Series: Books of the Infinite
Author: R. J. Larson
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: April 1, 2012
Seventeen year old Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She has a bad temper, is undignified, and she would be the first female prophet to come out of Parne. Worst of all, as the saying goes, a grey haired prophet has failed. All of the prophets before her have died young and she won’t be the one to break that tradition. But she can’t live without His presence.
She’s determined to follow the Infinite’s voice and commands, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent away from her family into a nation torn apart by war. Her mission is to bring the Infinite’s word to their polytheistic life and hopefully alter a horrendous prophecy. If only it were that easy. The Isthaardians want nothing to do with her or the Infinite. They mock and try to murder her at every turn, making her feel like a failure.
Kien Lantec is a young Traceland ambassador sent to bring peace, but now he’s determined to bring justice to his oppressed people. He fights the king at every turn and lands himself in prison, where he meets the beautiful prophet, Ela. As they form an unlikely partnership, they begin feel things that threaten to unbalance their lives for good. As her feelings grow Ela must somehow determine a balance between her heart and the Infinite.
Will Ela succeed with her job as prophet or will she live to have gray hair? Will Kien convince Ela that they can be together or will Ela determine that only the Infinite has her time? Will the king listen to the prodding of the Infinite or will his whole kingdom crumble because of his stubbornness? Will Ela die young or die an old woman?
This was my first real jaunt into the fantasy genre and I didn’t know what to expect or how I was going to feel after I flipped the last page. However, I have an opinion now. I feel like this book was the perfect transition from reality to fantasy. It had just enough realism to make it believable, but also just enough fantasy to remind you that it hasn’t nor ever will exist. If this is how fantasy is, then I’m definitely a fan. This book also got me out of my shell and makes me want to read other fantasy books both this author’s and others.
I think the thing I liked most about this book and kind of wish we had in reality was the destroyers. Massive war horses that are extremely loyal to the point of being ridiculous. In fact, a lot of the humor in the book comes from Pet/Scythe and him tearing up stuff to get to his master. These destroyers are more like a dog or cat as far as expression goes, but is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to war, definitely making this book a lot better because of it.
I think another reason why I loved this book so much was because of how similar to the biblical fiction I love. It seemed like it was close to Bible stories we all know and love as well as being similar in timeframe. I also loved the female prophet angle, it’s not one you see very often, but it’s one that I enjoyed. I don’t know if I would enjoy it as much as I did if it wasn’t so rare but because it is, I felt it was yet another aspect that I could love about this book.
The author also did something completely perfect for this book, created a romance that didn’t get completed in this novel. She wanted to add a little romance, but she didn’t want to force it into the story. So she made an open ended romance that fit so perfectly I have no complaints. Even with the lack of romance, she captured my heart and made me content with what she gave. It’s a sweet innocent romance that made me want more.
The descriptions in this book are a must. It made me feel like this area was real and I was walking alongside Ela at every turn. Also, the descriptions of the dangerous, deadly animals in this world made me a little thankful that the monsters in this story weren’t walking the earth with us. This author knew how to describe without over describing and she described the battle scenes all while leaving out the majority of the battle scenes, a detail most will be ecstatic over.
This genre is a first for me and the author, but if this book is any indication, both I and the author will be back with more fantasy. Me because I found a new genre that satisfies my curiosity and the author because I believe that she has truly found her niche. For a debut in a new genre, this book is the epitome of fantastic. It’s perfect for lovers of biblical fiction and fantasy fiction. I can’t wait to read more in this series and from this author. The author has opened a door into this genre that can’t be closed, so stay tuned for more fantasy reviews in the near future.
Overall, a great fantasy book for beginners in the genre or people who have been reading in it for years. It’s perfect for teens and Tweens alike an parents can rest easy that it isn’t to ridiculous like some of the fantasy books can get. I give this book a four and a half out of five.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*