Friday, May 25, 2012

A Lesson from Lost in Austen

I don't know about you but I really, really love Jane Austin's books! I have a hard time deciding whether Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility is my favorite. I have read them each several times I have watched the movie/mini-series countless times. Still I can't seem to get enough. It doesn't matter to me that I know what will happen in the end or that I can quote almost every single character--they're just great books!

Recently I discovered a movie that follows almost this exact same idea. It's called Lost in Austen. It's about a young woman called Amanda Price who is so consumed with her love with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that she isn't satisfied with her life or relationships in modern day London. To her great astonishment Elizabeth Bennett literally stumbles into her flat one night through a magical doorway that conjoins the Bennett house to Amanda's flat. When Amanda goes through the doorway she is trapped in Elizabeth's world and Elizabeth is trapped in hers. To her delight and disbelief she finds herself smack dab in the middle of Pride and Prejudice.

However, things begin to go awry almost immediately. "Miss Price's" presence has misbalanced the story she knows and loves to well. As Amanda does everything in her power to fix the story and get things back on track she meets one obstacle after another. That's when it hit me…
Her efforts often went VERY wrong BECAUSE she thought she knew how the story was supposed to end up!

It made me think…Maybe that's why God doesn't tell us the ending in advance. We do enough damage trying to take things into our own hands when we aren't sure exactly what God has planned for us. How much more damage would we do if we knew the end that God had planned for us? Would we blunder around trying to make things happen before they were supposed to? Would be hurt and ruin some special moments in the lives of those we love and in ourselves to try to achieve the ultimate end?

I don't know about you but I am pretty sure that I would! Even when Amanda had the best possible intentions her meddling caused serious issues. I am sure that the same is true of me. Of course it's not like not knowing really makes things anything easier, but it does cause us to rely on faith instead of relying on ourselves. That's one HUGE plus to the way that God does things. Besides, He's God and I'm not. Who am I to question His M.O.?

It's funny the places where we can learn life's lessons. I hope this gives you a chance to stop and think as it did for me.

Grace and Peace,


Friday, May 11, 2012

Eye of the Sword by Kathryn Henley

Read Chapter 1

Eye of the Sword is the second book in the Angelaeon Circle by Karyn Henley. The Eye of Sword picks up shortly after the end of Breath of Angel and continues the stories of Trevin and Melaia.

The battle has been fought and Lord Reijus has been temporarily defeated but Camrithia is the weakest it has ever been. Her Comains (similar to medieval knights) have disappeared one by one leaving her defenseless and in the depths of despair. After his recent victories the king has decided that Trevin be appointed a Comain, and his first quest will be to seek out the whereabouts and/or fates of the king's other men. Meanwhile, Princess Melaia has her own quest to lay at Trevin's feet. She desperately needs his help in seeking the lost Kypara Harps which she believes will help her restore the stairway to Heaven and the Tree of Wisdom.

Trevin's quests are burdened with trials before they even begin when Prince Varic of Dregamoor (the King's known enemies) arrives to seek peace and Melaia's hand in marriage. Trevin doesn't trust Varic nor does he appreciate the competition for Melaia's affections, but how can he find out what Varic is really up to while he is roaming the countryside seeking lost Comains and harps? Will he be able to finish his quests and return to Redcliff before the King agrees to the marriage? Will he be able to expose Varic's ulterior motives for coming to Camrithia before it's too late?

I thoroughly enjoyed following Trevin on his quest to find himself as well as all the kingdom has lost. Eye of Sword is well written and engaging. It will keep your attention and surprise you again and again.

The hardest part of reading Eye of the Sword is comprehending the different character types, who they are, and how they relate to one another. Henley has created a whole new world in Camrithia, and it includes men, several different types/classes of angel, Nephili and many other creatures. When you are first introduced to these characters it can become a little overwhelming trying to keep them all straight. Eventually it gets easier but some people may find this a real hindrance and put the book down out of frustration. Let me tell you that they would be missing out!

If you love fantasy and adventure, you will probably find grasping a whole new world easy to overcome. I highly recommend this book to you. I even recommend this book to individuals who might initially shy away from it because it is written by a Christian author. Don't let this stop you from enjoying a great quest! Although Henley very loosely bases her ideas of angels and Nephili on some descriptions in the Bible that is where the religion and religious similarities end. She doesn't shove religion down your throat or write a half-baked allegory. Eye of the Sword is an excellently written book!

I look forward to reading further installments in the Angelaeon Circle!

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Other Karyn Henley Books: