of God faced. The kings who were blind to their own failings, the servants of the Most High who refused to back down, knowing that their God was (and is!) greater than any human He created.
I was also intrigued by the concept of a woman prophet. I could think of only one in Scripture - Isaiah's wife, who is referred to only as "the prophetess", but who is obedient to God in raising her children and naming them for the prophecies God decreed. Prophet also echoes themes from Jeremiah, as the main character, Ela, feels deeply the rejection of God that the people continue to avow, even as she provides example after example of what that rejection means.
Elijah, too, is seen in broad strokes in the story. The kings and queens who worship idols are condemned by their actions, their poor leadership, and their continued pride. God's judgment is repeatedly foretold, and the hard hearted continually persist in selfishness and foolishness. The beauty of this book is that while it can be read as a stand-alone work and enjoyed, it is far better with an in-depth review of the Old Testament prophets - because both are much more colorful for the parallels and insight.
I recommend this book. Anyone who wants to get a clearer understanding of what it truly means to surrender to God, to live as His servant to the nth degree, will be well served by reading the story R.J. Larson provides. If, as you read, you too are compelled to revisit your Old Testament, all the better. God's love never changes, His compassion never ceases, and His faithfulness is great.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
From the very first page of Prophet, by R.J. Larson, I was drawn into the story of a 17-year-old girl with many faults, struggling between her own wishes and what the Infinite decrees. Ela Roeh sets out to spread Infinite's will and help people repent. At times she's frustrated and doesn't understand why Infinite won't keep giving people more chances or maybe just a little bit more time to have a change of heart. With her sister and the Ambassador from Traceland by her side, Ela confronts various leaders regarding their evil ways, and tries hard to reach the hearts of everyone she comes into contact with.
The story was interspersed with tidbits of humor. I loved Ela's conversations with Infinite, and the sometimes subtle interplay between many of the other characters, like the group of Istgard soldiers Ela first encounters. And I also love that despite Ela's connection with Infinite, she definitely still had her own struggles, like that little bit of a temper she displays when first meeting Kien.
I could hardly put the book down, even though I got mad at Infinite a couple times for allowing Ela to be injured at times. It is an excellent read, and I find myself wanting to continue their story in book 2, Judge.
R.J. Larson has spun a fantasy tale in her debut fantasy novel Ã¢Â€ÂœProphetÃ¢Â€Â that will keep the reader hungering for more. This is the kind of story that would be told around the campfire, while keeping everyone awake all night. Ã¢Â€ÂœProphetÃ¢Â€Âis filled with action from the first page and does not end until the last page. Sword fighting as well as bows with arrows are used as good fights evil in a battle that will keep the readers heart racing, as they enter another realm and time. The reader will feel the presence of wild animals as they fiercely leap from the pages. The scenery can be seen with vivid color and description as the reader sees the visions in their mind. This book takes the reader on an adventurous journey into a world that has never been seen until now. The book has an amazing ending, yet sets up the storyline for the next book in the series. The book begins with a character list. This list includes all the characters and a short blurb about each of them. Unlike some fantasy novels Ã¢Â€ÂœProphetÃ¢Â€Â does not have so many characters that it is hard to follow.
This fantasy novel is appropriate for YA as well as adults.
I received this book free from the publisher BethanyHouse in exchange for a review. This fact has no impact on my review. I give honest reviews.
I bought this book, just because it sounded interesting, but once i started i had a hard time putting it down. The plot moves well, and is fluid. But the content, amazing! Well written and thought provoking. Highly recommended.