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Intended Age-Group: 15+
Issues of Violence: fantasy violence
Intimacy Level: Kissing
Language: noneRecommendation: 5 out of 5 stars
Back Cover Blurb:
Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.
Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.
Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?
Initial Reaction: *****
The main character starts with her neck in a noose. How could I not be hooked?
Laila Pennedy's steps of growth toward confidence and faith felt very natural for a teenager. Since she'd spent four years surviving with and relying on her brother, Niles, I could completely understand why she looked to Lars for leadership, for confirmation, and for confidence. It made sense with her history and I loved watching her rise beyond that dependance and find contentment in who the Maker created her to be.
The plot captures what we most love about epic fantasies -- a war between good and evil, sacrifice, losses, and adventure. It's seen all through Laila's eyes as she discovers a new world and a new self through her journey.
The plot wraps itself up beautiful, tying up just enough strings to leave the reader satisfied, but leaving enough openings to wave in a sequel (hurray!)
Spiritual Content: *****
This book is allegorical. The Faithful represent believers, the Maker represents God (obviously) and it's a lovely view looking at what the Christian walk might be like if we faced physical persecution. Would our faith be stronger? How hard would we fight and what would we fight for?
Angie Brahsear does a fantastic job capturing this struggle and conveying what the fellowship of the church has the potential to look like. It makes me want to visit Tuveil and celebrate with the other Faithfuls until the sun sets. Though the characters go through trials and pain, they are still able to cling to the Maker through it all. It's uplifting and a great spiritual encouragement.
Step into a world of magical cities, heroic wars, creatures bound in evil and good, and a community of which you will miss once you close the book. Angie Brashear's writing continues to impress me and I already itch for what her future writings will bring! Of the Persecuted is a fantastic debut. It's not just a story, it's a journey...and you'll be glad you took it.
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