Hey this is Liz -
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(There will be more reviews per week from now on; please let me know if theres a certain book or genre you might be interested in hearing me review. Have a great day!)
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Though the Heavens Fall by Mikhail P. Kulakov Sr.
<3 <3 <3
Summary: "What's the matter?" he asked in a low voice. "Have I done something wrong?"
She said nothing, but gazed intently at him, her eyes desperately trying to warn him. Go on your break, Mikhail Kulakov. Now! GET OUT OF HERE! Leave the building!
But he didn't understand. Suspecting nothing, he walked straight into the TRAP.
Faith--solid, unyielding faith--was all that young Mikhail Kulakov possessed.
The Communist Soviet government had taken away his job, his family, and his freedom. His crime? Faithful service to God, or, in the words of the KGB, "anti-Soviet activities."
He was imprisoned, interrogated, and then sentenced to five years in a corrective labor camp, where he endured bitter hardships designed to stifle the spirit and break the will.
But even the prospect of eternal banishment to a remote village in western Siberia could not deter him from his steady reliance upon God's promises . . .
Review: Though the Heavens Fall takes you into the life of Mikhail Kulakov who was a Christian in Russia when religions were still being persecuted and their believers were being sent to prison camps. The book focuses on the time period of the late 1940's through through the early 2000's; it chronicles the life of Mikhail and his family with short synopsis's on his grandparents, and parents and how they came to be involved in spreading the good news.
Mikhail was subjected to many nights of hunger and mental torture in 'prison work camps' by the Communist leaders; he was convicted of simply living his life as he believed God asked him too and spreading the gospel to those he came into contact with. One aspect of this story that I really enjoyed was that their were excerpts from different family members talking about their perspective on certain times and events in Mikhail's ministry and life. It was refreshing to see alternate voices in a book that still seemed to harmonize together in their main goal which was spreading the gospel.
The book is a little less than 200 pages long; its a quick read and if you're a Christian who is looking for spiritual inspiration I would definitely recommend it. While I personally would've liked more information on the storyline and a little less preaching throughout the book overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Friday, August 8, 2014
The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Summary: IN 1538, ENGLAND is in the midst of bloody power struggles that threaten to tear the country apart. Aristocrat-turned-novice Joanna Stafford knows what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment when she is caught up in an international plot targeting the king. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers.
Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII, as well as the future of Christendom, are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lies at the center of these deadly prophecies. . . .
Review: In the novel the Chalice, which is the second book in a series with leading character Joanna Stafford; the young novice who has been ripped out of her life as a young novice waiting to take vows and thrust once again into the world of England's politics in the late 1530's. This novel was different from Bilyeau's first novel in the respect that the reader learns more about Joanna's past and what has led up to the terrifying prophecies she must now face and which will determine what path her life will follow.
I loved Joanna's spirit in this book she seemed to grow more as a character and as a person. Sometimes the prophecies mentioned throughout the book would get a little muddled in my mind as I read and I would've liked more explanation sooner but other than that it is a beautifully written book. I read it in a few days because I did not want to put it down...I would recommend reading The Cross which is the book meant to be read before this one if you want to understand in detail what is happening. But this book can easily stand on its own as a great novel.
Friday, August 1, 2014
by, Nancy Bilyeau
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Summary: Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.
While Joanna is in the Tower, the ruthless Bishop of Winchester forces her to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may possess the ability to end the Reformation.
With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must decide who she can trust so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.
Review: The Crown by author Nancy Bilyeau literally took my breath away as a piece of literary brilliance. I am not huge on historical fiction books that also fit into the genre of thrillers and or mysteries; I usually prefer historical fiction novels that are more centered around the person and their life, the period in which they lived, with a little romance popped in. With this book my forgone conclusion about what I prefer went out the window.
The novel takes the reader into the world and times of King Henry the eighth and some of the events that lead to a young novice named Joanna and her struggle to fight for the preservation of her way of life as a young postulate nun living under the rules of enclosure; Joanna must do this under blackmail from a Bishop who uses her Father as leeway holding him hostage until Joanna finds an artifact that the bishop believes will change the course of actions that are ripping what he considers to be England's true faith into pieces.
Every detail and conversation between characters was written beautifully and made me feel as if I was there with this young nun; The scenery was described beautifully and the characters development through out the book made me relate with the characters and literally made this book an addiction as I got deeper into each chapter. I'd recommend this book highly to anyone who likes historical fiction; Especially Tudor Era genres.