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Friday, August 7, 2015

John 3:16 Book Review (Lisa Lickel): The Ambassadors by Marcia Laycock

October 2014
Helping Hands Press
Paperback at Amazon,
list 14.99; other editions available in Kindle for .99
ISBN 978-1622085613

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From the publisher:
The Complete Series Book I 
Prince Eghan Lhin is terrified when he is abducted from his father’s castle but finds himself in a safe place nestled in a hidden valley high in the mountains not far from his father’s kingdom. He learns to trust the man who has brought him there and even begins to trust Nara, the heir to the throne of his family’s sworn enemies. But he cannot trust the God they follow. When they are led into the dangerous territory on the other side of the mountains, to restore Nara to the throne, Eghan must learn more than trust, more than courage. He must learn what faith really means.

My review (Lisa Lickel):
The Ambassadors is a faith-based novel geared toward Young Adult as the hero and heroine are teens. Set in historical era with kings and castles and horses and swords, a young broody prince, Eghan, learns through physical labor and philosophical instruction what it truly means to be a leader. He has grown up in a household of angry grief with a king for a parent who has held him at arm’s length and a guardian who doesn’t have the authority to hold him to a higher standard. A mysterious legendary hermit saves Eghan after he’s abducted by the kingdom’s enemies to show him the way to true peace and a hopeful future reuniting enemy kingdoms to face a greater foe threatening them both.

I enjoyed the story, though agree with another review that found the intrusion of contemporary Scripture and citation inserted in the text to be a somewhat clunky contrivance. Other than that, the story of a princeling forced to grow up and charged with the restoration of the kingdom or surrendering his people to an evil force was often thrilling and somewhat romantic. The setting was nicely done, dialog good. Occasionally too convenient events such as providing an enemy faith-based prisoner in the dungeon made me read faster, but fiction is often built upon such behind-the-scenes workings.

The novel felt like it could have been an epic. I rarely think this, but this is a story that could have been much longer and richer, with more back story and detail; occasionally I felt it went too quickly and jumped over particulars I wanted to know, but overall the pacing was balanced as it moved between parallel events in the kingdom, Eghan’s current life, and that of his guardian who set out to find his abducted charge but discovered much more besides.

Other volumes in the series are available.

About the Author:
Laycock-MarciaFor the past 20+ years I've been a pastor's wife, mother of three girls, caretaker of two dogs, two cats and sundry fish, and oh, yes, a freelance writer. The writing began in the attic of my parent's house where I wrote stories for my dolls. None of them complained, so I kept it up. The Lord has abundantly blessed, challenged, rebuked, healed and restored me through the process of writing and being involved with writers.

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