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?
I can hardly put it to words how much I love this novel. It is one of the small number of books on my shelves I have re-read close to a dozen times.
It is by far the best Biblical allegory I have ever read. Now, I have never been a huge fan of Biblical allegory. More often than not the author will sacrifice characters and plot for the sake of the allegory and ruin everything, pushing the story in ways it doesn’t want to go. Because of that rampant problem I was very reluctant to try this novel. But I am so glad that I took a chance!
RJ Larson has created THE perfect blend of fantasy and allegory. I am just in awe of her skills here. The Biblical elements are strong throughout and easy to recognize, but never once are the characters or plot sacrificed. In fact, they are blended seamlessly. Every Biblical element feels totally organic to the plot.
I absolutely adored Pet/Scythe. Many moments with that crazy but loyal warhorse had me roaring with laughter. I want a horse like that! He reminds me so much of Maximus from Tangled, maybe even better.
Every one of the characters here are beautifully crafted and real. The budding romance between Kien and Ela is so adorable. Kien is such a hoot, and weird as it might sound I love their arguements.
This book deserves ten stars, as do the sequels, they now sit proudly on my favorites shelf.
My Rating: Five Flames
(Note: it has been a couple years since I read this book. Some details are a bit hazy in my memory)
Romance: I think there was one small kiss, but nothing otherwise.
Drinking/Drugs: I believe one or two nobles did drink a bit of wine, but no drunkenness.
Violence: There is plenty of violence in this novel. There are battles, assassination attempts, one wild animal attack, a mummified body, and such. But nothing is graphic. There isn’t anything here I wouldn’t let a young teen read.
Other: Nothing I can think of at the moment.
You can find the Author’s Website here: R.J. Larson Books
And her Facebook Page Here: R.J. Larson Facebook
Happy Reading y’all!