Friday, August 27, 2010

The Raven Saint by M.L. Tyndall

The third book in the Charles Towne Belle series is a strong conclusion to the trilogy.

Let's begin with the summary:

Join bestselling author M. L. Tyndall for another seafaring historical full of romance, intrigue, action, and adventure. Grace Westcott has piously served God her whole life. Captain Rafe Dubois cannot pass up the opportunity to earn more gold toward the hospital he’s building for the poor by kidnapping Admiral Westcott’s youngest daughter. But when the missionary and the mercenary meet, it’s full-sail-ahead into tumultuous waters! Find out what happens when a bitter mercenary who’s sworn off God falls in love with a pious woman determined to change him.

And now, my review:

From near the beginning of the story (with the help of the title’s clue) readers can see the heroine’s fatal flaw—she’s a Pharisee. She’s self-important and holier than thou. The problem with this prideful position is she won’t be of much use until she’s humbled. So, when obstacles come her way, and God doesn’t seem to answer her prayers, she has to look inside and examine herself.

I related to the heroine’s struggle to hear from God. She prayed and prayed, but didn’t receive what she was asking for. I believe readers will relate with this. Later in the story, the author balanced this with the heroine’s victories in the midst of her trials. I believe this element will encourage readers who may themselves be going through a tough season.

One element you can count on with M.L.’s fiction is her acknowledgement of spiritual warfare. She uses symbolism to show her characters are involved in an unseen battle. Though her heroine was pharisaical, she still had discernment, which came in handy in the midst of the story’s progression.

Another impressive element in M.L.’s writing is her astounding grasp of all things ships on the high seas in the 1700’s. Her description of the workings of the ships is detailed, and she comes across as an expert. This adds to the overall experience of reading her historical fiction.

This third book in the Charles Towne Belles trilogy is a great conclusion. On November 1st, Barbour will release the trilogy in one volume. I recommend reading the entire series, though if you read them separately I don’t believe much is lost (i.e. I don’t think you’ll be at a loss to figure out who is who).

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