Monday, January 5, 2015

My Review: Exiles

As my first time reading a book by this author and only my second foray into Fantasy, I have to say that this book really surprised me.  I now have another author to watch for! :) 


For daring to trust their Creator, Araine and Nikaros are swept from their homes into a foreign land…slaves to their enemies.

Araine Khalome of ToronSea follows the goddess Atea. But Araine secretly questions Atea’s power as a goddess. Wrestling with her spiritual doubts, Araine finds old scrolls containing verses that come alive, beckoning her soul. Within those words, Araine senses the presence of the Infinite, the despised Most Ancient God, enemy to all Ateans, and she’s captivated—secretly risking her life to read the Books of the Infinite.

You are forever in My sight…

Betrayed and condemned, Araine is swept away to the kingdom of Belaal, where she is swiftly apprehended and marked as a slave. Caught up in the lethal political and religious struggles within Balaal, Araine joins forces with another slave, Nikaros, a hostage and exiled son of an Eosyth Lord. As they fight to survive the antagonistic royal court, Nik and Araine soon realize that they must also protect the despotic god-king who has enslaved them.

But the god-king, Bel-Tygeon, has plans of his own.

Child of Dust, are you My servant?

About the Author:
R.J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

My Review: 4 stars
Surprised - in a good wayExiles is the first book in R. J. Larson’s new series, Realms of the Infinite. It connects with her first trilogy, Books of the Infinite. This is the first book I’ve read by her and only my second foray into the Fantasy genre and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I enjoyed it very much and will definitely be looking forward to the next book by Ms. Larson!

Araine Khalome is one of the main characters and I quickly fell in love with her! She has been raised to worship a goddess, but desires more than the deity gives. She wants to know she is heard, that she matters. So when she discovers some scrolls of a god known as the Infinite, she is quickly drawn in. This God says He loves her, that she is precious and beautiful. His words call to her and even though she knows it is punishable by death, she can’t help but love the Infinite. I really enjoyed getting to know Araine and follow her through her story. Her path isn’t an easy one by any means, but she still decides to follow her Lord. Araine is very realistic in her reactions and how she deals with everything that goes on around her. When she decides to follow the Infinite and obey Him, she counts the cost before taking that step. It is not a blind leap of faith, but she can’t imagine going through life without Him. I was able to easily relate to her questions and uncertainty. I must confess to being a bit jealous of her, because I wish my “Infinite” spoke as openly and clearly to me.

Nikaros of Eosyth is another main character that I really enjoyed getting to know. He is a slave, a captive of the king Bel-Tygeon. He struggles to accept his lowered status as a slave and adjust to palace life. He is strong, a warrior, and it shows in much of what he does. He is also trained as a scribe and that also shows in his careful words and self control. He truly cares for many of the people he encounters and does his best to do right in the Infinite’s sight.

This story is very loosely based on the book of Daniel and in several ways I can see the comparisons. In others, Ms. Larson made it her own and took it places I would not have guessed or imagined. Followers of her books will enjoy seeing Ela and Kien again, as well as finding out more of what happens to them. Ela is something of a mentor to Araine for a short time and she helps her to understand more of what it means to follow the Infinite.

As someone who has read little fantasy, there were a couple things that confused me a bit at first and I’m sure would have made more sense has I read Ms. Larson’s previous books. I would recommend them solely based on this story and plan to read them myself once I have the time.

One thing that did bother me a bit was the descriptions. While Ms. Larson does bring the main “stages” to life, such as the palace, gardens, and in the beginning, ToronSea, we know little of the rest of the Realm. This bothered me as it made the world seem somewhat flat. I wasn’t as drawn in as I would have liked. Also, we are often told what characters are wearing and the details there became rather repetitive after a while. I’m hopeful that as the series proceeds Ms. Larson will show us more of the kingdom and the world she’s created.

Whether you’re looking for a new genre to try, or are already a fantasy lover, I highly recommend this book! It will challenge your faith and leave you wondering what comes next for Araine and Nikaros.
I received a complementary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for coming by and reading my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!  This book is currently only available in Ebook format, as far as I can tell.  If you'd like to look into it some more, here is the link for Amazon. 

1 comment:

  1. I have REALLY wanted to read this one, but haven't gotten around to it yet because I wanted to finish her other series! The Prophet was sooooo good! Great review and thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)