Book Review

Book Review: A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion #1) by Francine Rivers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Christian Historical fiction / Romance
Length: 544 pages
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: March 1st, 1993
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


The first book in the bestselling Mark of the Lion series, A Voice in the Wind brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, this young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.


I’ve read some cliffhanger books in my day (looking at you Shadowhunters). I’m generally used to it, can keep my cool. NOT THIS TIME. I sat there gasping and closing my eyes (listening to this as an audio book) with my spouse staring strangely at me wondering what my problem was. TRUST ME, there’s a big problem.

I digress, we’ll move on. Just know, there’s a big cliffhanger at the end.

Anywho, this book started off a bit slow for me. There’s a lot of world building and character structure that goes into setting the scene for the craziness that was Ancient Rome. I love that this Christian historical fiction was set in this time period because it did add to the uniqueness of the category. It’s not often to see so many gladiator battles in this genre.

As I settled into the book I became really involved with quite a few characters lives. Especially Marcus and Hadassah. How could you not?! Watching this doomed relationship even attempt to break soil was tearing at my heart. I felt a lot of the emotions right along side of the characters as they made their destructive choices. Speaking of destructive, I CANNOT EVEN with Julia. How I loathed her so much and it made me like the book more because of my strong emotions. Her awfulness would blow my mind and I think she needs to stay faaaar away. Going back to characters I enjoy, Atretes is now my favorite gladiator. I loved watching how his inner turmoil and struggles affected him. He is a strong and bold man looking for a light at the end of the tunnel that he can’t see, yet.

This story was filled with an intense amount of happenings. Occasionally, I did find it a bit preachy. At other times, I felt like it sang to my soul. There’s a good mix of biblical scriptures and the roughness that was Rome. The writing slowly pulls you in to where you can’t look away as the pages keep flying past. I’m anxiously awaiting reading the next book!

Overall audience notes:

  • Christian Historical fiction / Romance
  • Language: some derogatory and vulgar
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; mentions of sleeping together and hints at knowing about many partners, etc. but no actual detailed scenes
  • Violence: gladiator battles, starvation, physical beatings, poison, murder, see Trigger warnings
  • Trigger warnings: slavery, extreme starvation, abortion (described in detail), domestic abuse, eating disorder, murder, abandoning a newborn

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Book Review

Book Review: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Christian fiction
Length: 479 pages
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: May 9th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael Hosea obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does…the One who will never let her go. A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.


I finally got this one off of my TBR. I did enjoy it, but it was also a lot darker than I thought it would be for a Christian fiction/romance.

My heart hurt this entire book for the main character, Sarah. What an awful and debilitating life of trials she has had to endure. At times I was just as angry and upset as I felt she was because the cards of life she had been dealt definitely seemed unfair. I liked Sarah’s character overall. She had a hardened exterior and a tough personality for a reason. Watching her slowly change and overcome what had happened to her was a strength all its own.

Michael is a saint y’all. I was impressed with how much of an enduring husband he became. I can’t even begin to imagine choosing to love someone everyday when they have yet to show you a single kindness. The allusions towards him and representing unfailing love and always having a home were clearly seen.

Some of the side characters were good and others enraged me. I especially did not like Paul whatsoever. Even when he came around at the end I was so over the way he had treated Sarah the entire book. I did love Miriam and thought she was the best kind of friend. She and her family truly welcomed Sarah and Michael into their lives and allowed Sarah to get a chance to see what a family can be like.

At times I did feel lit a got a bit preachy on its subject matter. I mostly thought it did a good job of showing how one kindness and a forgiving mindset can really change the course of someone’s life. I thought this book could have ended a handful of times before it actually did and it caused some chapters to drag. By the end I understood why Sarah had to make some decisions on her own two feet and it really brought her character home.

I will have this in my trigger warning section below, but please read this book at your digression. Some of the subject matter made for a very dark book with more mature themes.

Overall audience notes:

  • Christian fiction + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, some fade to black scenes with no steam
  • Violence: physical; see next section for more
  • Trigger warnings: child prostitution, sexual assault, rape (including that of a child), thoughts of suicide, suicide ideation

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