Fantasy is not a genre that I usually read but over the last year or two, I have read a couple of them. Can't say that it has hooked me into reading more yet but it does make me more open to checking some of them out. When I came across this book browsing CBD, I thought that the story sounded like it would be a good read and I was not disappointed! I was hooked from the first page and didn't want to put it down.
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen - not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
This is the first fantasy book written by R.J. Larson and she did an awesome job. The way that she laid out Ela's character as well as her young sister, Tzana shows a lot of love and care between the two of them. Ela is young and a spitfire I imagine except when she accepts being a prophet, she tries to keep a hold on it. You are also introduced to Kien who becomes one of the main characters in the book. He has a lot of cheekiness to him but strength also. He does tend to want to act before thinking though.
Humor as well as some romance is woven through out the book but not overdone at all. Several times I found myself laughing at different parts.
You will also be introduced to what they call 'destroyers' which are war horses. These are probably my most favorite part in the book, especially Pet/Scythe. I love the characters that she has given to them and they add a lot to the story.
One of the main themes of the book is calling those who have gone away from the Creator, the Infinite, back to Him. He gives everyone a chance up until the last minute, until judgment is rendered. Even when His judgment has fallen, you can feel His sorrow through the written words. So much of what is said in this book could be used in our everyday lives to reach out to those around us. You can feel the truth in every word. I can't say that I have read too many fiction books that impressed me that way.
If you, like me, have never read a Christian fantasy book, this would be a great one to start with. There aren't a lot of wishers for it either. I can't wait for the next one, Judge, to come out in October.
Riddle me this. What if God asked you to leave your family, all that you know and become his prophet- to bring truth and prophecy to people that really don't want to hear it, don't want to obey it and oh yeah, the kicker, being in His service will mean that your life will be cut short. It doesn't sound like a job that most would sign up for. But Ela Roeh of Parne a young 17 year old girl somehow with her close relationship with "the Infinite" just can't refuse. She is a most remarkable girl with many of the insecurities of most 17 year old girls feeling inadequate and unworthy of the task ahead of her most of the time. Yet Ela perseveres and gets better and better throughout the story in hearing the Infinite's voice, seeking Him at every turn and doing what He tells her to do.
Along the way she meets a young handsome Traceland ambassador named Kien who is seeking justice and help for his downtrodden people. Ela and Kien's paths cross and the Infinite is working in both of their lives to bring about His plans for all people involved in this war filled time. In Ela's mind, Kien can't be a part of her future because she is a prophet for the Infinite. And yet they are thrown together time after time. Could the Infinite's plans for them both be different than what she thought?
This story does well by the Christian Fantasy genre and it is fun to see a new face on the scene in R J Larson. I thought the characters were engaging and relatable and enjoyed the addition of the trusty steed "Scythe" of "Pet" and the humor that he brought to the story. I liked the pacing with Kien being a total non-believer at the beginning of the novel, but as the story progresses and he starts seeking out the Infinite, how He is finally able to hear his voice. It wasn't instantaneous and I like that, it had a ring of truth to it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series titled Judge.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review- all opinions expressed are honest and my own.
Although I ended up enjoying R. J. Larson's Prophet, it took me a while to get into it. Many events, particularly in the beginning, just happened too quickly without any build-up, and seemed to unfold a little too simply. However, it did get interesting, and I enjoyed the ending.
One aspect I liked about this book was that it made me think of how the Lord speaks to me in my life, and how easily I listen to Him. Ela, when speaking with the Infinite, either gets a clear, plain verbal answer right away, or the Infinite stays silent for the time being. While I don't think it's that clear all the time, I think that perhaps I make my communication with the Lord more complex than it needs to be. Since reading the book I have been more reflective of what the Lord expects of me in my life.
Overall, I would recommend the book to young readers who appreciate adventure while trying to understand their relationship with God. A more mature reader may not appreciate this book as much, but I would like to read the second book in this series and I hope the author continues to refine her writing style with practice and time. I appreciate Bethany Publishers for providing a free copy for review, which did not affect my opinion expressed here.
The first thing that catches the readers attention and draws them in is the beautiful cover design. It is extremely well-done! And the cover design is only the beginning of a rich and action-packed adventure that is full of biblical allusions and full of imagination.
Larson does an amazing job writing "Prophet". He uses fantasy to not only grab his readers attention and keep them enthralled, but he use the biblical allusions to bring out truths of God, Spiritual Warfare, and godly character traits. The main character Ela, along with her younger sister, Tzana, and other characters, are beautifully flawed with struggles and hardships that enable the reader to feel a bit of themselves in each character and find encouragement and a purpose through struggles and hardships. In this story, the reader is able to see that God is refining us and has a purpose in all things, even when we mess up and make mistakes...He still uses it for His purpose and His good.
"Prophet" is well-written with many deep and hidden truths and messages within this fantasy adventure that continually makes you feel as though you, the reader, is right there in the story. It is extremely difficult to put it down and return to reality while you are reading this story. "Prophet" is a book worth buying and reading not just once, but several times. I really look forward to the following books in this series.
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.