Author: Connilyn Cossette
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Series: The Covenant House #2
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Ten years ago Lukio fled Kiryat-Yearim, where he'd been adopted by the Levite family who guarded the Ark of the Covenant. Feeling betrayed by everyone, he returned to his birthplace in Philistia to become a famous fighter. Now the champion of Ashdod, Lukio has achieved every goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. But just as he is set to claim the biggest prize of all, the daughter of the king, his past collides with his present in the form of Shoshana.
After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought to never see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul again. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved in Ashdod, she is surprised to find that the brutal fighter known as Demon-Eyes is Lukio himself.
With explosive secrets and unbreakable vows standing between them, finding a way to freedom for both may cost them everything.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"You are a wild branch, young man. Do not despise the root to which you've been joined, for it is from this mountain, in the shadow of cedars, that your own deep roots will take their nourishment."
A wild branch, indeed. Now known through-out the streets of Ashod as Demon Eyes, an undefeated Philistine fighter, Lukio's fame and fortune has caught the notice of Nicaro, the king. In fact, Nicaro has made Lukio an offer that he would be a fool to dismiss; the highly coveted position of Master of Games is his for the taking, along with the king's youngest daughter as his bride. However, when Lukio is introduced to his betrothed, it is the lovely young Hebrew slave in the shadows that captures his attention, for "the collision of (their) gazes felt like two ships ramming each other at full speed, and the shimmer of grief in her hazel eyes stripped (him) to the bone".
With her distinctly talented writing voice, the author plunges her readers into a world between the walls of a city known for its blatant debauchery, violent behavior, and overt pagan practices. As Lukio and Shoshana warily try to navigate their present circumstances against the backdrop of their past, it becomes abundantly clear that the ending to their story will be tragic, for one of them will eventually be sacrificed for the other.
"And the branches who spring from you will spread wide to shade the helpless and reach heights you cannot imagine. So, do not fear the iron fetters that carry you to the sea, young man, only the ones you bind upon yourself."
"Please Yahweh. I want to go home."
What a lovely testament to the One who is mighty to save.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Once again Connilyn Cossette delivers a story that enthralls, uplifts and teaches the reader the importance of redemption and forgiveness from a biblical perspective. I love her books!
This second book in The Covenant House series focuses on Lukio. He has run away from his adoptive Jewish family back to Philistine territory and made a name for himself and become quite wealthy. Meanwhile, his childhood sweetheart, Shoshanna, has been held in slavery in the same city for years. When he meets her again, he realizes how much he still loves her and that begins a series of events that make this book hard to put down.
The author has woven such an intricate tale of love, redemption and forgiveness that this story will stay with the reader for a very long time. I highly recommend it!
This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
I usually don’t read much Biblical fiction, but I make an exception for books by Connilyn Cossette, one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. Her impeccable research, richly drawn settings, and colorful, realistic, and multi-layered characters make history come alive. She’s such a masterful author, and I greatly admire the creativity and expertise in her writing.
After following Lukio as a child in the first book in the Covenant House duology, To Dwell Among Cedars, I was so excited to read the rest of his story in the conclusion, Between the Wild Branches, and what a stunning conclusion it is! At times gritty and brutal, and at other times tender and heart-touching, this tale takes the reader from Ashdod, a stronghold of the Philistines to Kiryat-Yearim, the residence of Hebrews.
Lukio has been a famous Philistine for the past ten years and has amassed riches and a name for himself by becoming a fighter. He’s also spent that time trying to forget the painful memories of his early life and his time with the Hebrews who once adopted him. Despite his hardened appearance and reputation, he opens his heart to some who are downtrodden and in peril. When Shoshana, his friend from his days with the Hebrews re-enters his life, they both find themselves in trouble.
This is an unforgettable tale of redemption, forgiveness, courage, and God’s divine intervention. It’s also a story of the power of family love, whether by birth or adoption. It’s headed straight for my keeper shelf and onto my list of top reads for the year. I’m looking forward to more fantastic books by this author.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.
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