The Sword – Review

Most of the world has been destroyed by a deadly virus, followed by a nuclear war. Technology is useless without the utilities and infrastructure to support it. Survivors are so widely dispersed that nearly all “modern” knowledge and convenience has disappeared. 400 years later, groups of people have organized into medieval style villages and countries, producing food on small farms and manufacturing all their clothing, tools, and weapons by hand.  If you’re a prepper, a survivalist, or just a fan of the fantasy genre like myself, you will truly enjoy “The Sword”, by Bryan M Litfin.

To these future humans, we are “the ancients”.  Worship of idols and corruption are not only rampant, but taught as the state religion.  While trying to escape from “outsiders”, Teo, a royal guardsman for the king of Chiveis, and Ana, a farm girl who saves his life, stumble upon an ancient book that turns out to be the Holy Bible.  As it is translated into their language, they come to know a new God, the Creator, whom they come to understand as the One True God.  Meanwhile, the High Priestess of the common religion takes steps to eliminate the new religion.  The ending is a compelling set up for Book 2 in this trilogy, The Gift.

The deep, resonant voice of narrator Ray Porter captures and holds the attention, while his softer, higher pitched female renditions are a bit humorous, while the listener adjusts to them.  Author Litfin succeeds in creating a future world that stands on its own in a genre which includes some tough competition.  His characters play convincingly, with all their flaws, admirable qualities, and inner struggles.  Ana eagerly embraces the new God, but Teo, accustomed to relying on his own strength and cunning, takes more than simple persuasion.  His road to conversion is fraught with disaster, and when he does come to believe, it may be too late for the fledgling community.

This book does have some mature scenes (without being explicit), so I would not recommend it for the family bookshelf, but I think it is appropriate for a mature 16 year old, and older, use your discretion.  It is entertaining, suspenseful, and illustrates what Christians must sometimes endure, especially in areas where the Word of God has never been heard.

The Sword, The Gift, and the third book in the trilogy, The Kingdom, are all available from www.christianaudio.com for $14.98 each.

Thanks to www.christianaudio.com  for providing me with a free review copy of “The Sword”.  No other compensation was received for this review.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

The Heavenly Man

China is a Communist country.  Christianity is illegal and those who preach it are cruelly treated.  If a family has one child already and is found to be expecting another, the mother is detained and the developing baby aborted.  If the mother manages to escape and have her baby, enormous fines and other punishments are imposed.  Bibles are confiscated and those who possess them are beaten.

When Brother Yun got his first Bible, he read it hungrily, memorizing everything he could, even sleeping with it.  He immediately began proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in small villages across China.  From that moment on, he experienced persecution, torture and imprisonment by the Chinese government.  Brother Yun recounts his imprisonments, tortures and escapes in graphic detail.  Although there are those who question the extent of his reported tortures, his message is clear:  Jesus is love.  Jesus is everything.  Jesus’ love is worth dying for.  The way he handles his tormenters, never losing faith, is truly inspiring and heartrending.

In a country such as ours, where so many of us who call ourselves “Christian” are lukewarm at best, the mere thought of suffering torture, blood, pain and death for the sake of Jesus Christ gives pause.  Would I?  Could I?  Or would I deny Him and hide, gradually losing what little faith I had?  Not a dilemma I want to be faced with.  However, Brother Yun’s story causes me to question whether I am witnessing to Jesus Christ in my everyday life.  Do I hunger for the Eucharist and the Word?  When presented with the opportunity to attend Mass or read the Bible do I respond with enthusiasm?  Out of duty?  Turn my back?  Is my faith and hope contagious?  Do I radiate peace and love?  Good questions to keep in the front of my mind on a daily basis.  In the end, don’t we all want to be greeted with those precious words, “well done, good and faithful servant.  Now enter in and claim your reward.”?  Brother Yun concludes by challenging the Western Church to return to basics.  As the theme of this blog suggests, I think that’s a wonderful idea.
Christopher Jean gives a compelling reading as Brother Yun, with Jeannie Park as Yun’s faithful wife Deling.  The readers lend warmth and truth to their characters and the audiobook (copyright 2008 by Hovel Audio) is a joy to listen to.  The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun, with Paul Hattaway, (c) 2002, was originally published by Monarch Books.
I would like to thank Christian Audio, for providing me with a free review copy of this audiobook.  No other compensation was received for this review.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr