Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Nearly forty years after their mass exodus from Egypt, Israel’s time of wilderness wandering is drawing to a close. But they’ll soon have to combat the attack of a city in Canaan in The Walls of Arad by author Carole Towriss.
I’m sure it’s a challenge for Biblical Fiction to deliver an age-old story to a contemporary audience. You don’t want stiff caricatures of ancient figures, but you also don’t want a story so updated that it feels like watching a modern stage play with nothing “ancient” about it but the actors’ costumes.
The author meets that challenge nicely in this third novel of her Journey to Canaan series, bringing together a seamless mix of biblical and fictional characters who think, feel, and act with believable motives. The story unfolds at an unhurried pace, more contemplative than eventful for much of the book. But it doesn’t drag, and the eventual move into violent war is a natural shift. I did have some difficulty connecting with the emotion and keeping track of all the characters mentioned in the secondary storyline, but that happens sometimes when you jump into the middle of a series as I did.
Arisha and Zadok’s love story at the heart of the novel is sweet as it gradually matures. It took me a while to fully buy into it, since Zadok started to seem too perfect, and Arisha didn’t seem to have much to her besides her vulnerability. But a vital message on inward strength does develop through their relationship.
I enjoyed every chapter of this novel of faith, war, love, and purpose, and I’m quite sure it’ll appeal to many other fans of Biblical Fiction.
The Walls of Arad is Book Three in the Journey to Canaan series.