Archive for ‘Novel’

August 2, 2010

Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer

Alexander Madison is part lawyer, part pastor, and part con artist. When a Muslim imam is accused of instigating honor killings, Alex must decide whether to take the case that every other lawyer in town is running away from. He doesn’t realize until it’s too late that defending the imam may cost him the one thing in life he cares about most. Fatal Convictions is the story of a lawyer willing to risk it all and the women who must choose between faith and love.

Set in Virginia Beach, this book examines the stereotypes and misconceptions about faith. It traces one man’s race against time as he searches for truth in order to save another’s life. His search leads him across the ocean to the heart of Beirut. In the process, he is forced to question his motives and examine his values.

His faith is tested and the time comes when he has to decide what he stands for and if he is going to stand at all. This is typical of each and every one of us. We all get to the point where we need to know what we stand for and why we are standing. What our parents said or the Pastor (Imam) taught will no longer hold. It has to be a personal choice and a personal discovery.

The book is replete with several quotable nuggets of wisdom but one I particularly liked was

“The test of faith is not just whether it helps you live well; the real test of faith is whether it allows you to die well”

Death, or the willingness to die is a strong theme in this book. The women that were beheaded were willing to die. The Imam got to a state where he was ready to die. And Alex Madison committed to doing what he knew was right even when possible death stared him in the face.

This book was very well researched. Being a lawyer and a Pastor himself , the author was able to get into the DNA of both. What is truly awesome here is how he was able to present both religions (Islam and Christianity) with such objectivity and knowledge. Reading the book, you are left to make up your mind about a lot of things. If you are one of those readers who does not like being spoon-fed in a novel, this is definitely for you.

Fatal Convictions contains a really strong narrative, showing Randy Singer as a master story teller. He keeps you hanging at the edge of your seat till the very end. Even though I guessed whodunnit – correctly, I was still taken by surprise. There are some unexpected twists and surprises. It is definitely a book worth reading.

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

July 17, 2010

Book Review: The Wolf of Tebron

The Wolf of Tebron

The book opens with a battered, wounded wizard, fleeing the forces of darkness. His desperate attempt to save his family from the invaders is only partially successful as his protective spell does not hold completely. He is able to save his son, barely, and hands him over to a bear for safekeeping.

We see the son, now a grown man. He is a young blacksmith and has the gift of mindspeaking to animals. We are introduced to Joran and we get a glimpse of his family, where he has always felt like an outsider. Two things seem to motivate our young hero: anger and a need to belong. With these motivations crystallized in our minds, the book begins.

Like all good epic fantasy novels worth their name, there is a journey. So our hero embarks on a journey into his dreams in search of the wife he sent away. At this point, enters the wolf of Tebron who before now was just a shadow, existing in the fringes of Jaron’s life. Jaron saves his life and gains a travel companion. Together they brave the elements and many times, Ruyah the wolf is what comes between Jaron and certain death.

His quest takes Jaron and his four-footed companion to the house of the moon where he meets the moon’s sister Cielle, who is not really the moon’s sister after all. She gives him a souvenir, which she claims will save his life and sends him on his way to the Palace of the Sun.

From there it is one adventure after another. They get to the Palace of the Sun and move on to the Cave of the Wind. Their final destination is the Sea. They face different trials on the way and both Ryah and Joran come close to death, which each needing to save the other. Eventually though, the wolf gives his life to save Joran’s.

This is a book about a journey and a man. But it is more that man’s journey into himself. Joran discovers himself. By letting go of his anger and bitterness, he finally becomes at peace with himself and finds belonging.

It is also a story of great love and how the power of love can cause deliverance. Love propelled Joran to keep searching for his wife, even though he had convinced himself that it was anger that drove him. In the same way, love saved him from death; love for and of the wolf.

The use of imagery and strong metaphor is gripping. The reader’s imagination is engaged and the plot is not predictable. Which is a good thing as we keep turning the pages to find out what is around the next corner.

This is a very good book from C. S. Lakin and already, my husband is quite hooked.

C. S. Lakin is a multitasker. While running a bed and breakfast inn and raising two daughters, Lakin wrote three novels and a cookbook. In addition to The Wolf of Tebron, her mystery novel, Someone to Blame, winner of the Zondervan first novel contest, comes out in October 2010. Born into a family of writers, Lakin is also a member of several writing groups including American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network. Now working on her ninth novel, Lakin also has experience developing television series and is a member of Christian Filmmakers. Lakin currently lives in California where she is a freelance copyeditor and writing mentor.

Title: “The Wolf of Tebron”
Author: C.S. Lakin
Publisher: AMG Publishers/Living Ink Books
Category: Youth Fantasy Fiction
Publication Date: August 2010
ISBN-13: 978-089957-888-0
Page Count: 248

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers free of charge.