Thursday, June 10, 2021

Between The Wild Branches By Connilyn Cossette

Between the Wild Branches
by Connilyn Cossette
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: The Covenant House
ISBN: 9780764234354

Ok, I don't like to play favorites, BUT, when it comes to Biblical fiction, Connilyn Cossette holds a special place in my heart. I had just learned about the "cities of refuge" in the Bible when I read her Cities of Refuge series the past couple of years. She brought that time period to life in an incredible way for me. SO, when I had the opportunity to join her launch team for book 2 in her The Covenant House series, I couldn't say, "No." I was sent her book for review.

Summary: 

Finding a Way to Freedom Might Cost Them Everything

Lukio has spent the past decade as a famous Philistine fighter, achieving every material goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. He's also spent the time burying painful memories of betrayal that he associates with the Levite family that guards the Ark of the Covenant and once adopted him. Now, just as the champion of Ashdod is set to claim the biggest prize of all--the daughter of the king--his past collides with his present. 

After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought she'd never again see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved in Ashdod, she is surprised to recognize the brutal fighter known as Demon Eyes. 

When their renewed connection threatens to expose Shoshana's dangerous secrets, Lukio must decide how far he'll go to face his past and keep her protected.

My Review:

It's not often that when I start the next book in a series that my mind still feels so fresh from the previous one. Well, with Between the Wild Branches certainly felt like it picked up with my emotions right where To Dwell Among Cedars left off - at least with my emotions towards Lukio.

I wasn't surprised to find Lukio exactly where I expected - in a fight for money. Sigh... it was rough to find him in such conditions, but that seemed to be what he was searching for when he left Kirya-Yearim all those years ago. He really was just a heart broken, lost boy back then. While my heart went out to him, I was also frustrated with him. lol

I think Lukio reminds me of all of us in one way or another to some extent. We're all trying to find our purpose. Some of us are running because we don't know what that purpose is and the running makes us feel safe only to find out we're not where we thought we'd be.

It was such an interesting idea to be drawn into Philistia fictional world. The way we see them in the Bible as so ruthless and following idols, I liked how the author created an idea of what it was like during those times. And for her to bring Shoshana into this difficult world brought the story to life.

To see Lukio now through not only Shoshana's eyes, but also through the eyes of the Philistines was quite the dichotomy. When she first was remembering their childhood together in book one, I felt like I was remembering it at the same time. I could also feel the tension of having lived in two different worlds for Lukio. He can see his future with King Nicaro's daughter, but now he's being reminded of his past.

I loved watching God's hand move throughout this entire story! We know about the Ark and it being sent back to the Israelites, but to get a glimpse of slaves in Philistia and how God uses people to rescue them is wonderful! The way He ties people together to work for His good! So well done!!

Of course, the redemption thread in the story is, to me, the most important one. Also, grace and mercy are shown through a variety of characters in the story. All important ones for us to use as examples in our own lives. Betrayal comes with a price, but when there's a chance to give mercy and/or grace, that we should take the opportunity to do so!

I can't wait to see what Connilyn Cossette has up her sleeve for her next novel, but not matter what, I'll be first in line to read it!!

About the Author:

Connilyn Cossette (www.connilyncossette.com)is a Christy Award and Carol Award winning author whose books have been found on ECPA and CBA bestseller lists. When she is not engulfed in the happy chaos of homeschooling two teenagers, devouring books whole, or avoiding housework, she can be found digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible to discover gems of grace that point to Jesus and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Although she and her husband have lived all over the country in their twenty-plus years of marriage, they currently call a little town south of Dallas, Texas, their home.

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