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An Echo In The Darkness: A Review

An Echo In The Darkness is the second book in the Mark Of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

This book continues to explore the characters in the first book, picking up where the previous book left off, almost to the exact second. There are a few more characters introduced but mostly it follows all the well established characters from the first (The ones that haven’t died already anyway).

In this second book there is a distinct emphasis on the characters finally realising their flaws and doing something to sort them out. Marcus and Julia are impacted by this especially and it’s incredibly easy to emphathise with them as they try to figure out what is the right way to do things and get themselves into some more scrapes and messes along the way.

I was pleased to find in this second book the references to God were again a little more natural and in keeping with the plot as it ran forward. It also had a much better ending if a little unsatisfying in some ways it tied up the loose ends. It did leave me wondering what the third book would actually be about, however, as 95% of the characters now had their happy ever after.

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5

An Artist’s Call

I was listening to the soundtrack for the second Narnia film recently and hit the credit song, The Call by Regina Spektor and found the words inspired me to write some poetry. I thought I’d share what came out of it.

 

An artists call

A gentle whisper close to my ear,
Lets me know that God is near,
And as my soul begins to fly,
That familiar feel takes me away up high.

That feeling then grows and before too long,
A hope of change moves me along,
Though frightened if the truth be told.
I cannot refuse when an artist is called.

The excitement builds, bringing tears,
Giving no choice but to abandon fears.
With fears gone, the quiet is unnerving,
Then a lioness comes, courage unswerving.

Though hardly any more time has passed,
Now a vision, as fragile as glass,
And then I’m flying on wings of gold.
I cannot refuse when an artist is called.

In no time at all a desire to fly,
Has become a roar, a battle cry,
Though alone I may miss my goal,
With God and friends I cannot fall.

A battle to win and territory taken,
With my faith I cannot be shaken,
I have been summoned, I have been told.
I cannot refuse when an artist is called.

Though I may fail before I begin,
To my new found vision I will cling,
And in blackness darker than night,
I will reach for Him, eternal light.

To others I may appear strange,
Odd, unfocused, even deranged,
But this is my purpose, why I was made.
I cannot refuse when an artist is called.

Though all I may have is only a feeling,
It will become more, now’s just a beginning,
And although it is hard to understand,
I have a battle, a sword in my hand.

I am an artist, all of God’s styling,
Only He can define me, and my calling,
No apology for me, you have been warned.
I will not refuse when I am called.

A Voice In The Wind: A Review

A voice in the wind is the first book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

The books are set in the Roman empire in approximately 70AD and the first book mostly follows the life of a Christian girl called Hadassah as her family are killed and most of Jerusalem is destroyed. It then follows her journey as a slave to the Roman Valerian family and her struggles as a Christian in their very self centered lives.

For the most part I enjoyed this book. It’s a very endearing journey to see Hadassah learn to love others and find her place despite the tumultus beginning to her life. I also found I couldn’t help feeling her respect and love for the older children in the Valerian family, Julia and Marcus, despite their large flaws.

Francine Rivers is very good at painting her characters in a very real light making them easily relatable to. Although many of the characters have a very obvious flaw or two I was impressed with how they dealt with them and how everyone managed to grow somewhat by the end of the book.

I did find the plotting a little slow, with the odd over zealous reference to God and scripture, almost as if it was a little forced in. I think it got better as the book went on, however, as the situations the characters faced, gave more of a reason to mention their reliance on the dieties they believed in.

My biggest problem I had was with the ending. I was extremely glad I had the second of the trilogy to hand and I strongly recommend that anyone who reads this book immediately reads the first part of the next one.

Without spoiling the plot, I found the characters in a situation at the end that implied one thing and then found this not to be true on reading the first chapter of the next book. I think I would have infinitely prefered it had it not implied one way or the other at the end of the first book.

Over all I give the book 4 out of 5