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Posts Tagged ‘Sigmund Brouwer’


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Go watch the video. I’ll wait. ūüôā

Ok. Everybody here?

If you’ve been reading my book reviews, you’ll probably remember that I generally like Sigmund Brouwer’s books, and don’t shy away from reviewing them.

This one, though…… I’m starting off with my rating. I’d give this book 10 stars if I could.

Go. Read. It.

This is a story, which, while fiction, was inspired by the author’s own parents’ experiences. {That hooks me every time.} It starts with a picture of a young boy’s freedom, family life, and conflict with another boy of similar age. By the end of the book, we’ve gone full circle; right to old age and deeply buried secrets.¬† thiefofglory

The tale of those secrets- of love lost; assault; tragic decisions made by parents; protection- all revealed- is told through the eyes of an aged man, seeing through his childhood eyes.

Compelling. Riveting, Gut wrenching. Heartbreaking.

“Thus, in solitude one night all these decades later, while still cognizant of the words I spoke, I found the strength and courage to fold my hands together and bow my head and finally ask His mercy.

I etch these last words not from a need after my death to share and dissipate the shame of what I did on the night my mother died at the internment camp, but from a desire to comfort Laura and Rachel, who led me, for the first time since that horrible night, to find the courage in that solitude and pour out my soul in prayer and weep with all the anguish I had denied myself for far too long.”

It’s been a while since a book has affected me like this. I imagine it will be a good long while until I read another one like it.

Go. Read. It.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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They’d done it. They’d journeyed across the ocean and made it to Jerusalem in one piece. Problem is, Thomas still doesn’t know who to trust. He’d leapt into dark caves and followed cryptic instructions. He’d felt Isabelle die, only to find her alive again. How? Why? Who’s side was she on?¬† bladesofvalor

And Katherine. A part of Thomas wants to trust her, but her repeated deceptions have left him wary and confused.

Katherine and Sir William are in the same boat. Has Thomas been corrupted by the Druids? Or has he accepted his place as an Immortal?  Can he pass their tests and can they all come out alive at the end?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll remember that I picked up this series with book 2, Fortress of Mist; which I enjoyed tremendously. Actually, I liked this one so much, I went online right away to try to find the sequel, which wasn’t out yet. I waited, and did get a chance to read and review Martyr’s Fire. While still good, this one didn’t leave me waiting impatiently for the next book in the series. Honestly, I really didn’t see the point in traveling all the way to the Holy Land.

After reading the last book in the series, I’m still not sure what the point was. I am pretty sure they could have accomplished the same objectives in the story line while forgoing a sea voyage that didn’t really result in anything substantial, less the slave trade and subsequent traitor. Could that have been accomplished somewhere else? Perhaps. Either way, there wasn’t enough of voyage happenings that could have been added to spice that section up a bit. Have there been a bit of something more during that part of the voyage, I don’t know, maybe it would have helped my interest level.

This book was ok. The ending was resolved and that was nice. This wasn’t a stand- alone title for me- I really think you need to read the others before reading this one, because you will be completely lost, and the book would likely be nonsensical to you. Because I like the series overall, I’m still giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Thomas fought to conquer Magnus. Now his hold is hanging on by a thread. The faux Priests of The Holy Grail are doing a number on the inhabitants of his island. Who can argue with the ‘divine’ miracles they present?¬† martyrsfire

Feeling the lack of choice amidst the threats, Thomas allowed the 15 so-called priests to “grace” his land with their “truth.” They claimed to guard the Holy Grail. As they took over the local parish, displacing the priest via a “miracle” of the “weeping Madonna,” Thomas knows he must escape before they kill him.

Dressed as a beggar, Thomas makes his way to the parish, after learning that it’s filled with the poor who have taken an oath of loyalty to the interlopers.¬† He’s also learned that his castle has fallen without a fight. Meeting with his trusted and recently beaten friend, Gervaise, Thomas learns quickly that his life is at stake. He must escape.

Gervaise gives Thomas cryptic directions to a secret passage out of the church. “After sixty steps, you must make the leap of faith. Understand? Make the leap of faith. You will find the knowledge you need near the burning water.”

Thomas is confused and unsure of the directions, but knows he must trust or perish.

To add to Thomas’ dilemma, Isabelea is alive and the banished Katherine keeps showing up uninvited. Will Thomas’ journey to Jerusalem provide him with the answers he needs? Can he make it there alive?

~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’ve read my review of book 2, Fortress of Mist, you will remember how disappointed I was that the sequel had not yet been released. I was thrilled when I got the chance to review the next title in the series.

I was really disappointed, though, with the length of this next installment. This really only qualifies as a snack; an hors d’oeuvre; a novella.

I was bummed. There were parts that were equally confusing as the last story, but I have confidence that it will all get tied in together.¬† I wouldn’t suggest trying to read this as a stand-alone title, because you will be completely lost. Much of the storyline is the continuation of previous events, and without knowing those, you really won’t have a clue as to the role of the girls, in particular, and you won’t understand why Thomas doesn’t trust either of them.

It looks like the next installment comes out in January. I will be reading it. I seriously hope there is some meat to the next book, because this one was just a tease. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars, mostly because I enjoy the author and think the overall story is good.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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He’d done it. He’d captured Magnus-¬†the kingdom that had the impermeable fortress. On an island, completely surrounded by water, no attack was possible, due to the high walls and narrow drawbridge that protected it. FortressofMist

And yet he- as an orphan- was able to claim his birthright. His dead mother, Sarah, had taught him well.

Could he hang onto his kingdom? Whom could he trust?

His dreams taunted him. Were they real?

“Thomas, there is a great circle of conspiracy. Much larger than you and I…….and there is much at stake. Haven’t you wondered why this castle is set so securely, so far away from the outer world? Why would anyone bother attacking a village here? Yet an impenetrable castle was founded. And by no less a wizard than Merlin.”

Was she¬†real? He’d seen Isabelle die. No, he’d felt her die; right there, in his arms after her skull received a crushing blow.

And yet, here she was, whispering in his ear, in his bedroom. He couldn’t reconcile how anyone had made it past the soldiers outside his bedchamber; much less someone who was dead.

No, he must be dreaming. Yet, he can still feel her kiss lingering on his forehead.

Who is she? Why is she here? Can he trust her? Is she really trying to help him keep Magnus?

Fortress of Mist is book 2 in the Merlin’s Immortals series. I had not read book 1; The Orphan King. If I ever get my “to read” list cleared off, I will definitely go back and get the first book.

Set in 1312 AD, this book has it all- magic, sword play, intrigue, mysterious women, and magic. Two sides are warring for Thomas’ allegiance. One one side are the Druids, with their magic and secret symbols.

On the other side? Thomas doesn’t know. They are nearly as mysterious, and their guidance is also veiled. Thomas doesn’t feel he can trust the one he’s trusted all those years, especially now that she’s revealed her actual face to him. Feeling deceived by her as well, he takes drastic action; despite the depth of his emotion.

I’m learning to really look at the author before I accept a book for review. There have been a few titles that confirmed to me that the author is not one I’m really interested in reading again, so I’m paying more attention to author than I was previously.

Sigmund Brouwer was one¬†author I’ve read¬†I have reviewed before. Because The Canary List¬†was a pretty good book, I thought I’d give this one a shot.

My single complaint is that this book ends pretty abruptly. As in, I was shocked and wondered if I hadn’t gotten the entire download. Then I went online to buy the sequel, only to be bitterly disappointed to learn it’s not been released yet. Boo!

Did you gasp out loud¬†at that last comment? I know I did, once I realized what I’d done. That is the absolute first time I’ve gone to order a sequel of any book I’ve reviewed. I rarely order sequels. To date, there have only¬†been a handful of series I’ve gone and purchased, because it’s hard for me to justify when I have so many unread titles waiting to be cracked open.

One part of me wants to give it 4 out of 5 stars because of the way it ended. That’s just not right; to leave the reader so completely hanging and feeling entirely unresolved.

But. Because this book was SO good, I’m going to relent and give it the 5 out of 5 starts it actually deserves, dirty trick aside. Come to think of it, I’d probably give it 6 or 7 stars¬†{out of 5}¬†because it was that good.

If this era piques your curiosity, run, don’t walk, and get this title!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Jaime is 12. Crockett Grey is not. He’s an adult, and the teacher of her ABC (Adaptive Behavior Classroom) class in upper elementary.¬†

As a foster kid, Jaime had been passed from foster home to foster home since she was an infant. She’s never had a real family.

Crockett, on the other hand, had a real family, only to have it come unravelled after the death of his 10-year-old daughter to cancer. While his son, Mickey, hadn’t been born yet, the marriage still disintegrated into nothingness.

One night a year, on the anniversary of his daughter’s death, Crockett allows himself to shut away and grieve. Most everyone knows to leave him alone and to steer clear this night.¬† Most everyone, but Jaime, who shows up at his house unannounced.¬† As their paths collide, Crockett’s life goes from bad to worse.

This is an “on the edge of your seat” kind of book. Two pages before the Prologue a simple sentence¬†says, “As noted in the afterword, the foundational premises of this novel are based on documented research.”

This trip takes you to the Vatican and back in a fantastical mind-bend. One side of the psychological approach makes complete sense. As the main character uses that approach to shape his perception and attempts to untangle the situation, the reader goes along for a though-provoking ride.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because there were parts that left me thinking it too far out to suspend belief, even for the Roman Catholic Church. I was also disappointed in the afterword, which¬†consisted of two quotes. I had hoped to get something meatier, which would have helped my¬†lasting impression of this¬†book, and would have given me something more to mull over.¬† I will definitely put this author on my “get more” author list, though, and make a point to see what else he has written.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Want to have a chance to receive a free book from this publisher?¬† Click below and rank my review, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of this book!

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