I’ve had this series suggested to me multiple times for its similarity to my favorite series, The Peleg Chronicles.
Now, I couldn’t just pass that up, could I?
I finished the series a few days ago and decided to review it, so everyone else could partake of the awesomeness.
Read on, and enjoy! 🙂
Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see.
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen–not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Istgard has turned their back on me. See the evil they do.
Yet after experiencing His presence, she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to follow the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. Here she meets Kien, a young Traceland ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela must surrender to her destiny… and determine how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
Will you accept the branch and speak my will? Will you be my prophet?
What I thought:
This was a very good thing in this book.
Ela was very believable as a character and as a girl. No prophet has ever been a girl (in the book timeline), so I’d guess there would be some feminist “so there!” to the attitude of that aspect.
There wasn’t, and Ela was actually super awesome. She has a temper and can be overly emotional, has a sweet relationship with her little sister and family.
Overall, a character worth following through the book.
Kien… oh, gosh. This guy was my favorite.
From a technical-writerly aspect of things, the character arc was done very well. His counterpoint to Ela was brilliantly played. And his starting situation, while sad, was perfect. (I’m running out of positive adjectives here, guys.
From a reader aspect of things, Kien is the guy who makes you smile when things get a little too serious. Kien is the quoteable one and (I’d guess) the general favorite character.
If you’ve read the Ascendance Trilogy, think of an older version of Sage.
There are many others I could mention, but we’d be here all day. (I’ll mention other characters as they come along)
Next good thing. The portrayal of God (the Infinite).
Prophet really blew me away on this front. The Infinite is very to the point and precise in all communications with people. The author doesn’t impose her own views through making God say them.
He’s always shown as merciful and gives everyone a chance right down to the last, and even when everyone else doesn’t think they deserve it.
Even the miracles aren’t useless. Everything serves a purpose and nothing is thrown in simply for show.
Big round of applause for that. 🙂
As much as Prophet was great, this is actually my least favorite book in the series. It’s rather weak on the plot front.
Mostly, it’s just a domino chain of events for a very vague common goal. It’s a worthy goal: Warning a country of its impending destruction and telling its people to repent.
But the urgency really didn’t come through to me.
Maybe because most of the book was stationary? The setting was the same for a little over a third of the book. Some action would have been nice. Change the scenery.
Seeing as this is the first book in the series, it looks like most of the purpose was to introduce and establish the characters. Which it did very well, but a more high tension plot wouldn’t have hurt.
The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don’t involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien’s frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as a military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs to the Infinite to worship a new goddess. But why Kien? Isn’t this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne?
What I thought:
This book was my favorite in the series. The plot had a much better overarching goal and kept me up late with the tension through the end of the book.
I got to read more about Kien (which is always great), the romance progressed with him and Ela without being annoying and the villains were very well used.
Kien’s story in the beginning is a clever sort of spin on the Jonah story, and that is used as his launching point into the rest of the story. His character arc progresses further as well, much to his benefit.
Ela is still being chased by the threat of dying young and that adds to the tension in a really good way. And the role of the unwilling prophet of doom is an interesting one for her to take on. Can’t tell too much more about Ela without spoilers, but it’s really good.
Also, on a character front, Bryce is awesome.
Kien is unwillingly proclaimed a lord in Siphra and is trying to get out of it any way he can. But Bryce (the shieldbearer/assistant sort of guy for the current lord of the land Kien was just given) latches on to Kien immediately.
The dynamic between the two is a hilarious one. The unwilling lord Kien and loyal-till-death Bryce. XD Just read it to see, though, sadly it doesn’t show up until near the end of the book.
This one was a little more dynamic on injuries and disturbing stuff. Nothing gave me any nightmares, but I wouldn’t hand this over to my little siblings without a little hesitation about those few, painful mental images.
Really, that’s all. No gripe with the plot or morals here. 😛
Against his wishes and desires, Akabe of Siphra has been chosen by his people to be King. But what does a warrior know of ruling during peacetime? Guided by the Infinite, Akabe seeks to rebuild the Temple in the city of Munra to give the sacred books of Parne a home. But dangerous factions are forming in the background. To gain the land he needs, Akabe must forsake the yearnings of his heart and instead align himself through marriage to the Thaenfall family.
Meanwhile, Kien Lantec and Ela Roeh are drawn still closer together…while becoming pawns in a quest to gain power over the region. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies and murderous plots, each must seek the Infinite to guide them through an ever more tangled web of intrigue and danger.
A great wrap up to the series, and definitely necessary if you’ve read the other two books.
The ending was really sweet and leaves no doubt as to the “happily ever after” that follows.
Avoiding spoilers here, so I can’t say too much. I’ll just be a little open ended on what I liked.
Akabe’s character progressed nicely. He was introduced in the first book and stayed true to character this whole time. The backstory bit was handled well, too. It wasn’t just dumped at the first opportunity.
The same good things I said before still apply for Ela and Kien. One of the better romances I’ve seen (it reminds me of my parents, actually 😉 ).
Caitria is… interesting. Too many spoilers, so I won’t say more.
I thought there’d be more, really. This one starts out on a bit of a love triangle, and I was not happy about that. But it was dropped fairly quickly and the story progressed without that mental torture.
Once again, there are a few scary, graphic scenes I wouldn’t recommend for a younger crowd.
Also, quite a bit of romance. Clean romance, but romance nonetheless if that would be a turn off for some people.
Though I didn’t mind it at all, and I’m not huge on romance.
Anyway. Be ye warned if that’s your pet peeve.
Overall, a great series I’d recommend to teens looking for a good, Christian read. 🙂
Get ready for a wild ride and an exciting, complex world!
Have you read The Books of the Infinite?
Please comment and say what you thought!