Book Review #3

Hi! Once again i’m taking part in Bethany House’s Blogger review program, this time Jill Williamson’s King’s Blood, the sequel to King’s Folly, my review of which can be found here.

This is the official back-cover blurb from their website:

They Flee for Their Lives, But Will a New Home Be Found?

The Five Realms have been destroyed. The remnants of the population who escaped now find themselves confined only to several hundred ships adrift at sea. Guided by hope, rumor, and a promise, they sail north into the unknown, desperate to find land that might become their new home.

As the king’s illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, dangerous storms, and dark magic endanger his life and the survival of his people.

One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this promised Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

This book has some of everything; wars, sea voyages, forbidden and encouraged romances, slavery and freedom, and will appeal to everyone in some way. As a fan of fantasy, especially biblically based fantasy, I found this to fit very nicely into the genre, and yet being different – in a good way. The flock of people, fleeing their sinking and dissolving homeland, crossing an ocean to find a new, promised land, reflecting much of the same journey described in the Old testament.

Sâr Wilek, prince heir to the throne of Armania, faces a large challenge coming into his birthright as king of a new land, with a warring mage uncle who intends to take over the entire world, giants, and mysterious spirits called shadir spying on him at every step, and coming to terms with a new faith that could be his strength or his undoing. Facing deception after deception, the Armanians and their allies fight to stay on top, to not succumb to the spies, wars, or magicks that are rife throughout the novel.

I very much enjoyed this book, and am anticipating the next one eagerly. One thing I did notice, that I thought could be improved , is the fact that the story felt like it was being rushed through, not taking as much time to develop the elements of the story, letting us see who the characters truly were, rather than just what was told about them. Also, with such a large cast of characters, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was loyal to whom, and who hated whom, and their motivations for doing so.

This book once again ends with “Not the end”, promising more new and exciting things ahead for the descendants of Armania.

So if you’ve enjoyed Jill Williamson’s work in the past (I know I certainly have), I highly recommend reading this second (and the first as well) installment in her series, The Kinsman Chronicles.


Book Review #2

I know it’s been quite a while since I posted, so this one is special. I’m taking part of Bethany House’s Blogger Review Program again (Free books for me, just a review here and on a retailer’s website). This month, I’m reviewing Jill Williamson’s new book, King’s Folly. (Warning, spoilers)

The official blurby description thingy, from Bethany House’s website, is below:

Their Battle for the Throne Has Just Begun.
But Will It Matter if the World They Rule Collapses Into the Sea?

The gods are angry.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers–everything points to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son Prince Wilek thinks his father’s superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful First Arm of Armania.

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?

For any big fans of fantasy, this is a must read that stands out. It has the feel of a fantasy series that doesn’t need to be concluded in one book, but rather the longer, more languorous feel of a true fantasy epic that won’t be easily forgotten. With this comes the slow, slightly confusing beginning that sets some readers off right away, but for those that stick around, a story of twisting and hidden loyalties, manipulation, discovery, and even a little bit of love blossoms on the pages.

The complicated culture, full of superstitions and practices and wars that was created by the author was probably my favourite part of the book. The ritual offerings of people to the god of soil, Barthos, and the picking of one’s five gods to follow, each with their own personalities and domains, a complicated system of ages and rankings, not to mention a completely different system of magic than I’ve ever seen before made the world very unique.

My favourite characters were probably Prince Wilek, despite him sounding slightly whiny in the beginning (he gets a lot better, trust me), and Prince Trevn and Miss Mielle. They really made the story enjoyable, to watch them grow and learn to rely on each other. While there were a lot of characters to keep track of, it was definitely worth it to see the interweaving between the characters in the end.

This book defied my expectations somewhat. I went into it thinking it would be another general Christian Fantasy, which in no way are bad, and most of my favourite books fall under this category. However, I soon realized how wrong I was. The expectation of “oh look, there’s the God of the world, the main character is the only devotee/going to convert while going through large amounts of hardship, but in the end the prince comes back and takes back his crown and marries the pretty lady, and they live happily ever after” was only half fulfilled in this book. It is not immediately obvious which of the numerous gods that exist is the true one, however with time it does become clear, and the several main characters – mainly Princes Wilek and Trevn, along with Kal and several others drift closer to acknowledging the truth. Wilek goes through much, including the loss of his beloved, being soul-bound to another, and kidnapped by mantics (sorceresses). In the end though, he comes back, and becomes the Heir, claiming his rightful position as crown prince of Armania. His pretty lady however, is not all she seems, and this along with many other mysteries are left off at the end of the book, which ends simply with these words:

“Not the end”

So if you’ve enjoyed Jill Williamson’s work in the past (I know I certainly have), I highly recommend reading this first installment in her new series, The Kinsman Chronicles.


Guest Post by Sarah

(Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know I’m doing a post exchange with Sarah over at Knowing the Power, her link is down below. This is her post, mine should go up within the next couple weeks, hopefully. Enjoy!)


Hey, guys! My name’s Sarah and I’m guest posting here about my experiences with I Am Second. I blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays over at about how I’m working to make God the center of my life. Feel free to check it out!

Before I say anything, I just wanted to start by mentioning that I suffer from social anxiety, which makes it nearly impossible to talk to anyone. My friends and family, even. Ever since I was little, it’s felt like there’s been a glass wall between me and everyone else, and I’ve never known how to get through it.

So when God called me to start an I Am Second group (which involves a ton of talking), I about choked.

I Am Second groups are small gatherings (eight people or less). They begin with an I Am Second video, then there’s prayer, then there’s discussion. As the “leader” of the group, I would be called to lead the discussion.

…I can’t even be a part of a normal conversation.

So I dragged my feet for four weeks. I was too scared to bring it up to my friends. I didn’t want to ask my mom. I prayed that God would give me the boldness to take a chance and do it, but I was terrified. I didn’t know how things would go. I knew that this was something that God wanted me to do, but I didn’t know how.

Then, one days on my way to class, the words tumbled out of my mouth before I even knew what was happening. “Hey, I want to start an I Am Second group at my house.” My friends were actually ended up being excited and willing to help.

I just had to trust and take the step.

We set the first meeting for that following Saturday from 11am-1pm at my house. (I bribed people to come using chocolate chip pancakes.) Upon several occasions before we started, I had to walk out of the room because the adrenaline was pumping so hard. I began the meeting by telling everyone why I started the group—hands shaking, voice shaking—and how things were going to go down.

Something crazy happened at that meeting.

I talked in front of a group. I prayed out loud. I lead a conversation and we each talked about the hard things in life—our troubles, our fears, our habitual sins. We talked about outreach and the scary future and our testimonies.

A group of people came together in a way they never had before.

A shy, anxious girl, without a loss of words, spoke up and made a difference in peoples’ lives.

I took a chance, and six weeks later, my life is completely different.

I’m doing things I’ve never done before—I’m inviting nonbelievers to the meetings, I’m praying with my friends, I’m texting people that I love them and tell them that I’m praying for them. I’m smiling more. I’m talking more. I’m living more.

For years and years and years I’ve been praying—pleading—that God would send me someone I could talk to. I’ve been praying for community for a long, long time.

But it took a chance. And it took trust. And I’ve made mistakes, but I’ll never regret that moment that those words spit themselves out of my mouth.

This group is changing my life.

And God is doing something truly, truly beautiful with these people.

I talk more about my experiences with I Am Second at my blog, The Power ( Check it out for more on my journey! And if you want to know more about I Am Second (Start a group!), check out their website at

Book Review # 1

I know it’s been quite a while since I posted, so this one is special. I’m taking part of Bethany House’s Blogger Review Program (Free books for me, just a review here and on a retailer’s website). This month, I’m reviewing Patrick W. Carr’s new book, The Shock of Night. (Warning, spoilers)

The official blurby description thingy, from Bethany House’s website, is below:

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all–a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict  that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest–and what happened to him inside it.

For anyone who read and enjoyed Karen Hancock’s Legends of the Guardian-King, Wayne Thomas Batson’s Door Within or Dark Sea Annals, and especially Patrick W. Carr’s previous series, The Staff and the Sword, this book is for you.

Because I read The Staff and the Sword series, I noticed the immediate resemblance. The importance of the church, the use of special talents and gifts for the use of the church, and the seeming death of the hero but also his recovery.

One of the things I didn’t like about this book is that it jumped right into the world and into the intricacies of the church, without real explanation of how it worked. It was revealed later in the book, but it just jumped in and was rather confusing for a while. To be honest, there are still some things I don’t fully understand. What made it easier in his other series was that the main character was a drunkard who had learned very little about how their kingdom and church worked, so as he learned, the reader learned. However, I just learned that there is an introductory novella, which, presumably, introduces you better to the world in which you’re to dive into.

For another thing, because it was confusing, I didn’t feel I got to know the characters that well, This was one of the things i very much enjoyed about his Staff and Sword series; the characters felt like real people and the book was hard to put down. However, some characters, like Bolt, were well developed, and I liked them.

Also, in the beginning of the book, it talks about two laws given, one of which i can’t remember, and the other one was that mining was not allowed. However, this was hardly mentioned again. I feel like the author could have done a lot more with that law.

I think this book has the potential to be very good, but I also think it could use some more editing.

For those of you who are going to read this book, don’t  stop after the first couple pages seem boring. It’s a good story and I really did enjoy it once I got into it.

Let me know what you think 🙂



This is a piece I wrote a while ago. It’s my take of what it might have been like if I were there at creation.


I become aware that it is pitch black. Opening and closing my eyes makes no difference. I can’t feel anything under my feet; I am floating. My body is intangible; it is as if I am only here in spirit.

I quickly grow bored of just sitting there in complete darkness. However, just as I stretch out on my stomach to take a nap, for lack of better things to do, something happens. I hear something, not unlike someone gently blowing on coals to ignite them into flames. It’s coming from beside me, to my left. I turn, and stretch out my hand. Nothing there. I reach further, doing a sort of breaststroke to get to whatever is blowing in this dark, empty space.

I feel the moving air on my hands, my face. It smells of freshly cut grass, of buttercups in the spring, of lemonade, and another smell I recognize but cannot place. It smells like sunshine, but warmer and lighter; purer. It’s warm and refreshing, and I feel like I’ve known it all my life, and this is at the same time the first time I’ve felt it.

The blower goes on blowing, and I come closer. My hand touches something solid, but drifts through it like I was made of mist. A hand grips mine, and I become somewhat more solid. Compared to the being beside me, I am still about as solid as a dust devil, but I feel more steady, and even less in control. I’m perfectly fine with it. Peace and love radiates from the being beside me, and I feel perfectly safe despite having about as much mass as a breath of air. I hold onto the hand, not wanting to let go, not knowing how I could have lived without the strength that flows into me from this being I found in the infinite darkness of timelessness.

The blower stopped blowing. I now heard no noise. There was nothing to suggest anything was any different from before the blowing started, except for the hand holding tight to mine, fingers interlaced, not letting go.

I felt a deep rumbling come up from the one beside me. It was like a rumble that a dog would get just before it started to growl, only this came from a man, yet not a man. I was sure of this. The rumble grew in intensity, and I could now hear the rumbles as well as feel them. They echoed through me like a bass drum beat, my heart providing a complimentary beat. The rumblings grew, and grew, until they reached their peak. Then they shut off in an instant. And in their place was a voice. Deeper than the furthest reaches of deep space, older than any lengths of time could ever measure, and stronger than the roar of any and all lions. It both whispered and shouted at the same time. It was a chorus of one voice, one voice creating a chorus. It said “Let there be light.”

Instantly, there was light. It was coming from all around me, but the strongest light was coming from my left. I looked over at the Being. The first word that came to mind was radiant, for he was bright, brighter than the sun in all its glory, almost too bright to look at. But I could look at him. He was undoubtedly a king. He was king above all kings that ever existed and will ever exist. But he carried this not proudly, not boasting, but also not as a great burden. He carried it as just being there, as it always was and always would be. I could barely tear my eyes away from this face, this most beautiful face unlike any I had ever seen before, but he gestured around him at the light.

I could see now that we were floating above a planet, covered in an expanse of ocean, all perfectly still, not a ripple in the surface.

“It is Good!” he called out, his voice resounding throughout all of history and all of time. He gestured pointedly at one area of light, and called it “day”. It was as if all the light that did not emanate from the Being beside me, coagulated on that side of the planet, and darkness overtook the other half, which he called “night”.

He now turned to me, took my other hand in his other hand, for he had not yet let go of my left. He looked into my eyes, and I looked back into his. His eyes were warm, but his gaze was piercing. I knew he was looking at me and he saw all of me, open and bare before him, nothing to hide. He smiled at me. His love for me was written all over his face. How could he love me? He saw all I was and everything I had done, and he still loved me.

I just kept holding onto that gaze, not letting go. I have no idea how much time passed, locked in that gaze. When he finally blinked and looked away, letting go of one of my hands, I looked away with him, and saw that the darkness was now on the other side of the planet, and the light was now on the right as opposed to the left like it was before.

He spoke again, his voice as calm and powerful as he was. “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” And suddenly, we were no longer hanging in space, but we were hanging in the water. And from the left came what looked like a giant, invisible axe, the blade pushing water below and above it. Behind the axe came an expanse of fresh air, and above me I could see blue sky, so much bluer than any sky I’ve ever seen before. It was a richer, deeper blue, with more layers, it sparkled and moved, and it was like looking at an ocean from high up, upside down. There was also an ocean at our feet, and it still rippled gently from the axe blade. It was like watching liquid crystals move in a breeze.

He said once again “It is Good!”, and he called the expanse of air “sky”. I marvelled at it all. But most of all, I marvelled at him. He had the grace and power of a lion, but the gentleness of a dove.

The light had all shifted towards the left again, and the darkness was approaching. He took my hand once more, and was staring into his eyes again, unaware of anything but him. I could tell now he was not necessarily safe. But he was, most definitely, good.

Once again, he released me, and once again the light was on the right. This time, when he spoke, land formed beneath us, and we set down gently. The land was all very bare, just rocks and dirt in the shape of hills, valleys and rolling plains. He spoke again, his voice now rolling over the hills, down through the valleys, and barreling over the plains. Everywhere the sound of his voice came, green started popping up. Trees of all kinds and grasses and flowers grew higher and higher, until the place they were standing on was a shady grove of trees. I leaned up against a tall beech tree, its leaves bowing and tickling my face.

The being, for I still don’t know his name, though I have a guess as to what it could be, stood beside me, watching me enjoy all he had just created, a smile on his face, as if he was saying  I made this for you, it’s my gift to you. Watching you enjoy it is all the thanks I’ll ever need. He took my hand again, and we journeyed to the next time when the light was on the right once more.

This time however, we pulled up into space, and he spoke again. At his words, a ball of flame, shining like the sun, appeared in his hand. He lifted it up and placed it in its place, as if it were hanging by an invisible hook. And I realized it was the Sun. Meanwhile he hung a white and grey ball of rock much closer; the Moon. I looked around in the wonder of it all. The Sun and Moon hung in the sky where they didn’t hang before, and they shone light onto us and onto the newly formed earth.

The One beside me drew my attention once again. In his hand sat millions of stars, twinkling. I could even see a couple planets twirling around some stars, and some planets that had no stars at all, and were just drifting there. He raised his hand to level with his lips, and blew. The stars lifted off from his hand like the fluff of a dandelion when blown. They all lifted into the sky, and they all came to rest in their respective places. Stretched out before me was the Milky Way, along with uncountable stars drifting past. I looked at the being in wonder. He made, and continued making all these incredible things, and I could just stand and watch.

We went through another light moving to the right, only this time I understood. It was evening going to morning. We’d been going through days. If I was right, today we were on the fifth day. What would he create today?

We went back down to earth, and he offered me his arm for a walk. As we walked, he stopped by the beach and picked up a handful of water. “Let the water teem with living creatures”, he said. Then, right before my eyes, a micro-ecosystem formed in his hands, with fish swimming all about, a little jellyfish grabbed hold of his pinky, and a little crab crawling along his palm. He lowered his hands, and let the little animals slide into the water. Moving on, he made a bird with his hands, and flung it up into the air, where it caught the wind, and floated above us. “Fly,” he said, “Fly and increase your numbers.” The bird seemed to split and morph into two birds, then four, then eight, and so on until I could no longer count them all. They were all different colours and sizes, all beautiful and unique. I held out my hand, and one of the little birds flitted towards me. He didn’t land on my finger though, but he landed on the finger of my companion.

He stroked the bird’s head for a moment, and then let it fly again.

We went through another day, but were in the same place when we returned the next morning. He turned to the beach itself and gesturing towards the sand, raised his hand as if he were lifting something up. Out of the sand came all manner of creatures, great and small, with floppy ears or long necks, with reptilian scales or fur and hair, he made them all.

Then he brought me over to a patch of clay on the beach, where he sat down and formed a sculpture. It was a human, that was easy enough to see. He made the sculpture complete, and blew on the face. The face lost its claylike look, and started to look like real skin. The colour spread, and before me stood a perfect specimen of human features. The only better looking one was the Being beside me. He created a female to accompany him, and he said to them “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” Then the night approached again, and He left the humans playing happily in the orchard where he left them, and the two of us rocketed up into space again, and we looked down on all that he made. He took my hands again. This time, however, was different from the other times. He placed my hand on his shoulder, and pulled me close, his hand held protectively against the small of my back.

“Listen” he whispered. I closed my eyes and concentrated, from far away, and from all around us, came… music. It was a heavenly melody, a tune of celebration and birth; a song of new life. I stared at him, and he simply led me through a dance to the celestial music that resonated all around us. I simply followed him. I’m sure, that woven deep within that melody, I heard one line being repeated: Dance with me.

We kept dancing, for I don’t know how long, until finally my knees gave out from the exhaustion. He picked me up in his arms and carried me over to my bed. He lay me down and tucked me in. I asked him one question before he left.

“What is your name?”

“You know my name, dearest.”

“I do?”

“Yes. I am the Creator of the universe, the one and only God.” I smiled. He was right. I did know his name. It just took me a while to figure out I did.


It’s summer, and I’m done school! (sorry to those of you still stuck in exams)

However, it’s sad to say, I’ve been done for about three days, and i’m already bored out of my mind.

I mean it’s supposed to be summer! You know, you sit around doing nothing, doing whatever you want. Yeah, uh, I don’t do very well with that. All throughout the school year, I had lots and lots of homework, and I  just never(or almost never) had the time to do something I wanted to do, especially the last couple of weeks with exams and summatives and other fun stuff like that. So now that I don’t have that to occupy my mind space, I have to find something else. My problem though, is that the stuff I would do during the year was really superficial, give-my-mind-a-break kind of stuff, whereas now my brain is being a couch potato and doing nothing. It’s sad.

So what to do when boredom threatens to drain your life of everything that is fun in life?

I like to write. I’ve expressed that before on this blog, and I’ll say it again: I like to write. I like writing what I read; fantasy/sci-fi, historical and Christian fiction. I’ll sometimes dabble in poetry but that really doesn’t work that well…

However, lately I haven’t been able to come up with stuff, and it has been easy to see me just staring at my computer with maybe one or two lines written, and a full empty page in front of me. So what do I do?

I really don’t know. I think the best thing to do is just pick something that’s going through your head and just start writing, even if it’s nonsense. If that doesn’t work, then just go do something else for a bit, but if you’re plagued with that boredom (like I was) that no matter what you do, nothing is fun, well, I’m not sure I can help you. The way I conquered it for today was I found something was fun to do, and then the rest of the things kind of work easier now. For the first thing, I’m writing my first blog post in like a month or more, and for the second, I’m actually having a lot of fun doing it.

So my recommendation, if you’re stuck with that soul-draining boredom that slowly eats away at any kind of pleasure you may or may not have, keep trying things, eventually you’ll find something that helps. If not, just go eat chocolate. It does seem to help.


TCWT Blog Chain Post

Once again, I am writing for TCWT in their blog chain, and this month’s prompt was:

“What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What’s your greatest strength?”

Ooh boy. There is a lot I can say about that. Let’s start with the first one, and move onto the good news later.

There are three things that come to mind: not enough detail, too much detail, and lack of perseverance.

1. Not enough detail: I skim over things I should spend more time on, like certain descriptions of things, or rushing through dialogue without adding the pauses to add in the thoughts going through people’s heads during a conversation.

2. Too much detail: I describe in excess certain things really unnecessary to the story. For example, I was writing a mini-story about a girl who was running away from home, and I described all the futuristic inventions she had with her.

3. Lack of perseverance: I start a story, really liking the idea, but then the enthusiasm wears off, and I find something else I like. I now have probably 50-100 half started stories on my computer or scattered around in notebooks.

My greatest strength…. I don’t know if this can be considered one, but I will sometimes have these amazing moments where I find exactly the right wording for a passage, and it just sounds amazing. I’ll share one with you now:

The ash-covered clock ticks alone under the death sky. It counts out heartbeats that will never be, breaths never to be taken, lives never completed. The crumbling windowsill threatens to tip it into the smoldering cinders; the wall is propped up only by a beam. A man with rusting silver eyes lies still on the ground; unmoving, unknowing, unliving. The soft tapping of metal hitting metal drifts on the wind, accompanied by the faintest strains of an accordion. For once, heaven is not a place one wants to be.

(for anyone who’s read the Book Thief, there you go)

Being a writer is more than just getting the words right, though. It has lots, if not more to do with the smooth flow of the plot, and the undercurrents of emotions and feelings that soar through the story and connect it at both ends.

I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

Tuesday May 5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Wednesday May 6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer

Friday May 8th — Galloping Free

Saturday May 9th — Miriam Joy Writes

Sunday May 10th — The Ramblings of Aravis

Wednesday May 13th — Light and Shadows

Friday May 15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel

Saturday May 16th — The World of the Writer

Tuesday May 19th — Butterflies of the Imagination

Wednesday May 20th — Introspection Creative

Friday May 22nd — Spellbound

Sunday May 24th — Unikke Lyfe

Monday May 25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl

Wednesday May 27th — Against the Shadows

Friday May 29th — Teens Can Write, Too, announcing June’s chain