Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review: The Sword @christianaudio @CrosswayBooks

The Sword. By Bryan Litfin. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books. pp. 448. 2012. ($15.99 Print)

**For the month of July 2012, The Sword is available as a free download at, and the other two books are priced at $4.98 each! For less than the cost of one paperback, you can get the entire trilogy.**

««««« Five Stars, (ages 16+)
This first book in the Chiveis Trilogy introduces readers to an isolated mountainous kingdom in a post-apocalyptic world that has reverted back to medieval technologies and pagan religions. It’s part science-fiction, part fantasy, and part historical fiction.

In the kingdom of Chiveis, a powerful pagan priestess keeps the masses devoted to an unholy trio of gods and their unholy master: Astrebril (a variation of the French for “Lucifer”). Yet, through a series of providential events, Teofil and Anastasia, a guardsman and a peasant farmer, discover the sacred writing of Deu and bring it back into the bowels of Chiveis. Conflict is inevitable as the followers of Deu seek to discover and share Deu’s message while the religious order seeks to hunt them down and destroy them.

The audiobook, read by Ray Porter, is more like listening to a storyteller than just hearing the words read aloud. He pauses, changes voices, and changes his tempo to reflect the mood of the characters and the intensity of the moment.

Overall this is a great book, but it, like the rest of the series, is not for young children, and I would say not for early teens either. There are sword fighting, kidnappings, blood, and violence, but the biggest factor pushing up the age-appropriateness level is the sensuality. Although it’s not too explicit, there’s a discussion about a man’s inability to perform and a pagan revelry with a fairly sensual description of a fairly sensual dance.

Yet, I still recommend it for older teens and anyone who’s had an interest in knight’s tales, European history, and fantastic “what if” scenarios. Additionally, it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out the places and names, almost all of which have real-world equivalents. The Chiveis Trilogy offers a unique blending of genres that makes for a great story.

Let’s hope that Brian Litfin decides to expand on this world with a second trilogy sometime in the future.

I received this audio book from christianaudio for the purpose of review.

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