Prophet is such an interesting read. On one hand, the author has created this awesome world that springs to life with great characters from Ela's little sister Tzana to Kien to the destroyer called Pet. Think a knight's horse with a temperament & character attributes of a fiercely loyal dog who could kill you or love you to death. Then on the other hand, we have the Old Testament parallelisms.
I had a mixed reaction to the story. I LOVED aspects of it and then disliked other aspects, more specifically the OT parallelisms. I love allegory, but the similarities to the events in the Bible took me out of the story a bit.
That aside, the book was amazing. Right from the beginning with the snow of ashes, it drew me in and I wanted to know more. Very good, tight writing. The characters' dilemmas and possible future endeavors had us debating on what the author might have meant regarding a certain "prophecy" and us looking for some loop holes. ;-)
That said, I look forward to reading the rest of the series, once I'm mentally prepared for:
I absolutely love Biblical fiction, but I never know if I'm going to connect with the story__that was NOT a problem with Prophet! By the first chapter I was hooked! Not only is Ela's relationship with the Infinite fascinating and precious, but I truly wanted to see her story unfold. I was nervous the whole time about her life span, but I was also truly amazed by her obedience knowing she'd have to make difficult choices and sacrifices the whole time.
Ela is only 17 when she must make the decision to become the Infinite's prophet and immediately she must leave home and go into training. She is only able to bring enough food and water for training and EVERY step taken she must solely rely on the Infinite's voice and protection. The story begins with a vision that knocks Ela down in its intensity. She receives more visions, but that is the only one that is detailed and the Infinite knows how much these visions drain her so He is lessens the visions after that first one.
I was utterly humbled reading this story and many Bible stories came up in my mind as I read this. I thought of Jonah since he also a prophet; Mary being told she would give birth to the world's Savior and her humbleness is accepting this destiny knowing she would be shunned and judged for it; and Noah because he also had to warn society of their wickedness and to repent before it was too late, no one believed him either. Even though the Infinite (Creator) is the only name God is referred to as in this story I considered all His other names and was appreciative: Prince of Peace, El Shaddai, Lord, Redeemer, Mighty One, Lion of Judah, King of Kings, Emmanuel, etc.
One of my favorite characters in the story is the horse, "Pet." His personality, loyalty, temperament, and strength shines throughout and it enhanced the story that much more with him there.
I was surprised at the harshness of the Infinite responding to Ela's protests with certain evil characters, it seemed like she was more compassionate than He was (which is impossible but the Infinite is just). The thought of ANYONE perishing in eternity without the Infinite to be there horrified Ela with EACH person that died. She understood what would happen if bullies in the story beat her or mocked her and no matter what cruelties she endured, she was always more concerned about her persecutors than she ever was about her fate. In the midst of her showing this compassion, I understood how much the Infinite loved her and that even though the Infinite didn't desire anyone to suffer the consequences of hell, He knew that some characters would reject Him no matter what proof was shown to them. He also assured Ela that there was always hope, even to the last possible minute redemption was available to even the worst of rulers.
Most of this story is from Ela's perspective, but it also shows other's perspectives which helps the reader understand what Ela is going through as she gets discernment and wisdom. She experiences fear, reluctance, questions, feelings of hysteria, physical pain more than once, frustration, rejection, despair, protectiveness, servitude, missing her family/nostalgic for home, peace, unworthiness, and even resignation. Even though she understands the honorable calling she has received, she is still human and it was a treat to see her personality and growth in the story. I was amazed at her cooperation, contrite heart, courage, faith, and willing attitude never knowing for certain what would happen next.
This book is an incredible page-turner, intense, somewhat violent and it illustrates what a holy, loving, just, and unpredictable God we serve. The signs, wonders, miracles, and impossible things that happen in this story are accurate, tangible, humorous (love that Pet) and even romantic. The Infinite does not promise an easy journey for Ela, but He does make it clear to her that He is with her the whole time and even though she has many enemies He comes through for her like the Prince he is. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, supernatural occurrences (there are angels and even a little demonic manifestation in the journey), and a feisty young woman with courage beyond her expectations who is determined to carry out all tasks instructed by the Infinite to show His glory. To read how much this girl loves God was utterly precious to me, so inspiring and it really blessed me. I sooo look forward to reading Judge next!
I'll admit it; I read this story for the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?! I'm really glad I gave it a chance though. It's a really neat Christian story in fantasy form.
Truly, the "Infinite" of Ela of Parne is the Lord I love and serve as well. I found some of the parallels and words of wisdom presented in a way that touched my spirit and really spoke to my heart.
I thought this story was well thought out, believable and yet still held that fantasy element to it that drew me in. I can't wait to pick up book two!
About the Story:
Ela of Parne has been chosen by the Infinite to be His Prophet to the people. I kind of got a clearer picture of how Elijah or Moses may have felt as I read this. They were His prophet but still human. I'm sure they really dreaded the delivery of some messages.
Ela leaves Parne with her younger sister, Tzana--a young girl plagued by a degenerative aging condition and travels to distant lands to deliver the Infinite's message. I thought this was interesting as it showed that God can use any of us if we will be his willing vessel. I also found myself worrying over her throughout the story which just shows how I fell in love with the characters.
From Parne, Ela finds herself in a kingdom that has turned away from the Infinite and it is her job to warn them. While she is there she is taken prisoner but she still delivers her message and does the will of the Infinite--even if the means losing her life. The determination and love that Ela holds for her creator serves as a firm reminder of how we should live our life for Him.
"I know the Infinite's voice because He tells me everything I don't want to hear, sends me where I don't want to go, and asks me to fulfill tasks I consider impossible. Above all, He is forever right."
During her time in prison, Ela meets Kien and though she tries not to--eventually she falls in love. I really wanted them together but I honestly can't see how it's going to work. So...in the end--I guess I'm going to have to pick up the next book just to find out!!!
Overall, I thought this book was really good. I struggled knowing how to rate it but decided on a 4 star solely because it seemed to drag for a little while in mid-story. Things picked up towards the end though and it was well worth the push to get through to end! This book definitely makes it to my bookshelf as a keeper!
This book is wonderful for many reasons! The destroyers(war horses) were delightful, the characters are very likeable and real, and the storyline is great!
The very best part is the relationship the prophet has with the Creator, the Infinite. It creates an aching desire to have that deep, intimate relationship with God for myself. The author presents so many truths about God as well.
I absolutely loved this book and was sad when I was done reading it. I did not want to leave the characters!