Book Review: Prophet
Author: R. J. Larson
Review by Grace Olson
I was rather surprised to realize, when I was looking at my blog posts, that none of the books I had reviewed were of the fantasy genre. Christian fantasy is one of my favorite categories, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at the reviews I have done. Now I’m going to rectify that. For all you fantasy lovers, here is what you’ve been waiting for, and I apologize for the delay. There will be more reviews on fantasy novels in the future, at least one by author Anne Elisabeth Stengl in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. Now, on to Prophet.
Taken from the back of Prophet:
Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see.
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen—not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Istgard has turned their back on me. See the evil they do.
Yet after experiencing His presence, she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to follow the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. Here she meets Kien, a young Traceland ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela must surrender to her destiny… and determine how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
Will you accept the branch and speak my will? Will you be my prophet?
Oh. My. Goodness. What a hook. I mean, doesn’t reading that make you want to find out what happens immediately? It did for me. I really enjoyed Prophet, evidenced by how I read this novel in a matter of days. Ela’s character was so great and compelling. She knows what her fate is going to be, and there is more than a little amount of fear involved, but her love for her Creator, and His love for her, drives her beyond her fear, beyond the uncertainty, to obey Him and do His will. I just loved her character for this. Tazana, Ela’s younger sister, was also a character I enjoyed. I admired how Larson made her a part of Ela’s mission, despite her physical disabilities, not to mention the lightness she added to the story.
I know some people cannot do fantasy. They don’t like it. It’s too “weird”, too out there. As a fan of fantasy already, I’m afraid that I’m biased, but I really enjoyed this book. The world Larson creates is believable, genuine, and not so different from our own. I would challenge those who might be hesitant to cross the line from historical or contemporary to the fantastical to try out Prophet. You might just find that fantasy isn’t so strange after all. 🙂
As for romance in this story, that is not its main purpose and takes more of a back-seat for most of the book. There may, possibly, could be some romance near the end of the story, a hint of it, but you’ll have to read the book yourself to find that out.
As already mentioned above, Ela’s love for the Infinite compels her to go beyond her fears and her doubts of her own inadequacy. This book really spoke to my heart. Ela’s desire, her longing, to be with her Creator, to do His will, is so palpable, and it reflects the longing of a believer in Jesus Christ. At least it should. The desire to know Him, to be more like Him, to be obedient to Him because of what He’s done for us, was displayed throughout Prophet and I found it very powerful, causing me to think long after I reached ‘The End’.
About the Author
Biography from Bethany House Publisher’s website. R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women’s Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman’s Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre. ~ To learn more about her and the other books she has written, visit her web page: www.rjlarsonbooks.com
For those of you looking for a novel that goes beyond entertainment and leaves you with something deeper, then you may just want to check out Prophet. I loved this book, and I will definitely be checking out the next novels in this series, the Books of the Infinite. You might even see a review of Judge, the second book in the series, here. So be brave! Be bold! Try out the unknown, and you might just fall in love with Prophet.
Prophet is available for check-out, download, or paper copy.