BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

THE SWORD by BRYAN M. LITFIN - REVIEWED



This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing




The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)
by




Bryan M. Litfin


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.

On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.

This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).

ABOUT THE BOOK

This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE

REVIEW:
THE SWORD

By: Bryan M. Litfin
Published by Crossway Publishers
ISBN# 978-143350925-4
412 Pages

Back Cover: Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroy the modern world, the kingdom of Chiveis emerges---where the people live a medieval lifestyle with little knowledge of the "ancient" world. What will happen when a young army scout stumbles across a strange book called the Bible---in a place where Christianity is long forgotten!

Review: “Twenty-four-hundredth year after Jesus Christ, a strange situation had emerged. The world of cars and guns and computers had become, once more, a world of horses and swords and scrolls. History had been rewound and was playing itself out all over again.


In this ancient-future world, one particular people united themselves under a king and called their realm Chivels. The Chieisis also had their own religion: they worshiped four main gods under the guidance of a high priestess.”


Bryan M. Litfin creates a world four hundred years after a virus and nuclear war destroy it. It’s a fascinating look at a “what if” scenario - what if life as we’ve come to know it ends? Bryan’s characters gripped my heart and definitely made me think about God’s word in a whole new way. I was quickly drawn into this suspenseful narrative filled with action, adventure and a compelling storyline that kept me engaged and caring for the characters and their situation until the end.


Teo and Ana find a treasure, called the Sacred Writings. Teo has heard of these ancient writings and knows how to translate them into his tongue. These writings become a light that shines into the hearts and minds of the people he reads them to. God starts His work where two or more are gathered in His name. This is powerful stuff. God (who they call Deu) becomes more real to them than any of the four God’s they’ve grown up with. It's amazing and scary to them.


“Maurice Teo’s mentor says, 'Deu is the all-creator. He’s not a God to be manipulated by rituals and good deeds and token offerings. He makes the plans; your place is to heed them…Teo, I think you have to let Deu be the God He is, not the God you want Him to be.'”


Bryan shows the dark side of the high priestess, religion and how people get caught in the powers of darkness. The Sword is the first in a trilogy. Bryan concludes his book with you wanting to learn more about this colorful cast of characters and wondering about their next adventure. The sequel is scheduled to be released April 2011.


Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

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