Friday, August 24, 2012

Molly Evangeline - Courage

The Makilien Trilogy

By Molly Evangeline

Kindle Edition Available

Product Description (from Amazon)

Determined to follow the will of Elohim, Makilien faces daily threats and hardship. But an even bigger threat is growing. Bent on destroying his opposition once and for all, Zirtan amasses a devastating force to take control of Dolennar. When a dangerous secret comes to light, Makilien, along with her family and Aedan, are thrust into the middle of the struggle.

Faced with an army far outnumbering their own, Makilien and her friends risk everything—injury, captivity, even death—to gather their allies. But in the end, their hope and courage must rest in Elohim. Can the forces of good achieve victory, or will the might of evil prevail? Who will be left to see the end?

About the Author (from Amazon)

Molly Evangeline has been using her active imagination to create stories since she was eight years old, encouraged by her mom's own love for writing. For years she wrote as a pastime until age fifteen when she began writing her first historical Christian novel, The Pirate Daughter's Promise, book one of her Pirates & Faith series. Three years later, it became the first of her books to be published.

Molly credits her success to God and her mom's teaching, guidance, and decision to homeschool her from kindergarten through high school. Since graduating she has actively pursued her independent writing career while living with her family in Wisconsin.

For more information, visit her website:

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

After reading and reviewing Truth, I offered to read and review the next book in the series, Courage. As soon as I had it, I sent it to my Kindle and settled down to read.

Courage takes place roughly a year after the events of Truth. During the skipped over time, Makilien has been trying to share the Truth that she learned with the people of her native village. However, Zirtan’s men haven’t been too pleased with her doing so. To keep her family safe, she is now living on the edge of the village with Aedan, her childhood friend, the only other person who has openly accepted the Truth.

Of course, intentions don’t always go as planned, and, despite the fact that she is trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible, and to keep her family as out of this as possible, she has been whipped twice and her family … gets arrested and condemned to be burned at the stake. She can’t do anything about it, though, as they’ve captured her as well and are carrying her off to Zirtan.

Cue the return of the friends that she had made during the course of book one. They manage to rescue her and her family, and they help them and two young men escape the village and they go down to the cities that are not under Zirtan’s control to help out in the upcoming battles.

In some ways, I thought this better than the first book, in others … it fell somewhat flat in comparison.

What I thought was better:

Less focus on Makilien. Makilien is still the main character, but, unlike Truth where there was only one scene told from the point of view of someone other than her, I’d say at least half this book was from someone else – usually Aedan or Sirion. I’m not completely in love with Makilien’s character, so I found other points of view a fresh change.

Plot twists that left me gasping. There were several of these. I’d be reading along, with no clue as to what would happen next and POW a plot twist. The plot twists of Truth had been good. The plot twists of Courage were amazing.

I had to put my kindle down to laugh for a full minute at one point. Reading around on Molly’s blog, I discovered that she considers humor to be her weak point, and, after reading Truth, I could see why. It hadn’t been bad. It was just … flat. However, in several scenes in Courage, the humor was nailed, even forcing me to put the kindle down so I could simply laugh. And I don’t do that very often. I tend to be an very unemotional reader.

Leiya,  Makilien’s younger sister. She had been introduced in Truth, but had only been in the first few chapters. It is my personal conviction that every book needs a cute, irrepressible black-haired girl somewhere between six and eleven. I don’t remember if Leiya had black hair or not for certain (I’m thinking it was brown) but other than that, she fit the bill.

Robin Hood showed up! Okay, no he didn’t, just the Robin Hood-like community of Rhûnland. I'm a huge fan of Robin Hood, and, while the people of Rhûnland don't rob from the rich to give to the poor, they do live in the woods and are the finest archers in the land. (Least-ways their bows are the strongest.)

Other women besides Makilien and the dragon take part in the battle. I still am looking for the reason for Makilien to be in battle in the first place (beyond the fact that she wanted to) but at least she’s now not alone.

What I didn’t like:

Repeat. The basic plot, I felt, seemed to be merely a repeat of Truth. Escape Reylaun, travel to Eldor, seek out allies (and make them despite all improbabilities) then fight the war. Also, the gaining of the two allies made in Courage seemed to be repeats of each other. Get arrested by potential allies, thrown into prison, then, when all seems darkest and bleakest, they convince potential allies to be allies through the courage that comes from their faith in Elohim - which is the theme of the book, but the carryout just felt a bit redundant. It wasn’t bad … but it was there. It almost felt as though she were using a formula. However, thanks to how the book ended, I’m hoping that book 3 won’t follow this formula.

The Romance. There wasn’t much, and I had smelled it coming in Truth, and was therefore prepared. But … while it wasn’t the worst romance I’ve ever read … I found Aedan and his love interest rather … sudden and … improbable. Yeah, I can understand it on his part … but hers? They’ve only known each other a few weeks, and she’s one of the elves, who, from what I gathered, seemed to take things slower – especially her. Maybe I missed something there? Makilien and hers … I saw them coming … so really didn’t mind. My biggest issue is I would have preferred it if the two young men had asked the fathers’ permissions. Makilien’s love interest should have, at least. Yeah, I have old fashioned standards.

All in all, I liked this book, and am looking forward to the next book, Trust, which is coming out this fall/winter.

Official website for Makilien:

Genre/Theme: Christian, Fantasy

Reading Level:  TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity:  NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality:  NONE - not even hinted at, beyond noticing that she is pretty, he is handsome, holding hands, and kissing foreheads.
Other: Quite a bit of fighting, and she doesn’t gloss over the fact that wounds cause blood. Makilien gets a crossbow bolt through her shoulder, one character gets branded … and so on. Not terribly descriptive, but Molly doesn’t hesitated to hurt her characters.

1 comment:

  1. "It is my personal conviction that every book needs a cute, irrepressible black-haired girl somewhere between six and eleven."
    Yes, I've got one of those. They are actually very easy characters to right well. I think that's the problem with my current story.


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