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Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The author grabbed me by the throat in the opening scenes by playing the wounded hero card which is my absolute reader drug of choice. As talented a writer as I am no review I write will do this book justice. I'm going to try anyway while staying spoiler free to preserve the reader experience of a very rich, multi-layered plot. There are so many sub plots but they never tangle and always tie back to the central conflict - good and evil in the forms of followers of Elom the true God and the 2 pagan gods. I loved that as I moved through the characters and got to know them in their separate stories at the beginning, the world building and characterization were so well woven I never felt lost or needed to refer to the maps or race listings (which honestly freak me out because I'm like... if I need cliff notes to the story world I'm already in trouble, LOL but I found I never needed to refer to them. The way the author drew me into the story world and pace at which story and world elements were introduced were so natural and well done I was never lost. Only intrigued.) It takes an incredible amount of skill and author chops to carry as many point of view characters as this novel has in a way that enriches rather than confuses the full depth of the storytelling. Second, it takes even more skill to write a book that is as equally plot driven as it is character driven, and this book does that in spades. It is quite simply fantastic.
It's long, and at times in the middle pacing did drag a bit but I had to know what was going to happen to Jace and Kyrin and all the other characters I'd come to love so that wasn't overly burdensome to get through the few slow places. Along the way I chuckled now and then, felt my reader heart get ripped apart in my chest, a few misty eyed moments, and in the final pages I wanted to stand up and shout "right here, right now, we are the resistance" with a sword at my side too.
Just as a great story, this novel is already that. But in light of the rampant persecution in our own real world, today, beneath the story resonating with my own soul was that one day the fortitude to stand strong for the faith in the face of death may one day become my reality. I hope and pray if and when that time comes, I show not only the fortitude of the 21 Egyptian martyrs, but that of these characters, as well. So thankful book 2 is already out, and I've already bought it. However I'm using it as an incentive as a reward for when I get my own next book in my series out, I'm looking forward to it that much.
One final note is that at my core I am a romance reader/writer and I was so impressed with how a "romantic thread" played out in this novel. that's all I will say to stay spoiler free but to witness such a relationship of healing and self-discovery that was so strong and pure, without physical attraction or any element of traditional romance was beautiful, believable, and awe inspiring. Well done, Jaye L. Knight. Well done.
The dynamics she sets up is top-quality when it comes to encouragement for the Christian. A brother and sister face genuine persecution for their faith, and have to look out for one another. Great tension!
Leading right in with the rescue of a slave who could and likely would kill His rescuer was excellent! I appreciated the way Rayad actually didn't curb his actions by fear of death. He did the right thing though death was a real possibility.
I have been so pleased to read this book! It is very exciting to see budding authors like Jaye take on real Christian themes and weave a story that will encourage young people to walk the walk and take a stand for Christ!
To weave a story in a fictional world that does this is no easy undertaking. I was so refreshed by the worldview in this book and I’m glad somebody is actually writing books that are so counter-culture.
Things to take away:
1. This book does a really good job of building relationships. I cared very much about Kyrin and Jace and all the other characters within the first 3rd of the book.
2. Tremendous heart of self-sacrifice. Willing to sacrifice yourself for someone else and for the principles you stand for.
3. Excellent job dealing with racism and the idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover. If Christians want to be missionaries, they’re going to have to allow the Holy Spirit to get them past prejudices and skin colors.
4. What would it be like to face real persecution? Real potential martyrdom? What would it be like to have to work for an evil Emperor? These themes are explored with gripping realism. The tortures do not go over the top but tell the story in a way that makes you ask yourself how you would react and feel the fear.
5. Friendship conquers all! The friendships that are developed in this book definitely grow on you and make you feel part of the camaraderie.
6. Will the common people ever be able to stand against tyrannical government? This book deals with many of the issues involved. Each person has to make a choice whether to compromise or not.
I would like to give my hearty endorsement to this book for anyone over 17 years of age. It deals with issues you will not find very often in our polytheistic culture.
Besides all this, it is engaging reading with many good action sequences and tense courtly confrontations. The affection and love between brothers and sisters is encouraged and strengthened. Enjoy!
One thing I have against this book is the plot. It felt a little predictable at times, even though the writing style contained much drama. The characters totally make up for it, and Resistance was a fantastic read overall!
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