Bryan Litfin takes a fresh approach to God's word, "The Sword," of this so titled novel. And he does it with an admirable detachment from the Judeo-Christian cultural immersion we take for granted. He presents snippets from the Bible, but in a refreshing translation of his own crafting, free of the religious coloration that imbues today's popular Scripture translations. Litfin presents the simple, God-breathed faith as the natural outgrowth of unprejudiced exposure to the God-breathed Scripture. As the Bible Teofil and Ana discovered contained only the Old Covenant, they and a small community of "Deu" worshipers somehow leap to a Messianic-style understanding of and love for the "All-Creator" revealed there. As for Litfin's writing style and the characters' voice, this blogger found relatively little to nit-pick about. His prose flows naturally, drawing the reader along with none of the fatigue that plagues readers of less worthy historical narrative. My only criticism is the persistent, contemporary idiomatic English the characters use, where I would expect their dialog to reflect the more formal style characteristic of a translation from a Germanic tongue into English. But that "fault" might truly be considered a benefit for those readers more comfortable with contemporary-style dialog. In contrast to that minor stylistic issue, the author presented the protagonists' growth in faith authentically and with great sensitivity. Even their lapses into doubt smack of the cruel reality of human weakness. And don't expect the author to soft-pedal Chiveis' pagan cruelty and lust. Litfin succeeded in presenting the ugliness of debased humanity with an inoffensive sensitivity and tact, without trivializing its evil.
Compared to the garden-variety fantasy we've come to expect from such epoch, other-worldly fiction, The Sword steadfastly refuses to exploit magic and sorcery for its supernatural appeal. Instead, it presents the wonder and majesty of the Eternal One's work through fallible human beings' simple faith.
I highly recommend Litfin's Chiveis Trilogy as a faith-challenging, spirit-uplifting journey into a world that, should the Lord tarry, might just be. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ABOUT THE BOOK 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