Book Review for “The Return of the Guardian King” Series- Christian/fantasy

About the books: “Book 1 of Legends of the Guardian King which follows the life of Abramm Kalladorne in his turbulent search for truth and self–a search that will transform him from a sickly, head-in-the-clouds youth to a legendary hero of strength and courage. Set in a world of swords and cloaks, of glittering palaces and mystical temples, of galley ships and ancient, mist-bound cities, his journey illustrates how God pursues and how He uses suffering to mold His children into something greater than was ever thought possible.”

My review: The whole series is great! “Light of Edion”, the first book, I read years ago. I don’t remember thinking it was so great, but I had just read Hancock’s  “Arena” and it was a totally different genre (Sci-fi, which I loved). So I re-read the first one again, and just loved it. I borrowed the next two from the library and ended up purchasing the forth from Amazon, because I had to know the end! Great writing, and it goes to prove that an author isn’t stuck in one genre. Hancock has written two Sci-fi (Arena and Enclave), both were great, and this epic fantasy of four books, Light of Edion, Shadow Within, Shadow Over Kiriath, and Return of the Guardian King. I hate to say good bye to the characters. However, like Lord of the Rings, or the Narnia series, I will probably be reading these again. My rating is 5/5 stars. There is no swearing, implied sexual content, between married couples, there is some violence. I can recommend for teens and up.

 

 

 

 

Book Review for “Fatemarked”-Fantasy

What the book is about: In the spirit of fantasy epics like George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, The Fatemarked Epic promises immaculate world building, an ancient prophecy, a mysterious source of magic, interesting characters, war, political intrigue, and romance.

The Hundred Years War has ravaged more than three generations of kings, queens, and citizens across the Four Kingdoms. Corrupt rulers dominate. Religious intolerance runs rampant. The cycle of vengeance continues to turn with the seasons.

An ancient prophecy by a legendary oracle has been long forgotten. The prophecy promises the return of peace to the Four Kingdoms on the backs of a chosen few, the fatemarked, individuals marked at birth and blessed with specific magical powers. One shall be the Kings’ Bane, and will bring death to the warmongering rulers, using fear to force peace; another shall be the Peacemaker, bestowed with the rare ability to heal. Opposite sides of the same coin, dark and light, death and life, the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker are responsible for the fate of an entire continent.

As they fight to achieve their destinies, adversity will hinder them in every realm: in the frozen north, assassination attempts and a brutal power struggle; in the holy west, a vicious queen and her self-righteous army of warriors; in the mysterious iron-clad forest of the east, revenge and glory rule the day; and in the southern empires of Calyp and Phanes, maturing dragons, slaves, and a civil war.

To truly fulfill the oracle’s prophecy of peace, both the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker, as well as the other fatemarked, will need to overcome those who seek to destroy everything in their pursuit for power.

 

My Review: I am a huge David Estes fan so of course I joined his mailing list to hear about all of his new books. In one mailing he was giving away some ARC copies of his newest book. Most of his books, and my favorites are dystopian for YA. “Fatemarked” is the first in a series of epic fantasy. I entered the drawing and won a copy. I was a little nervous due to the different genre of this one. I so loved it! I do enjoy a good fantasy and this one does not disappoint. One of the things I like about Mr. Estes’ writing is he has a tongue in cheek type of humor. He understands people and relationships. So my rating is a strong five star. I can recommend for teens and up. Now I have to try and be patient for the next one.

 

 

About the Author: Get the David Estes Starter Library (FOUR books!) for FREE when you sign up for his mailing list: http://s.privy.com/0yzhuRA

David Estes has written more than 20 science fiction and fantasy books. He has a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), is a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves chatting with his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends. David lives in Hawaii with his beautiful Aussie wife, Adele, his asthmatic cat, Bailey, and his rambunctious son, Beau.

 

Get your copy: Here

 

Book Review for “Code of Silence”- Christian Middle Grade Mystery

What the book is about:

When Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives. After being seen by the criminals—who may also be cops—Cooper makes everyone promise never to reveal what they have seen. Telling the truth could kill them. But remaining silent means an innocent man takes the fall, and a friend never receives justice.

Is there ever a time to lie? And what happens when the truth is dangerous?

The three friends, trapped in a code of silence, must face the consequences of choosing right or wrong when both options have their price.

My Review:

This one was a library check out. Took my little guy to the library and saw the set on display. The covers looked interesting and when I opened up to the inside cover saw they were Christian mystery for middle graders I had to get them. Book one was great. Main characters are junior high friends who’s faith and loyalty are tested. Two boys and a girl. Not preachy at all. Just a great “friends” mystery. There is no swearing, however there is some violence (robbery). I give it five stars. New author for me, but a new favorite.  New author for me, but a new favorite. Can recommend for all ages, though written for middle grade (girls and boys both).

Book Review for “An Exalted Depravity”- Christian YA Dystopian

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What the book is about:

“Amendment Thirty to the Constitution of the United States of America: The education of young American persons between the ages of five years and twenty years shall hereby and indefinitely lay in the hands of the United States government. Any form of alternative schooling without government sanction shall not be permitted.

It all started with the rebellion. Teens in the streets, throwing bricks through every storefront, slashing every tire, and beating any stranger who looked at them twice. But sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. This is the lesson Zak learns after being ripped from his humble family and thrown into a new school, where open sexuality reigns and chastity is a vice.

There, the question in his mind remains: what exactly is the cost of discipleship?”

My Review:I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of Logan Judy, so when he offered me a copy of his latest book I accepted. I loved this YA dystopian book. This one had a whole new take on dystopian. I found it very relevant and couldn’t help thinking of “Brave New World” as I read it. The story is set in a society that is void of morals with a government that thinks they can do a better job raising the children than their own parents.  A must read for Christian teens! I give it five stars, and am looking forward to more of this series. Though this clearly is book one, it could be read alone. No swearing. There is a lot of talk of sexual contact, but not in a graphic way, only as a description of societies values. Some violence and bullying. Though geared for teens, I think any adult dystopian fan (like me) would like it.

 

Book Review for “The Land’s Whisper”- Fiction/Fantasy

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I was given a copy of “The Land’s Whisper” in exchange for an honest review. This is a very well written fantasy. At first some of the language and names had me a little confused, however after a bit of reading I was able to work out what was meant. (in example measurements of miles and time were given fiction names). After finishing the kindle version I found the definitions in the back, so that might be a good place to start. The main characters are flawed and fleshed out. The story had me crying and laughing, and some places just plain cringing. There is no swearing or sexual content. There is torture and violence. It is after all a story of good versus evil. I give it five stars and can’t wait until the next book is out. Though it is part of a series, it has a clear ending. I give it five stars. I loved it.

Sleeping Beauty

 

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(Sleeping Beauty, Thomas Spence)

Ephesians 5:14 (NIV), “This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

In 2003 I read a book titled, “Access Granted” by Joshua Fowler. For me this was the beginning of changing the way I thought about Christianity. Now it was only a beginning and a very small one at that, but the bible tells us not to despise small beginnings. Since that time I have gone through some stuff that challenged my new beliefs, However, God is so good that no matter what came my way, no matter what I read, or what I heard from the pulpit, He was confirming a whole paradigm shift. This continued to change the way I saw God, how I saw myself and how my life as His daughter ought to be, and it is changing the way I see others and the world. Now, thirteen years later, the Holy Spirit continues to bring me deeper in this revelation of who I am in Christ.

Recently, as a congregation, we have been covering “Who We Are In Christ,” “Our Rights and Responsibilities as Sons of God,” and “Discipleship.” Our Senior Pastor, Dr. William Hohman has written several small books on some of these revelations. Then a few weeks ago, I had a pastor, Mel Wild, ask me to review his book, “Sonshift”. I follow his blog on the internet and I knew that he was experiencing this new wave of God, so I agreed. Through this book, I have an even greater understanding of what our life should look like as Christians.

I am thrilled that God is moving in His Church. He always does and His timing is perfect. This is the generation that will change the world. This is the generation that will bring Heaven to earth.

Here is a quote from the preface of “Access Granted”: “I am encountering people who are hungry for more of God and His blessings…They are determined to press beyond the norm into the supernatural character, power, and order of God. And they are willing to step over the Jordan and pay the price for their promised land…I am concerned because I am also encountering those who think they know it all they’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. Instead of using their wisdom and experience as a platform for new revelation and exploits, they are stuck in a rut. They don’t realize that they are old wineskins… Why should you allow God to shake up your world, change your thinking, and lead you into your promised land? Because He wants you to obtain your inheritance in theis earth, so you can carry His name to a lost and dying wolrd. Your harvest is ripe!…It is time for you to open your heart to the new wine and reap your harvest. My prophetic word to you in this hour, “Become anew wineskin for the Lord.”

Joshua Fowler is referencing the parable in Luke 5:36-38. Let’s take a look at that.

(NASB), “And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”

God is doing something NEW. Maybe not new to Him, but it is certainly new to us. Sure there may be a few who got this years ago. God always has a remnant, those who just seem to be able to surrender to His love in such a way that they get revelation on seemingly a daily basis. Good for them! Now it’s our turn, Amen. We can’t keep being the old us, doing the same old thing, and thinking in the same old way. That’s the old wineskin. That is brittle, inflexible, and other than holding the old wine, it is useless. But I want new wine, how about you? There needs to be a shifting. My friend Mel calls it a “Sonshift”.

Malachi 4:5-6 (HCSB), Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Luke 1:17 (NIV), “He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

This scripture was about John the Baptist, but it is being fulfilled in a greater way to us right now. The time is ripe.

“I believe we are seeing today a unique day in the body of Christ. I believe we’re living in a day unprecedented since the days of the apostles. We’re living in a day where God is revealing Himself to us as Father. And because the Father is love, His love is becoming available to us like it hasn’t been for 2,000 years. And as that love is coming, it’s turning our Bibles upside down, inside-out, back to front. It is turning our Christianity, up upside down, inside-out, back to front. It is, for the first time, putting us in the place where we can enjoy our life more than sinners.” –James Jordan, Fatherheart Ministries

This is the generation.

The Spirit said, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity on earth in one generation.’”- Mike Bickle, Founder of International House of Prayer

In “Sonshift,” Mel Wild uses the parable of the Prodigal Son, to show us that it wasn’t just about one son, it was about two sons who both were a type of “orphans by choice”. Their father wanted the best for them, one rebelled and wanted to do things his own way, while the other had a slave mentality and was working away with an attitude, just waiting for his dad to die so he could get his inheritance. How many of us, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior still live as if we were orphans? Mel calls those “spiritual orphans.”

Here is an excerpt from the book: “The truth is, Jesus came into our orphaned world and introduced His Father to us in order to show us how to live in His Father’s house. He did this so we could be reunited with Him, right now and forever, no longer orphans but sons and daughters. He told us He would do this by sending the Holy Spirit so that we could live just like He did when He walked the earth- abiding in our Father’s house and “proving” to this orphan world that our Papa’s purpose for them is good and acceptable and perfect. Beloved of God, this world has no mental grid for the Father’s love, and the only way they’re going to know it is to see it through our lives.”

Jesus came to show us the Father. Up until this point people just didn’t understand who He really was. He had been relating to them in a way that they could understand, as a parent to a toddler. You can’t really reason with them, you just have to set some boundaries and then enforce them. Praise God for Jesus’ shed blood. For now God can relate to us as mature sons and daughters. We can see His true identity and purpose as well as our own.

Why is this so important? Well, first off wouldn’t you like all those promises of God, that are supposed to be “yes and amen” evident in your life? Me too! And secondly, we want the orphans of this world to find their true Father, the one who loves them more than they can understand, but who long for him anyway. They might not even understand what is missing from their lives, but when they see it they will know it. It’s just like us when we have a food craving. Frequently I don’t even know what I want, so I go to the fridge and take a look. When my eyes light on that one thing, I know it. If it is a true craving and not just “feeding my emotions”, after partaking I can say, “That hit the spot.” What I mean is it satisfied that craving, that empty spot was filled. That’s the way it will be with the world. On the other hand if I go to the fridge and it is empty… I am going to go look somewhere else. Our fridge needs to be full.

Let’s allow God to change us! Only God can really change us from the inside out, true, but we have to allow it. He never forces us, ever. Let the Potter mold His clay. The outcome will be such a beautiful vessel, such a blessed life, that others will want the same. The harvest is ripe, time is quickly running short. Now is the time. No more delay, no more excuses, and no more procrastination. God’s work is finished, now it is our turn.

We are the true “Sleeping Beauty” but God’s word to us today is “Awake, awake, oh sleeper!”

Isaiah 60:1 (KJB), “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee!”

Book Review for “Radiance: Book Four White Road Chronicles” – Christian Fantasy

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Ok, so I know I said book three was my favorite, but… this one is even better. The only bone I have to pick is that it isn’t the last book! The next one is supposed to come out sometime early 2016. Wonderful allegory that retells the story of God’s love and forgiveness through his son. Though the words “God” and “Jesus” aren’t used. Good writing, great fantasy with all the quirky characters including some beasts and creatures, and well rounded characters. No sexual content or swearing. There is romance and there is violence. Epic story of good versus evil. I give it five stars, loved it, and can recommend for ages teens and up (and any fantasy love, you do not have to be a Christian to enjoy this book!) While I am waiting for book five, I see the author has written a few “stories” about the White Road, so….