The Kingdom, Chiveis Trilogy #3
The final book in the Chiveis Trilogy concludes the adventures of Teofil and Anastasia. The action, adventure and spell-binding storyline that captured you in the first 2 books keeps you until the final page! The mission for Teo and Ana has never changed, to bring the Sacred Writings back to the people of Chiveis, to introduce them to Deu and His Son, Iesus Christus. Whatever the cost, no matter the danger, they are committed to this end. After years in exile, danger around every turn, being kidnapped and tortured their resolve has not dimished. As they uncover the lies that have ensnared the people of their homeland for many years, the lies that have allowed Astebril to enslave these people they must again face the High Priestess who has shamelessly carried out these lies. Will they be able to see their dream come true? Will the Chivesian people embrace the truth found in the Sacred Writings of Deu? Will Teo and Ana commit themselves to Deu and to each other forever?
Positives: Litfin delivers another engaging and action-filled story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat til the very end. The intricate storyline is perfectly woven together. It provides an excellent example of the many who have suffered greatly for the gospel and died to preserve the truth of the Scripture for those who would come after them. The desire Ana, in particular has, for her people to know Deu should convict us greatly.
Talking Points: The Scripture passage I kept thinking of while reading this is II Cor. 11:25-28. In this passage Paul recounts the dangers and hardships he encountered during his missions trips - beaten and shipwrecked. But the thing that weighs most heavily on Paul is the churches he has ministered in. Teo and Ana had this same heavy heart for those who had not heard the gospel, they counted all the pain they had suffered as worth the cost if they could only tell others about Deu and his Son, Iesus. Talk to your kids about their conviction. Do they want others to know about Jesus? Are they willing to be ridiculed? Are they willing to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus to their friends? Are they willing to count the cost? Teach them to boldly share their faith with grace and truth.
Age Level: 16 years of age and up. Please note that there is some sexual content in this book. Please be aware of that as you make a decision regarding your child reading this book.
I received a free copy of this book from Crossway Publishing in exchange for this review.
August 17, 2012
The Epic Conclusion to a Wonderful Series!
This book is the epic conclusion to the Chiveis Trilogy and if you haven't read the first two books in the series, I would highly recommend doing so before picking this one up. It's like reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy and beginning with the Return of the King, you have to struggle a bit to understand it but you would enjoy it more to read it from the beginning to understand where our main characters Teofil and Anastasia are at during this leg of the story.
Overall, I really enjoy this genre of Christian books, much like those who enjoy The Chronicle of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings will enjoy this series as well from author Bryan M. Litfin. This book is based on a post-nuclear earth where everything has been destroyed. All modern technology is gone and the world is forced back into a medieval age where horses, swords and bows and arrow are required to survive.It's almost like it's before the world was created but it is based in the future. Teo and Ana are searching for information on the god, Deus, since very little information has been written on him. This is basically the God of our time, when they met with a man named Popa of Roma who has a version of the book known as the Old Testament but what is missing is the New Testament. However when this gets destroyed, a battle begins between those who want to keep that knowledge a secret and those who want to discover what they are trying to hide. In order to do that, they must figure out what was in the missing text and how that may impact the world they are trying to save.
I received The Kingdom by Bryan M. Litfin compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and have to say, I enjoyed this one more than the first two. It was an incredible conclusion to this series and I can't wait to read more from Bryan in the future. He really creates characters that the readers can relate to and it's nice to know that there are more Christian alternatives for readers that enjoy this type of fantasy fiction. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
July 23, 2012
Good Ending to the Trilogy
I remember waiting for each installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to come out on the big screen. It was early in my marriage and the films came out around December, if I remember correctly. It was hard to wait! I've been waiting again because over the past three years, I've been reading Bryan Litfin's Chiveis Trilogy. One by one they've been published. The final book was just published in June. The trilogy tells the story of the demise of our world due to a deadly virus. The remnant left alive enter a modern dark age and Christianity is hidden. A dark religion takes over the minds of the people. The trilogy is about the search for Christ.
The first book, The Sword, surprised me. It was a book of speculative fiction--a genre that is not my usual choice. I enjoyed the development of the main characters, Teo and Ana. The plot took unexpected turns. The second book, The Gift, was a solid sequel. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first, though. The third, this book, arrived last week and I had the chance to read it over the weekend.
At the beginning of The Sword, there is a short prologue that explains how a deadly virus spread throughout the world. I was impressed by Litfin's quick, but succinct description of events. It was quite vivid. Then, we are introduced to the kingdom of Chiveis. The gap between the virus and the present kingdom of Chiveis is filled in in the prologue of The Kingdom. It is explained how the kingdoms came about and how their governments took power. Then, the story begins. The conclusion of the trilogy.
I did enjoy this series over all, but the last book is the one I enjoyed the least. There is a lot more violence and sensuality than in the other books. It is interesting to find these components in a Christian fiction book. I feel I should admit that I also cringe at The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is a very different genre of fiction for me to read. I have read books that have deftly dealt with these aspects of life without dwelling too much upon them. In the case of this book, it is the sensuality in certain scenes and how it is described more than the violence. I understand that is part of battle and war. For this reason, I would only recommend this book to adults and not teenagers. Perhaps I give teenagers too little credit for how mature they are, but still I wouldn't want my daughters to read this book until they are in college. I know I say that as the mother of three young children, though, and my perspective might be different in 10 years.
This story finds Teo and Ana together fully grasping the Gospel and preparing to share it with others. They long to return to Chiveis and hope to soon. The story follows their paths and the paths of those they love. The dialogue felt a little too much like casual conversation today. I imagine royalty as speaking more formally than they did in this book during those scenes and for those speaking to royalty to have more respect in their address. The dialogue often felt discordant with the setting and the plot. The story also felt like a mixture of other stories I've read in the past.
But, the ending was satisfying. It did have a good ending. As I was reading, I hoped for Good to prevail over evil and for the Gospel to be shared with the people. We all know that is the end--that is what God's Word tells us about this world we live in.
So, do I recommend this book? Yes, if you've read the first two and want to know how everything turns out. Is it a stand alone book? Definitely not. The first two should be read first. Bryan Litfin has created an interesting world with an interesting premise. I think it is wise to consider what the world would be like without the hope of Christ--perhaps considering such can help us be more mindful of sharing the Gospel and seeing those who don't know the hope of Christ as lost. It's so easy to get caught up in our day to day responsibilities and miss out on the opportunities we have to love others in our lives who don't know the Lord. I know it is for me.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Crossway.
July 16, 2012
A Whole World of Possibility
The Kingdom is Bryan LitfinÃ¢ÂÂs conclusion to the Chiveis Trilogy. In these books, Europe has reverted to a somewhat medieval existence hundreds of years after wars and disasters reduced humanity to almost nothing and most of our advanced technologies have been forgotten. The kingdom of Chiveis, rising from the ashes of a lost civilization, has become closed off from the outside world and is ruled by a king under the strong-armed influence of a pagan priestess. It is in this environment that a young soldier discovers a long-forgotten book about a long-forgotten God.
The Kingdom is the longest of the three books, and for good reason: Litfin takes the reader from the Roma (Rome) to Marsay (Marseille), Jineve (Geneva) Sessalay (Sicily), and back to Chiveis for a climactic battle between the pagan forces loyal to the wicked high priestess and the Christiani willing to stop an evil empire from wiping out all knowledge of God from the Mediterranean world.
The book is full of swordplay, romance, and intrigue. It is wholly medieval, yet with vestiges of a long lost world that was once our own. Litfin gives readers a new experience in an old world, something fantastic filling the gap between the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings, with a decidedly Christian plot and message. Imagine if the world was discovering the message of the Bible for the first time. How would they preach a unified gospel message? How would they organize themselves?
One thing IÃ¢ÂÂve noticed about great books is the idea of expansion, either through back story or new locations. Tolkein and Lewis did it, and even George Lucas did it with Star Wars. Ever since picking up The Sword, IÃ¢ÂÂve imagined what kind of stories could be told about the lands beyond Chiveis. Each book further expands on locations and people, adding to the mythos. IÃ¢ÂÂve been somewhat sad about seeing a conclusion to the trilogy, but Litfin has left the door open for further sequels. HeÃ¢ÂÂs sold me on them already. LetÃ¢ÂÂs hope there are more journeys into the Beyond in the future.
I requested this book from the publisher for purposes of review.
June 16, 2012