Sunday, February 28, 2021

Torch by R.J. Anderson & Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  TORCH

Author: R.J. Anderson

Genre: Christian YA Fantasy

Release date: February 9, 2021

How do you fight fire without fire?

When a freak storm uncovers the entrance to a mysterious underground chamber, Ivy and Martin expect to find treasure. But what they discover is even more valuable: a barrow full of sleeping spriggans, magically preserved for centuries. With the vengeful piskey queen Betony determined to capture Ivy and her followers, the secret hideaway could be key to both their peoples’ survival.

But the piskeys and spriggans are ancient enemies, and when Ivy tries to make peace her own followers threaten to turn against her. Plagued by treachery, betrayal and desertion on every side, Ivy must find a way to unite the magical folk of Cornwall–or doom herself, Martin and everyone she loves to death at Betony’s hand.

Yet without the legendary fire-wielding power that marks a true piskey queen, can Ivy convince her people to believe?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Born in Uganda to missionary parents, R.J. (Rebecca Joan) Anderson is a women’s Bible teacher, a wife and mother of three, and a bestselling fantasy author for older children and teens. Her debut novel Knife has sold more than 120,000 copies worldwide, while her other books have been shortlisted for the Nebula Award, the Christy Award, and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Science Fiction. Rebecca lives with her family in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.


More from R. J.

What does it take to be a good leader?
Looking at some of the religious, social and political leaders around us, it seems like a confident attitude, dramatic flair, and the ability to make stirring speeches are the keys to success. But is that the kind of leadership people really need, or is it only what we’ve grown used to?
Ivy, the heroine of my book Torch, never wanted to become a leader, or expected anyone to follow her. After being exiled from her underground home by her proud Aunt Betony, she’s been struggling to make sense of her own life, never mind anyone else’s. But when a ragtag band of old friends and former neighbours turn up on Ivy’s doorstep looking for a new home, she has no choice but to help her fellow Cornish piskeys as best she can.
What Ivy soon finds, however, is that her people’s hopes and expectations for her are much bigger than any she had for herself. They want a queen strong enough to defeat Betony and free their people — but how can Ivy stand up to her aunt’s ruthless tactics and magical fire-wielding powers, when she’s just a slight teenager with barely any magic at all?
As I wrote this book, the last in my Flight and Flame trilogy about Ivy of the Delve, I wanted to explore the difference between the popular idea of a great leader, and the humble servant leadership taught and exemplified by Christ. Unlike Betony, who has become so obsessed with her own power and reputation that she’s blind to her people’s suffering, Ivy only wants to help and encourage her fellow piskeys and keep them safe from harm. She’s willing to sacrifice her own comfort, put aside her own feelings, and do whatever it takes to make sure her followers survive. And though she makes some mistakes and faces some painful challenges along the way, she never forgets that her goal isn’t personal fame or glory, but the good of everyone around her.
Ivy’s personal journey also reflects some of my own recent experiences of caregiving, which can seem like an impossible task when the needs of our loved ones grow greater than our own strength and wisdom can bear. She has to learn, as I did, that the only solution is to ask for help and be willing to let others do it their own way, instead of trying to control everything ourselves.
Torch is the last book of the epic adventure that began with Swift and continued in Nomad, taking Ivy from the depths of obscurity to heights she never imagined, and from a life of loneliness to a love sweeter — and stranger — than she ever dreamed she’d find. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I hope it will find a place in yours and your family’s as well!
— R.J. Anderson


To celebrate her tour, R.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed bookplate, bookmarks, notecards, and a copy of either SWIFT, NOMAD or TORCH!! (winner’s choice)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My Review:

What a great ending to this trilogy. I think I read all three books of The Flight and Flame Trilogy in the past couple of months. Yes, they're young adult stories, but they were done wonderfully that anyone of any age will want to read them.

I remember meeting Ivy in Swift. She was so naive although she'd lost her mom. There was so much she didn't know, but had to learn quickly over the ensuing stories. Heck, even that first book she had to pull herself up by the bootstraps and make some hard decisions.

In Torch she really had to show how much she'd learned since leaving the Delve. She'd lost so much since leaving and then being banned from ever returning, but she'd also gained a lot as well. I have to admit, I was disappointed in some of the characters of the story. The choices they made broke my heart and made me want to hug Ivy.

I loved seeing Mattock's faith in her and his allegiance to her even though he knew that she loved Martin. And Martin, could you ask for a more devoted Spiggan? lol Half-spriggan that is.

The overall story (even from all 3 books) shows what fear can do not just to one person, but to numerous people. How fear can lead us to do things we never would have, how it changes us, how it causes us to hurt others when we might not have otherwise. Like Ivy, it's important to surround ourselves with people who will speak truth even when it's hard to hear and when we don't understand their reasoning.

I also appreciated that there was a greater turn towards a Creator for Ivy in Torch. While it really hasn't been mentioned, although alluded to, I liked that Ivy put more stock in One greater than her before she had to face Betony again.

A lot happens in this story with all of the characters, which I don't want to give away. Martin finds a possibly place for the piskeys to live safely, but finds something unexpected. Those who are against Ivy still surprise me. Her sister, Cicely never ceases to annoy the life out of me. Honestly, she's a brat who needs a cold splash of reality. She wants her way every moment we see her and if she doesn't get it she's snotty and responds out of selfishness. She's actually my least favorite character. lol And when I say that I mean because of how the author wrote her. :)

I think this is fun story with some really important situations for kids and adults alike to learn from. Not everyone is the same and we should be willing to learn from those who are different from us. Not only that, but be willing to live united and at peace.


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