[notable] “An Echo in the Darkness” by Francine Rivers

One thing I love about the Mark of the Lion series is that the stories move. I mean, through the dialogue you learn what’s happened since you last left a character. There’s no lengthy description of how so-and-so left for Rome with what’s-her-face, you learn about it when this character tells that character. In writing like that, Rivers moves the story along fluidly. These books take place over a period of years and it’s only 3 books! Moving right along!

In all of this series, the point of view changes a lot. However, it’s easy to figure out what’s going on when the POV switches. Not all writers can master this device as well as Rivers. So kudos for that.

If you’ve read the first book, “A Voice in the Wind”, but you haven’t started the second book…there’s something you hope happens. There’s that cliffhanger that leaves you speechless…and you dream of a happy ending magically revealing itself. All questions are answered in the second book. That’s all I’m going to say. Is that cryptic enough? Too cryptic?

The first book ends so insanely that I’m afraid I’ll reveal too much of what happens and it’ll ruin it! Dilema!

When I wrote about “A Voice in the Wind”, I mentioned how bold Francine Rivers is. In this second book, her boldness continues. This time, though, she’s dealing with questions that I think every Christian has asked at some point:

Why do good people die?

Who is this God?

Why did the apostles die such terrible deaths?

What’s nice about this book is that the reader follows along as a character makes it his mission to see these questions answered.

One of the most moving parts of this book to me (and this time by “moving”, I mean the inspiring kind of “moving”) is when two of the characters travel to the Asklepion to select a dying person to try and nurse back to health. The devastation there is incredible. There are countless male and female slaves left there by their masters to die. Then, the narrator points out the various “early morning worshippers” that arrive on “plush, veiled litters born aloft by slaves”. The main character is overwhelmed and seeks God’s guidance on who He wants them to rescue. The character asks her friend,

“Is it better to hide from what’s happening in the world than to know?”

That’s some powerful stuff, Francine!

I love how much history Rivers includes in this series. In the first book, it’s history-heavy in the beginning, but power through! In the second book, the history continues. There’s more about the gods of Rome and Greece as well as some more Judean history which I always think is interesting.

As always, Francine Rivers book rocked my world. I’m sock-less. They’ve been rocked off. I rate this book 850/5. Yeah. The first book only got an 800/5. This one’s just a teensy bit better, in my opinion.

Also, this book made me cry a few times. That’s cause for 50 more points. Then again, I’m kind of a weeper. So it’s no surprise I reached for tissues while reading this book.

What do you think? Have you read this series? I may take a break before picking up the third book in the series. I already own it, so we’ll see how long I can resist it. Probably not long.

Now I’m reading: “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers

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