Friday, December 11, 2015

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbria By Jill Dalladay

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

The dramatic story of a seventh-century evangelist

Chosen as Eostre s handmaid, Hild will serve the fertility goddess for a year before being wed. Her future is predictable until King Edwin claims her as kin and she learns that her father was murdered.
Her first love is given a command in Edwin s forces and vanishes from her life, wed to her sister. The court is baptized, ending the old religion and Hild s role. Life looks bleak. She can t stop wondering who killed her father.
Suspecting Edwin, she challenges him, only to be married off to safeguard his northern frontier. Struggling in a loveless marriage, she is intrigued by the Iona priests making pilgrimages to spread Christ s love. When home and family are lost in Oswy s sack of Edinburgh, she finds herself in enemy hands, but meets the charismatic Aidan.
Inspired and guided by him, she builds communities to live and teach Christ s love. She attracts followers. Even her old enemy, King Oswy, entrusts his child to her, gives her Whitby, and seeks her help to reconcile divisions in his kingdom.
She never ceases battling against old superstitions resurrected by storm, plague, and solar eclipse, but at last she receives a bishop s blessing from a man she trained herself.


My Thoughts: 

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbia is Jill Dalladay's debut novel and it is fantastic. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction and of debut authors, I couldn't not pass of the opportunity to read this.  This book takes place in 7th Century Medieval England, where beliefs are in the gods and goddesses, making sacrifices in their names but the belief of the One God is starting to pick up throughout the world. This story starts when Hild is 12 years old and goes through her life and her role in Christianity in England. I learned so much about Christianity's beginnings, the ending of the worship of many gods, and 7th Century England. I am not very familiar with this time in history so there were many things I found myself looking up and reading more about. Jill Dalladay writes with authority about 7th Century England, beliefs of that time, the hierarchy of this time, and the ups and downs of war.  I found myself in awe of  how the transition from pagan religion to Christianity took place, how Christianity was spread throughout the countries, and how whole countries accepted Christ and were baptized. Even Hild's story shows the transformation from pagan worship to acceptance of the Christ. I found myself unable to put this book down as I found myself caught up in Hild's story.  I enjoyed Jill Dallady's style of writing and am excited to read more from her. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially about Christianity.  I give this book 4.5 STARS.

A Thousand Shall Fall: Shenandoah Valley Saga Book 1 By Andrea Boeshaar

I received this book from the author, Andrea Boeshaar and Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book . The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:


A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off--only to find she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they're all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally--and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.
         

My Thoughts:  


A Thousand Shall Fall is the first book in Andrea Boesharr's latest series, Shenandoah Valley Saga and it is great! This is the first book by Andrea Boesharr's I have read but I have a few on my TBR pile, so I am excited to dig into them.  As a huge fan of Historical Christian Fiction and my love of the Civil War this book had the perfect blend. Andrea Boesharr has the perfect blend of fact and fiction in this book that really kept me interested and I learned some more about this time in history.  Andrea Boesharr writes with authority about all things Civil War including all of the places the war took place, the way of life before, during and after, the state of things in both the North and South, and the attitudes of the people in the different places. I found myself having a hard time at first getting into the book but after the second chapter that was not the case. I really found myself unable to put down this book, not wanting to have to wait to get back to it!  The characters are well written and are real people. I really enjoyed this book! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, it will not disappoint! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I give this book  I give this book 4 STARS.