I am a huge fan of Christian fiction authors for their desire to glorify God through their writing. Harnessing their creativity and God given talent these authors generate wholesome entertainment to suit the tastes of almost any reader. This week I took the plunge into Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn. It was a sword and dagger wielding YA Fantasy novel packed with adventure, biblical applications, and hope.
In the first few chapters, readers are drawn in by a tale reminiscent of The Hunger Games. These opening scenes allow readers to glimpse a society in which the family unit has been destroyed. Sires (men) have the option to claim their children and train them for their future testing or to ignore them entirely. Many Dames (women) live in abject poverty – stealing, foraging, and fighting for survival. We meet 16 year old Grit as she is undergoing her Final branding. This ritual precedes her “test” which will determine the course of her life. I was intrigued by the fast-paced escape and evasion narrative of Grit’s testing, but as it concluded I felt the story really took on a life of it’s own.
As her name implies, Grit is courageously independent, guarded, and at times a callous protagonist. When Scarlett has to explain to her what a friend is, you begin to understand the depth of depravity in her childhood home of Thresh. Repeated interactions with Kinsmon’s people as well as her time at the Southern Sea work to soften her into a more likable dameling.
While reading this Christian fantasy novel I remained vigilant for scriptural inferences (much like I would reading The Lord of the Rings or Narnia). For this reason, my favorite character was Kinsmon whose name, in my mind, immediately linked him to Jesus our kinsman-redeemer. Other allegorical connections can be drawn between Christ and Kinsmon by his actions: he invites everyone to feast with him, makes unfailing promises, provides strength, wisdom, protection and encouragement to his followers. Best of all, he is the catalyst for change in the hearts and minds of men. The other biblical connection I made was through the battle of good verses evil. I felt a strong connection between the character Havoc and the descriptions of Satan found in the book of Revelation. These links further endeared me to Lisa Dunn’s novel.
Grit’s testing and the war on evil that transpires necessitates some violence, otherwise the story is safe for teens and discerning adult readers. If your TBR lacks Christian fantasy, I recommend a foray into this genre with Grit of Berth and Stone. Excited to see where the story goes from here, I will begin reading Heir of Koradin, The Second Book of Chasmaria, soon!
Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.
But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pulls Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.
Lisa lives in a small Southern town with her husband and four children. Having found school incredibly dull, she teaches her children at home, where backyard forts, imaginary worlds, and a Great Dane puppy make things like Latin and long division bearable. She works with middle school youth at her church and is actively involved in her local chapter of South Carolina Writers Workshop. GRIT OF BERTH AND STONE is Lisa’s first novel. Its sequel, HEIR OF KORADIN, released in August 2015.
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WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED
Christian Shelf-Esteem and author Lisa Dunn would like to bless one reader with an autographed copy of GRIT OF BERTH AND STONE. LIMIT: ONE (1) ENTRY PER E-MAIL/IP ADDRESS. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 years of age or older at the time of entry. No PO Boxes. Ending 11:59 PM (CST) ON 9/14/15.
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My thanks to Lisa Dunn for offering a copy of this title for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”