Beneath The Forsaken City

Monday, February 16, 2015
“He has not come to rule,” Liam said. “And it is not the throne that he desires.” A sick, sinking feeling crept into Eoghan’s middle. Somewhere deep down, he knew what Liam would say before he said. “He wants to wipe every last trace of Comdiu’s gifts from the earth.”

Book: Beneath the Forsaken City (The Song of Seare Book 2) by C. E. Laureano, NavPress, 2015

Genre: Speculative – Allegory
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 14+
Subjects:  Trust in God, God’s Will, Prayer, Spiritual Gifts
Summary: Married such a short time and now separated, unsure if the other is dead or alive, Conor and Aine’s trials are greater than ever. Aine is with a relative who desires nothing less than her death and a suitor who refuses to accept her commitment to a husband most presume dead. Conor is held captive by a tribe quick to kill and slow to ask questions. Their chief wants to be more victorious over his enemies and believes learning their tongue will help with that so Conor is kept alive as long as he is willing to betray the land he came from. A beautiful young woman is determined to seduce him into breaking his loyalty for a wife who is likely dead. The Red Druid has destroyed all the wards and conquered nearly all of Seare. Only Ard Dhaimhin is left, leaving the Firein with some very difficult choices about their destiny.
Notes: Beneath The Forsaken City is the second in The Song Of Seare series. This fantasy/allegory style series sets up a kingdom that feels a bit like medieval times.  There are kings and lords and castles. As with many fantasy/allegory books, there is a prophecy that one of the main characters seems to be the fulfillment of, but it’s a bit vague so that the scholars are unsure of exactly who it points to. There is an ultimate being, representing God, protectors like angels, special powers gifted to various individuals for the purpose of serving the ultimate being and helping the people. The good guys in the story live according to the teachings of the ultimate being, attempting to follow Him and trust Him even when it seems nearly impossible to do so. An interesting and somewhat unique element in this book is the existence of a community resembling a monastery, but that hosts thousands of men who are not only trained in the words of the ultimate being, but also in how to be master warriors. They spend their entire lives training in the skills required of a warrior. Yet they are completely separated from the rest of the world. Once they take the oath of brotherhood, they rarely leave, and in fact have to prove themselves in a test in order to be granted permission to leave. Yet they are a key to protecting the people from the evil that wants to infiltrate the land.
Book two of this series continues the theme of faith as the main characters have to constantly question themselves and where their loyalty lies. Are they acting out of selfishness or out of a desire to follow where Comdiu is leading them. One character in particular is asked to forsake trust in all else and learn how to rely solely on Comdiu for the very food she eats. And one character has to decide if he will follow Comdiu even when asked to do a job he’s spent his whole life wishing he did not have to do. 

Spoiler Alert: Do NOT read this series if you want happily-ever-after endings. The author does not end the series on a happy note, but rather very tragic.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Thank you to the author and the publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I greatly enjoyed it!


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