I can hardly put it to words how much I love this novel. It is one of the small number of books on my shelves I have re-read close to a dozen times.
It is by far the best Biblical allegory I have ever read. Now, I have never been a huge fan of Biblical allegory. More often than not the author will sacrifice characters and plot for the sake of the allegory and ruin everything, pushing the story in ways it doesn't want to go. Because of that rampant problem I was very reluctant to try this novel. But I am so glad that I took a chance!
RJ Larson has created THE perfect blend of fantasy and allegory. I am just in awe of her skills here. The Biblical elements are strong throughout and easy to recognize, but never once are the characters or plot sacrificed. In fact, they are blended seamlessly. Every Biblical element feels totally organic to the plot.
I absolutely adored Pet/Scythe. Many moments with that crazy but loyal warhorse had me roaring with laughter. I want a horse like that! He reminds me so much of Maximus from Tangled, maybe even better.
Every one of the characters here are beautifully crafted and real. The budding romance between Kien and Ela is so adorable. Kien is such a hoot, and weird as it might sound I love their arguements.
This book deserves ten stars, as do the sequels, they now sit proudly on my favorites shelf.
(Note: it has been a couple years since I read this book. Some details are a bit hazy in my memory)
Romance: I think there was one small kiss, but nothing otherwise.
Drinking/Drugs: I believe one or two nobles did drink a bit of wine, as was typical of ancient times, but no drunkenness.
Violence: There is plenty of violence in this novel. There are battles, assassination attempts, one wild animal attack, a mummified body, and such. But nothing is graphic. There isn't anything here I would be afraid to let a young teen read.
This story is fantastic! Very fast moving. Loved the characters. The reluctant prophet, the faithful, child, and the skeptical man. Gotta be honest though. Pet was probably my favorite character. Think Maximus from Tangled. :)
I loved the book, it kept my interest and I didn't want to put the book down. The authors wording is wonderful and I can't wait until the next book arrives in this series. I hope R. J. Larson keeps writing, it is hard to find many authors that can write books that can keep their works exciting through out their whole book.
I love the main characters in this book. In that group Im including Ela Roeh, her sister Tzana, and Kien Lantec. I also adored Pet/Scythe, even though he isnt human. His antics brought me so much amusement. His devotion to his chosen master is incredible.
When the Infinite first asked Ela to be His prophet she hesitated, which was entirely understandable. Then as the story progressed I found it very realistic that at many points she didnt understand what she felt He was telling her to do. The fears and questions she expressed numerous times were so very human it made it even easier to connect with her and pull for everything to turn out well for her.
There were a number of scenes throughout the book that seemed to be very close parallels to stories from the Old Testament in the Bible. I thoroughly enjoyed this connection to the stories I already know. It was fun to try and spot these parallels.
I am really looking forward to reading the other books in this series. R.J. Larson has done an incredible job of creating the people and countries for this fantasy world. I believe that I will get just as much enjoyment from each subsequent journey here as I have from this first one.
This was an entertaining and very though-provoking book. It gave me insight into what real spirituality means, even though this is a fictional story about the journey of Ela, who is chosen by the Infinite to become a Prophet. I could really identify with the character, and the story was engrossing from beginning to end. I would highly recommend this book.