Archive for the ‘Biblical fiction’ Tag

Review of A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette   Leave a comment


Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.



Connilyn Cossette continues the stories she started in her previous series, “Out from Egypt”, with a brand new one: “Cities of Refuge”. Since reading her books, I’ve become a huge fan of Cossette’s Biblical adventures, and was excited to get the first book of her latest series, A Light on a Hill.

I’m not going to go in-depth on the plot. I think that’s been gone over numerous times on Amazon, so you have a sense of what’s going on in the book. So instead, I’ll go over the things I loved with this story.

As with Cossette’s previous books, the character development is excellent. You truly feel for Moriyah who has lived her life apart from the public, and is so afraid of the judgment of others that even though she hides behind a veil, she still quakes in fear any time an eye so much as focuses on her. Her dreams to have a family of her own have long since crumbled into dust. The mark on her flesh is also etched in her heart, and she wonders why Yahweh seems to no longer be with her. Her little happiness is gained in burying herself in cooking and helping others.

I could really empathize with Moriyah there. I think there are many of us who, because of fear or despair, isolate ourselves from almost everyone and bury ourselves in our own little world. Yes we may be lonely, but we feel safe. And that is how Moriyah is in the story.

Being accused of murder nearly undoes her. Never has she wanted to hurt anyone else, but now people are dead because of her. Even as she flees to a city of refuge to escape the avenger of blood in hopes of having a fair trial, she is torn with just letting herself be killed. Because she doesn’t believe herself worth saving anymore.

Moriyah’s journey is one of heartache and healing, as she learns to let go of the fear that has bound her and accept God’s grace. To learn that it wasn’t God who had left her, but she who had shut out His voice from her heart. And with that realization, she hears from Him once more and becomes the light He always meant for her to be.

And yes, the romance is good. 😉 For those of you who’ve been reading my reviews, you know I’m a huge fan of a good romance, and this story will definitely please those who love that.

Darek (the male lead) is thankfully not one of those hardheaded numbskulls who believe rumors instead of seeing a person’s heart for themselves. In spite of being related to the ones Moriyah has murdered, he still treats her with respect and honor, and by watching her actions in the face of danger, sees Moriyah for the wonderful person she is.

You definitely get it all with A Light on the Hill: action, suspense, romance, and a powerful story of God’s grace to us even when we don’t deserve it.

Verdict: Buy this book at once!

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)


Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt review   Leave a comment

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what–but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. 

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life. 

As soon as I saw this book up for review, I immediately sent in my request. I have a love for biblical fiction, and reading the synopsis alone captured my attention. And yes, the great looking cover just enhanced the appeal.

We begin the story with Chava, daughter of the royal Jewish tutor, who becomes friends with Urbi, the girl one day destined to become the famed Queen Cleopatra. The story chronicles their friendship as children, up to Urbi’s rise to power.

I will admit, the first part of the story felt slow. While Chava is intended to be the main lead, we’re more often just narrated the events that occurred in Cleopatra’s life. And Cleopatra ending being the more interesting person you wanted to know more about when you watched her go from princess to Queen and married to her ten year old brother. Her war in a game of wits to stay ahead of her enemies ended up pulling your interest more than the spoiled Chava.

Chava holds onto the promise she received from HaShem one night “Your friendship with the queen lies in my hands. You will be with her on her happiest day and her last. And you, daughter of Israel, will know yourself, and you will bless her.”

To this end, she follows Cleopatra faithfully, to the point of refusing to marry out of the devotion to her friend. And yes, Chava was a touch clingy and possessive because of it.

But then Chava’s life takes an unexpected turn, and she goes from friend to one of the most powerful woman in the world to a slave struggling to stay alive. From there, we watch as Chava is stripped of everything: home, wealth, possessions, family. And left with nothing but the bitter taste of betrayal and a broken faith.

This where Angela Hunt begins the crafting of Chava’s story and her growth from a pampered and spoiled child with no care for the rest of the world, into a strong woman. Through all the hardships, and the brutality of first century BC, you see God’s hand upon her, guiding her to that one pivotal point in history she was destined for.

I will caution readers that there are some scenes that might be a little hard for those who are more sensitive to those things. The story does not dwell overmuch on them, but it’s enough for you to feel the impact of it.

The writing was excellent, and once we got over the first part, the character development picked up drastically. If you are looking for solid, well-researched Biblical fiction with strong emphasis on faith, then I highly recommend this book.

Verdict: Buy immediately.

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette   Leave a comment



Hello, everyone! Been awhile since I’ve posted on here, but I’m finally back again. And with another book review, since I’ve finally followed one of secret desires and joined Bethany House’s Blogger Review Program. *does happy dance* So without any further delay, here we go!

I’ve always loved Biblical stories. Maybe it was because I grew up with them as a kid, and even though I am a devoted fantasy buff, the nostalgia for Bible stories has never left. When I first found out about this series, I was excited. And it just exploded when I finally got this book. This is the third and final book in the series. I was initially a little concerned about starting a series right at the third book, but after a little research, found each story is self-contained so you don’t need to worry about missing anything. Without further ado, I plunged right on in.

The story covers the Israelites long awaited entrance into the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. But in their path stands the Canaanites.

Alanah is bitter over the loss of her brothers and home. Feeling she has nothing left to her in life, she dresses like a man and joins one of the battles against the Hebrews, hoping to avenge herself on as many as she can before dying in the onslaught.

But Yahweh has a different plan. Instead of dying, she is rescued from the bodies of the slain and brought back to live with the very ones she planned on destroying, and her growing attraction to a certain Hebrew warrior called Tobiah.

Alanah’s feelings of hate and revenge, and her sense of low worth are all portrayed and written vividly by the author. And Tobiah, the quiet warrior, who tries to take care of everyone and lamenting over loss he feels he could have done something to prevent. Both carry deep wounds inside, and both have to learn to surrender them to the Creator guiding their steps.

It’s rare to find good Biblical fiction, let alone a good romance. This is one of those that manages to do both justice and sticks with you long after you finish reading it. The writing was smooth, the character development solid. You’ll love the sense of companionship and family when walking with the Hebrews, and cringe when you walk through the mire of Canaanite culture.

Love and loss, grace and redemption, all weave together in beautiful harmony within the pages of this tale.

If you are looking for a solid Biblical story with a core of faith and hope, I highly recommend you purchase this series. As for me, I intend to get my hands on the first two books and add them to my collection.

Verdict: buy immediately

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

Samantha The Reader



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