Miracles of the Swan’s Reflection Review (Firebird’s Blessings #2)


Miracles.jpgFive heroes, three villains, the apocalypse and a curse, can the heroes save the worlds in time, despite the impossible odds? Miracles of the Swan’s Reflection is an epic quest through romance and worlds. As the shattering rocks the worlds, our heroes, Taj, the king, and Neriah, the warrior, Audry, the dark beauty, Roei, the peacemaker and Joshua, the guardian, must do everything in their power to protect the worlds. Following on the heels of Blessings of the Firebird’s Light, Bartholomew and Apollo, fallen angels, have placed their plan into motion. By acquiring the shards, the hearts of the worlds, Bartholomew can create a holy weapon. A weapon so strong that it threatens the balance between good and evil.To prevent our hero’s from succeeding, Bartholomew casted a curse on Taj and Neriah. In this life changing Christian fantasy, join Taj, Neriah, Audry, Roei and Joshua on their perilous holy quest to save the worlds from evil. Will our heroes succeed in thwarting Bartholomew and Apollo’s plans in time? Or, will the world’s fade into darkness?

I loved the first book in this series, and I was super excited to get into this book. Even though this book is a direct sequel to the previous, it focuses on only a few of the old characters while introducing many new characters. The author jumps back and forth between the past and the present, and the present in different worlds. The characters that I came to know and love were weaved into the story for the past and different worlds, and the new characters that I grew to love were a part of the present storyline.

My favorite story arc in the book was with Anthony and Odette. They were soulmates from childhood, but they had grown apart as the years went on. Then Odette got into a bad relationship and needed a place to stay, so Anthony came back into her life. I rooted for the two the entire novel, constantly hoping for a good ending. I wasn’t expecting the big secret of the two characters to be what it was, but I definitely liked where the story went with them. I finally understood how the different timelines connected.

I could understand what was happening in the present storyline, but it was a bit hard to keep up with the characters from the previous novel. I felt that I didn’t know everyone, even though I had just finished Blessings a week or two before I started this book. I found myself backtracking to the previous book just to figure out who certain characters were, and how they played out in the new setting. Even though I liked the new characters, I think I would have liked them more if I could have figured out what was happening with the old characters before jumping into the new. It was never confusing which “time” we were in, as the author always labels if it is the past or the present. But it was confusing trying to keep up with what was going on in the past, and then linking it to the present.

Out of all the characters, I think I connected with Taj and Neriah the least. I just didn’t quite understand what was happening in their storyline, and every time something big would happen, the story would switch back to other characters that I could keep up with. By the end, I could kinda understand what was happening, but I was confused for most of the middle of the novel.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. I don’t always like when books end on a cliffhanger, but I will see how well the cliffhanger does when I read the third book in the series. If I feel that it flows well from one book to the next, then the cliffhanger was a good choice! If I feel that the cliffhanger chopped this story off short and then the next book picks up at a completely different part of the story, then I will feel as if the cliffhanger didn’t do the entire book justice. I’ll simply have to wait for the next novel, but for now, this doesn’t affect my final rating.

The last thing I have to say about this book is that I love that it is Christian fantasy. I feel that it definitely included more Bible verses than the previous book did, but this was necessary for Anthony and Odette’s storyline. The single time it felt a little “preachy” to me was when Odette was talking about the college party. I’m a college freshman and I am a Christian as well. I probably wouldn’t go to a college party, simply because I’m not a party person. Not because it isn’t the “Christian” thing to do, but just because I don’t like them. When Odette went to this party, she seemed quite judgemental of every single person there. I didn’t quite like this scene, but it wasn’t the focus of the novel. Most of the time, Odette was using her faith to get through tough situations, and Anthony was returning to faith with her. It really strengthened their overall friendship, and I wish more Christian romances were written in this way.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new Christian fantasy series to start. It has beautiful romance scenes, it isn’t too “preachy” but it does include the Bible in the story, and the characters are all enjoyable to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 books


Blessings of the Firebird’s Light (Firebird’s Blessings Saga #1)


Blessings of the Firebird's Light: The Firebird's Blessings Saga: Book 1Audry Duvessa knows something about dark forces. She has been given the moniker “Dark Beauty” for her role in her mother’s coven of sorcerers. Audry is destined to take over and continue her mother’s work, but a surprising ally opens her eyes to the possibility of redemption.

When Audry’s mother tasks her to find a firebird, she meets Roei Shurwud, a hunter who follows the word of God. Roei hunts dark creatures and sorcerers like Audry and her family, but something about the young woman fascinates him.

These two very different people find their paths aligning time and again during Audry’s quest for the firebird, and Roei’s faith is tested by several calamities. He ends up partnering with Audry for his own reasons, and the two discover a conspiracy that could destroy both their homes.

Audry has a reason to hate hunters, but she’s surprised by Roei’s gentle faith and devotion. Even in the midst of destruction and disaster, Roei must decide whether this imperious young witch is ready for redemption—or whether her lack of faith will lead her ever further away from the path toward God.

I have read a few Christian fantasy novels, and each one seems to be different. This one has to be my favorite one yet!

Roei and Audry start off being mortal enemies. Roei is a respected hunter who has a strong relationship with the other hunters, and with God. He is living an honest life, he protects the people he loves, and he loves what he does. Audry is a witch who he suspects is up to something, but he can’t help but be drawn to her in some ways. Once disaster strikes and he loses almost everything he loves, their paths cross again. Roei must help Audry on her quest to find the feathers that will lead her to the Firebird, and Audry must learn to trust both God and the men who follow Him again.

At first, things seem very black and white in the story. You know that Audry is evil and Roei is good. Audry is a witch, and Roei follows God. There’s no way that there could even possibly be a grey area. That is, until they begin their journey. Roei learns about some fo the things that men like himself have done in the past, and Audry learns that not all people who follow God are the same. Not all people who follow God are the same as those who want to hurt her and other witches like herself.

The journey to the Firebird takes a long time, a few years it seems, and Audry and Roei have to learn to rely on each other more during that time. At first, they are mortal enemies. But the Firebird’s feathers are not going to reveal themselves unless they work together. Once the stakes are heightened and both parties see what they have to lose, they quickly decide that they need to start working together in order to get home as quickly as possible.

This story element of the search for the feathers was such a good way to set these characters on a meaningful journey. I honestly think that it couldn’t have been done any better than it was! And, believe it or not, this book has so much more than just that one journey. That is the main focus, but there are many other storylines weaving in and out of it.

As I got further into the book, the characters just began to unfold in front of me. You learn the truth about the backstories of both Roei and Audry, as they tell each other secrets that no one else knows.  Many, many years pass as the story progresses, and you can see their bond grow stronger and stronger. It’s truly a beautiful book, these two characters come to life as you read the story.

My only small complaint would be how fast the story moves closer to the end. It has a slower and more detailed format at the beginning, which really worked for this sort of novel, and then it had a lot of timeskips closer to the end. It didn’t confuse me in the slightest, but I would have loved a deeper look into the characters’ lives. This didn’t really affect my overall reading experience though, I just really need to know more about these characters! I hope that more information and details about those lives are given in the second book of the Saga.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new, wonderful Christian fantasy novel.

I received a copy of this novel, and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars