Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: Of the Persecuted by Angie Brashear

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Title: Of the Persecuted

Author: Angie Brashear

Series: Legends of the Woodlands #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult

**4 stars**

Oh, all the different variations of fantasy! <3 Of the Persecuted by Angie Brashear was another of those variations that just thrilled and touched my heart!

Laila is one of the Faithful. Persecution of the people who still follow the Maker is raging. Danger for them is everywhere. After meeting a mysterious, blue-eyed rescuer, and a young one with the same eyes, Laila finds herself on the run. Fleeing from slayers, nightmares, and the noose. Lessons are learned … the unexpected is everywhere … the Faithful strive to keep their trust in the Maker, but who will survive the wicked attacks of the enemies?

Of the Persecuted starts with utmost drama. I was pulled in at once, and filled with excitement for the tale and where it was going to go. The fantasy aspect was wonderful. The concealers, fairies, dragons, gemstone, and all else! Ooh, and Lars’s “camp”. I can’t tell you how neat that feature was … so “fantasy/fairytale-ish”; I loved it! *smiles* Imaginative and interesting, all of it. I can’t wait to explore everything more in the next book (there must be a next book, right??)

A Christian allegory was very evident in this story. There was the Maker—the God of the universe, and then there was the Master of Lies, who led unresisting hearts down dark paths. Of the Persecuted, as the title suggests, has a main theme of persecution for believing in the one true God. It also explores God working in us, faith, and other such things. I found it to be a poignant tale.

... Though, I had a hard time figuring out the whole "Chosen" thing, and why everybody says the Maker really works through this one guy. Why would He work more through one person than the others? Because that one person was more willing to be used by the Maker? I didn't know quite what to make of it; still don't ... But perhaps the next books will explain more!

Laila, Lars, and Finney … such great characters, all of them. Finney was so funny and cute. Lars was a bit swoon-y. Haha! *grins* A wonderful young man, though hard to understand at points. I connected pretty well with Laila. Her awkwardness … I totally understand you, dear! Zander was a pretty good guy too, though I was tempted to become really angry at him a lot, because I believe he made a triangle out of the romance. And if you know me, I’m not a fan of love triangles, especially when the girl is oblivious and/or doesn’t know how to handle it. But the whole situation worked out pretty smoothly in Of the Persecuted, without ruffling my feathers too much, haha!
Overall, I felt Angie Brashear did a really good job with her character, main, secondary, and everybody else. They were all very interesting!

The main romance was utterly sweet. So fun. My heart just sighed at certain moments … you’ll know them … it was just so precious. (There was one edgy romance scene.) Also, there was some talk about men “having their way” with a girl; and a brief scene were a girl is getting attacked. I would recommend 16 or 17 and up as for audience.

The violence/ghastly scenes were definitely there. I was a bit surprised at some of the dark features this book entailed. There were “demon fairies”, shadow beings, ghoulish nightmares, and some beheadings even. Also, in battles, there was some graphic detail. I certainly could have done with less of all that for certain; but it did add a depth to the message Angie Brashear had to tell, I think. At least some of the things. Others, I’m still not yet sure what to think of. I will insert in here that I’m still reeling over what happened to a certain black-haired lady … don’t know what to think about that! So yes, a big warning. This book is not for everyone. I would recommend to older teens at least.

Of the Persecuted could feel a little slow at points. Sometimes I wondered where things were going, and when were they going to get there? I feel this book needs a sequel; the story … it just has to continue! I want to know more. I need to see how everything turns out. The story hasn’t concluded yet.

So yes. Wonderful new fantasy. I really liked it! I recommend that you try out this book (only if you can handle some ghastly violence), and just be tugged into this amazing world! Intriguing. Captivating. Thrilling. Heart-melting. I can’t wait to continue the LEGENDS OF THE WOODLANDS series!

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