Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Voice of the Ancient (The King's Men #1) by Connilyn Cossette

As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. When Ammonites attack the city of Yavash-Gilead, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan stays behind to search for him in hopes that he's still alive.

Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run. Dressed as a boy, she takes her horse and heads for the south, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.

Battling to survive the dangers surrounding them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As Keziah's true origins are revealed and Avidan's search for his cousin becomes increasingly futile, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.

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My first book by author Connilyn Cossette was A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge Series) and I actually listened to that book in my car.  I was so entranced by not only the characters and the story but the way the author made it all come to life for me.  The way historical biblical settings and customs were brought to life just drew me in.  I actually listened to that whole series through audible in my car.  It was fantastic.  Because of that, when I saw this title up on NetGalley for the beginning of a new series, I knew I wanted to read it.

This book is so much like the other series in that the traditions, customs and beliefs of the people of King Saul's reign are brought to life.  It is so interesting to me.  The foundation for this series is being laid down in this book.  The families, the warring factions, the reign of a new king and four boys, on the brink of manhood, wanting to prove themselves.  There is war, danger and a consistent forward momentum that felt exciting.

I loved Avidan and Keziah.  Both are fantastic characters, full of life and love.  Avi had a great arc of development.  He learned some hard lessons but through it really came to know himself and who and what he wanted to be.  I love that he is a storyteller- an audible book for any who will listen.  Keziah has been through so much but she is resilient and brave.  She didn't allow bitterness to override her other emotions and she was open to love when it came in it's many different forms.

What a great start to this series!  I'm so anxious to know how things go for the rest of the cousins.

Content:  peril, violence, kissing.  Christian (old biblical) beliefs and customs.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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