Book Break: The Crimson Cord

I LOVED this book from Jill Eileen Smith on Rahab’s Story. This is the first book in her series Daughters of the Promised Land, but she is also the best-selling author of three other series: The Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and the Loves of King Solomon. If you haven’t read any of her books before (which I have not), and you enjoy biblical/historical fiction, I believe I have found a new author to recommend to you.

The Crimson Cord

And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from
Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially
Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a
prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there…
Before the men lay down, she came up to them on
the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord
has given you the land … Now then, please swear to
me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you,
you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and
…that you will save alive my father and mother, my
brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and
deliver our lives from death.”

Joshua 2:1, 8-9, 12-13 (ESV)

From the Back Cover

“Rahab’s story is one of the most moving redemption accounts in Scripture. The Crimson Cord perfectly captures all the drama of the original, fleshing out the characters with care and thought. Jill’s storytelling skills kept me reading late into the night. A beautiful tale, beautifully told!”–Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the Night

Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls–or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith’s talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity–and a permanent place in your heart.


Joshua 2

My Review

Most people only know about Rahab from what they have read in the Scripture passages in Joshua, chapter 2, and 6:25. But she is also mentioned in Matthew 1:5 in reference to the lineage of Jesus Christ (“Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab”), as well as in Hebrews 11:31 (“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”) The author, Jill Eileen Smith, took these brief glimpses in Scripture, her own historical research, and a lot of speculation on what might have led Rahab to the position she found herself in and wove it all together into an incredible story of despair, guilt, forgiveness, redemption, and love.
I found the characters and the story line to be believable and well-crafted. I loved how Smith connected a very relevant Scripture passage from Matthew 18:23-34 (The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant) to this story. The two stories do not actually connect in the Bible; however, it fit the characters and it worked for me.

Rahab’s story doesn’t end when the walls of Jericho come tumbling down. Instead, as promised by the Israelite spies sent by Joshua, she and her family are saved from destruction, and she is given a chance to begin a new life as a member of God’s Chosen People. This beautiful and amazing journey of faith–sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting–is one that you will want to read for yourself.

What Drives Travelers

Thank you to Revel Publishers
for providing me with a free copy
of this book for my honest review.
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Book Break: Thunder: A Novel by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thunder: A Novel (Stone Braide Chronicles)

As an avid reader of fantasy, science, fiction, and young adult novels, when I heard about the book Thunder, I knew it would be right up my alley. Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian* society, the descendants of those who survived The Time of Sorrows either live off the land in a somewhat primitive way, while trying to determine what is still “safe” to eat, or they are part of the self-contained Mountain people (aka The Company) who carry out mysterious scientific experiments with the benefit of technologically advanced equipment.

Thunder

I would describe the overall story as a combination of action, adventure, young romance, and science fiction. It is also a bit of a coming of age book where the teens within (Selah and Bodhi as well as others) are learning about themselves and the world around them, as they strive to not only make the right decisions but to survive. As you meet the various characters and follow along on the journey/quest with them, you will enjoy a tale (told from various points of view) full of secrets, lies, danger, corruption, friendship, betrayal, hope, and love, while all along a battle between good and evil simmers below the surface.

From reading other reviews, I understand that some readers felt that this book did not have a deep enough spiritual tone (coming from a Christian publisher) or that it lacked any mention of faith or spiritual content, I felt like the spiritual references were subtle and intriguing (e.g., references to the Kingdom, the Presence, and one of the experiments being called an “abomination” to name a few). However, I admit that there were a lot of things that were not explained in this book that I would hope are either covered in the FREE e-book prequel—Tremors (which is now available online) or that things will become clearer in book two: Lightning. Perhaps the Landers, who are referred to as Immortals, are angels or some other type of spiritual being; I don’t really know at this point. The good thing about this subtleness, in my opinion, is that those who are not familiar with Revell as a publisher of Christian books will enjoy the adventure, action, and mysteries contained within the story without realizing that there is an underlying message of hope and redemption. A message that will, hopefully, become clearer later on in this series.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to more to come.

Thank you to the publisher, Revell, for providing me with an advance copy for my personal review and my honest opinion.

  *A dystopia is a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. (wikipedia.org)

Back Cover copy:

The Time of Sorrows is long past.
The future of Selah and her people is shrouded in mystery.
And the clock is ticking.

Hidden in the tall grasses along a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city, a hunter crouches. It is the eve of her eighteenth Birth Remembrance and high time she proves to herself and her brothers that she can stand on her own two feet. Selah Rishon Chavez waits not for game but for one of the small boats that occasionally crash against the desolate shoreline. Because inside one of these boats she will find her quarry—a Lander. These people from an unknown land across the ocean are highly prized by the Company and bring a good price—especially if they keep the markings they arrive with. Everything falls to pieces when the Lander whom Selah catches is stolen by her brothers, and Selah wakes the next morning to find the Lander’s distinctive mark has appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her—Bodhi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell in the Mountain.
Inside Cover copy:

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of disturbing scientific advances, devious political conspiracy, and survival in a hostile wilderness, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a society more like our own than we may want to admit. From the tension-laced first scene to the captivating last page, Thunder is an epic journey into the heart of humankind that explores how far we are willing to go when we’re pushed to the limit.