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As Sure As The Dawn: A Review

As Sure As The Dawn is the third and final book in the Mark Of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

The third book follows one of the more minor characters from the first two parts. Atretes, the German from the Chatti tribe who was taken from his village and forced to be a gladiator, is the main character with the Christian widow, Rizpah as his love interest. It starts off in Ephesus, not long after Atretes has finally won his freedom. Atretes and Rizpah intitally do not like each other very much but they have a common bond, which eventually soothes their relationship, in the form of Atretes son, Caleb. Rizpah is employed as his wet nurse.

They then set out on the very long journey from Ephesus, to Germany and the Chatti tribe. Both characters have a very different approach to travelling and they clash frequently. This often results in Atretes getting the whole family into some kind of danger and then having to be rescued from it by one of the other Christians in the travelling group. Both characters are quite hot tempered and stubborn and it causes many interesting moments for them both.

As it is usually with Francine Rivers, the locations were very accurately and stunningly described and all her research was very well done. I also found these characters even easier to relate to, especially Rizpah. There was something about the way she thought, felt and her reaction to Atrete’s temper that I could understand. I may have had something in common with her stubbornness too, just maybe.

For me the magic was very much in the ending of this book though. It was very well written with plenty of unexpected but fitting twists and turns. I gobbled the book up very late one evening and couldn’t go to sleep until I had finished it.

Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars for this one.

 

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

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