By: Bryan M. Litfin
Genre: Dystopian Fiction/Christian Fiction
Grade Level: 10 and up
Pages: 411 (Advance Proof copy)
***First a couple of things. I have never read the first book in this series. I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. Second, I really tried hard to go into reading this book without any bias on my part. You see, I'm not a fan of Christian Fiction. Largely in part because I don't think there is a single Christian Fiction book that sounded interesting or that was any good at all. That being said, I wanted to read this one because it was a Dystopian fiction novel, and I'm a real fan of that, so I figured what the heck, let's see if this author let the Christian part take over or not.
Teofil and Anastasia are in exile. Exiled from their homeland of Chiveis due to their belief in Deu, the one true God/Creator. They find themselves at first with Scout Soldiers of Ulmbartia. While in the wilderness, Ana is nearly killed by a wolf and a subsequent infection. Upon making it out of the wilderness, Teo and Ana are thrust into the perilous world of Ulmbartian society. Beautiful and exotic, Ana is taken deep within the aristocracy, and is tempted and perverted in her desperate desire to belong. Teo, forced to the lowest ranks of society, must try to keep Ana safe while she moves farther and farther away from him. Ana hits rock bottom, and in so doing, finds her God again and Teo. Together they must fight off many enemies, all in the search of the New Testament and a greater understanding of their God.
I found the story compelling. The entire book is quite a roller coaster of emotion and I spent most of the time wanting to slap Ana upside the head, but that had more to do with the love story than the religious one. It is an interesting world that Liftin has created, full of hate and deceit. The Christian aspect, I think has more to do with what real love can do for a world like that, than anything else. The theology does not take over the story, which I really appreciated. The characters are compelling. All in all, I would have to say, thank you for a Christian fiction book that didn't make me yak!!