“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour "The Kingdom" by Bryan Litfin--Thrilling Conclusion to Chiveis Trilogy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Kingdom
Crossway Books (June 30, 2012)
Brian M. Litfin


Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as 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 currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.

Brian can be reached through the Contact link on his Website


Book Three in the Chiveis Trilogy

War and disease have destroyed the modern world. Centuries later, feudal societies have arisen across Europe. No one can remember the ancient religion of Christianity—until an army captain and a farmer’s daughter discover the Sacred Writing of the one true God.
As Teo and Ana encounter the forgotten words of the holy book, they realize its message is just what their kingdom needs. Though exiled from their homeland, they join their hearts in a quest to return. But now an ancient pact has united the enemies of the Christian faith into a dark alliance that threatens to consume the known world. Racing to stay one step ahead of their enemies, Teo and Ana must battle heinous villains, stormy seas, and the powers of the underworld itself. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds favor the forces of evil. Can Teo and Ana bring divine truth to Chiveis—or will the Word of God fade from the earth forever?

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

My review:

Can you imagine a place where the Bible has never been heard of and Christianity never preached?  At least in Teo and Ana's day, that's what the reader encounters.  As they get swept into this epic saga, readers find themselves in a land not unlike that of medieval society, except all traces of Christianity are suppressed and it is in fact not the Middle Ages but 400 years in the future.  What a refreshing view, to take a society who has never heard of the Bible and reintroduce Christianity.  How will the society react?  Will they feel threatened after reading the truth of God's Word or rejoice at the beautiful truths presented therein?  Litfin's The Kingdom is an awesome testimony to the power of God's transforming Word and how the discovery of that Word changed everything in the life of two people and one kingdom.

The Kingdom by Bryan Litfin is the third installment in the Chiveis Trilogy.  I would recommend that one read the other two books in the series before this one as The Kingdom directly picks up where the second book leaves off.  Litfin does do a good job of summing up events for those who have not read the other two books, without being too tedious about it.  I had not finished reading the second book in the series (The Gift) by the time I was reading this book and was still able to fully understand and enjoy it. 

The Kingdom has an epic, adventure-like quality to it not unlike The Lord of the Rings or Narnia.  Unlike those classic series though, this is no made-up world.  Instead, The Kingdom is set in the real world, in a vividly imagined post-apocalyptic future.  It's a world that has gone through nuclear warfare and has regressed in terms of technology, thus giving it an otherworldly, fantasy-like feel.  The places Litfin refers to in The Kingdom are all real and many of them are places he has actually visited.

Spiritually, "The Kingdom" packs a big punch!  The characters, especially the main characters, are fully developed in their relationship with the Lord (or Deu, as they call Him).  I love the freshness of the hero's and heroine's (Teo's and Ana's) faith and hunger for the Lord.  They are seeing Scripture through new eyes and just discovering God and Christianity.  It really convicts me of how much I take the ability to own and read the Bible for granted.  I also felt myself having a new vibrancy as I read Scripture just from reading Ana's reaction to different situations.  Ana's love for Deu and her relationship with him is really described so beautifully and is something I want to emulate in my own life.

The characters in The Kingdom are characters the reader will not easily want to part with at the end of the series.  I found myself getting attached to them, especially Ana and Teo.  Teo and Ana are written in such a way that they complement each other.  It is not just Teo who is always coming to the rescue and saving Ana.  Ana, not content to be the "damsel in distress," often ends up saving Teo as well. 
Ana is definitely my favorite character.  She is strong and I like the fact that she saves Teo at times.  As well as being good with a bow and arrow, she is also vulnerable, beautiful, noble, feminine and virtuous (no, she's definitely not perfect).  There is one scene where she will not deny Deu, even if it means her death! 

There are a lot of extra features (for free) on The Chiveis Trilogy website.  There are maps, videos and downloads for each book. 

Content:  The book is a clean read (no bad language or sex).  I would recommend this book to teens and up due to the violent content in a lot of the battle and fighting scenes.  The subject matter of demons and demon possession is also dealt with, sometimes in detail (in reference to spiritual warfare, as the hero's enemies often use demons to give them otherworldly power).  The hero and heroine are tempted sexually but do not give into their temptation knowing that waiting until marriage is God's best plan for them.  The evil priestess is said to wear seductive (even see-through) clothing.  Our hero admits how attractive he finds her at times.  I believe this is to show how beguiling and attractive evil can often look. 

I give this book 5 stars!

I want to thank Bryan Litfin, Crossway Books, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

1 comment:

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