Author: Connilyn Cossette
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Series: The King's Men #1
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. After an enemy attack strikes close to home, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan refuses to leave him behind.
Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.
United during their journeys and battling to survive the dangers that surround them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As challenges pile up, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but also learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
While I don’t often read Biblical fiction, there are some authors I make exceptions for, and Connilyn Cossette is one of them. Her impeccable research and beautiful prose bring her stories to vivid life. I often find myself re-reading parts of the pages because the writing is so captivating and the imagery so remarkable.
Voice of the Ancient is another of Cossette’s masterpieces, and I enjoyed it immensely. The characters were well-drawn, engaging, and flawed, with room for growth and development during the tale. Avidan and Keziah were both endearing characters, and their growth in faith was beautiful to see. I was also delighted at the appearance of some of the characters from the author’s previous series in this story.
Plenty of action, suspense, intrigue, inspiration, and a touch of romance fill this book, and those who enjoy superbly written Biblical fiction will likely love this.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Raechel Helwig
Reading a Biblical Fiction piece from author Connilyn Cossette is always a breath of fresh air. I enjoy so many genres, but there really is something special about Biblical Fiction. It never fails to teach me something new, and encourage and refresh my walk with the Lord. I love that.
Voice of the Ancient was such a good and delightful novel, with many important and true lessons throughout the pages. The overall theme I personally took away from it is the truth that Elohim is always in control, and uses all situations for good. Every single one. I needed that reminder, and it just really stood out to me.
Avidan and Keziah were wonderful characters. I love how we get first-person perspectives from both of them. I feel like it really allows the reader to connect with the characters and be even more involved in their stories.
My heart was pulled at so many times while reading, and that is one of the things I so dearly appreciate about Cossette's novels. It draws my perspective upward, and I think we all need that.
Beautifully written, Voice of the Ancient will definitely make it on my 2023 list of Favorite Reads. And to end, here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the novel:
"He is just and powerful, but He is also a God of steadfast love. A God of mercy and kindness Who has called our people to share in His goodness and be a light to the nations." Pg 184
"In the kingdom to come, we may understand all. But for now, our eyes are blind to the ways of the Ancient One, are they not? Only Yahweh knows the end from the beginning. You, my new friend, do not." - Pg 230
This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
An intriguing first installment in The King's Men series!
Both Avidan and Keziah were well-developed characters who grew as the story progressed. Avidan's dissatisfaction with being a Levite and Keziah's escape from an abusive betrothal added plenty of tension to the book. I do wish both of them had been a bit older. Their ages almost made this book seem like a young adult novel.
The plot moved along well and included some action scenes, touching moments, and plenty of character-building sections. Connilyn Cossette's descriptive writing style worked great for this book, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series!
Overall, Voice of the Ancient was an entertaining read that I'd recommend to those who enjoy Christian fiction and Biblical fiction.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
Connilyn Cossette’s Voice of the Ancient inspired me to look at the beginning of King Saul’s reign with new eyes. She painted a rich depiction of the lives and mindsets of the different tribes of Israel during this time in Biblical history.
I took a journey into the past, walking with Avi as he and his three cousins sneak away to join Saul’s army. Things don’t go quite as he expects but the God Who Sees makes His presence known through Avi’s experiences. He finds not only his call to be a storyteller, but also gains a wife, and a new perspective of God and His people.
I loved the relationship between Avi and Keziah, showing the kind and compassionate man he was, and how his sharing the stories of old helped her find her way to truth.
This book was superbly written and I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. This is my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"His strong leadership was perfectly balanced with his humility, and although he was certainly not perfect, he never forgot who sat on the throne of the heavens."
Every book by Connilyn Cossette I have read is perfection, deserving of the Carol and Christy Awards they have received. This inaugural book of her new series is no exception. The author knows how to masterfully weave the reader into the era and culture of her story with plenty of adrenaline-filled action, a touch of sweet romance, and rivers of spiritual and practical wisdom. She's a gifted storyteller who joins the first-person voices of Keziah and Avidan to take us on an adventure that crosses the eastern side of Jordan during the early years of King Saul.
I learned so much about how different tribes of Israel may have lived during that time and also saw these Bible stories through a different lens, as if I were truly living within the events. I will never read Saul's anointing, the battle at Yavesh (Jabesh), or Saul's coronation the same way again. I had always known that the infant Israel of this time was fractured and fragile, but the author's vivid painting of the dissident political and spiritual landscape was eye-opening.
Avi's kind, compassionate, and loyal heart made me love him almost immediately. His growth in faith and maturity made me love him even more. His ordained talent for storytelling and his passion for reminding others of Yahweh's goodness, mercy, and faithfulness through stories made him the best kind of hero. Keziah, with her tender, bruised heart, was easy to love, and her acceptance of the One True God was delightful to see.
It's one of my favorite books of 2023! I am so happy that this series continues the lineage of families I loved in the author's previous series, The Covenant House. This book (and series) can definitely be read as a stand-alone, but having the background of Avi and his cousin Zevi's parents will make the story a richer experience.
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
“Traveling together, they must rely on each other to stay alive and learn to trust the King of Israel to guide their every step,” states the back jacket of Connilynn Cossette’s novel, Voice of the Ancient.
The first book in The King’s Men series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page advanced reader copy targets those who enjoy Old Testament Biblical fiction with a touch of romance. The topics of slavery, physical abuse, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The book ends with acknowledgments, author notes and biographies, discussion questions, and advertisements.
In this story set in Israel in 1043 BC, seventeen-year-old Avidan prefers not to join King Saul’s new army, but the strong pull of his cousins has him questioning becoming a warrior. When one of his cousins goes missing, Avi feels it is his responsibility to search for the teen, which turns into a dangerous adventure protecting a woman who is to be married to an abusive man.
This historical novel is cleverly crafted because the chapters are written in first person by not only Avi but also Keziah, the betrothed woman who pretends she is a slave boy. I loved the retold Bible stories, family traditions, and descriptions of the Promised Land. Recognizing the One Who Hears perfectly portrays God’s steadfast love toward His children, especially when Avi acknowledges his selfish desires were placed above his Levitical duties. Including the warrior stallion added dimension to the tale.
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not like the prayers to the One True King or calling on His name for protection. Others may not care for the Biblical genre, but it is fictional as it coincides with Saul’s new reign. Some may be disappointed about the story’s loose ends, making them yearn for the next book in the series.
It would be helpful to have a list of characters and a map at the beginning of the book. I hope the writer continues writing in first person from two people’s perspectives, as it worked well in this read. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
If you love the Old Testament stories and want to feel a part of Israel’s traditions and terrain, this first book in a fascinating series shows how Yahweh knows the end from the beginning, wherever life's journey goes.
Thanks to Bethany House and Interviews & Reviews for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Once again, author Connilyn Cossette delivers an engaging and inspirational book with Voice of the Ancient.
I am in awe of Connilyn's writing and research. This is a stunning achievement considering what she went through while writing it. I feel like I have travelled back to witness history.
Avidan's story was fascinating as he desired something more than what God had planned for him. Don't we all? How God brings him to the realization of the gifts he was given was spiritually uplifting. Sometimes we must be reminded that God has better plans for us than we could imagine.
Avidan's sweet love story with Keziah and her journey from idol-worshipper to finding the One True God is inspiring. I look forward to reading more in this series.
If you love Biblical Fiction and seeing the Bible come alive before your eyes, you will enjoy Voice of the Ancient.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Katelyn Sponaugle
“And some of us are like Saul, appointed to do great things for Yahweh but so entangled in our own desires that the Voice grows fainter and fainter with every passing day, and we squander our time on earth building our own kingdom instead of His.” (From the author’s notes.)
Voice of the Ancients is the first of Connilyn Cossette’s works I’ve ever read, but it absolutely won’t be the last. It was GOOD!
This book had so many wonderful elements. Boyish camaraderie and coming of age, lovable characters, an immersive first-hand witness feel of the time period, an exciting plot, a very sweet love story, and most of all, a compelling and personal portrayal of Yahweh that can only be born from an author who has experienced for herself that only He knows the end from the beginning, that He sees, He hears, He’s involved, and He’s trustworthy.
After finishing the story and the author’s notes, I felt this phrase summed up both Avidan’s and the author’s work: "To know Him and to make Him known." Avidan, like many of us, began this story with the head knowledge of who God is, but as he found the heart knowledge through his journey, he discovered his purpose and longed to go and make God known to those who had forgotten Him or did not know Him. It just shines throughout the story, and the author notes (read them!) that the author herself knows Him and strives to make Him known.
All in all, this story was so well done. I enjoyed Keziah and Avidan’s story of falling in love with each other and Yahweh so much. I will await the next book. I’m so excited to follow up with Shalem, Zevi, and Gavi. Thanks to Connilyn Cossette for a compelling, inspiring, and enjoyable read!
Thanks also to Bethany House and Netgalley for a complimentary copy of this book through Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion.
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