I was hesitant to use the word Christian in the title, because this is definitely not a Christian book. I know Jill is a Christian author, and she has virtually promised that the series will arrive at this spiritual destination by the end of the series. However, not here. A sentence in Jill’s closing note to the book says it all for me:
“This book was a challenge for two reasons: its scope and the darkness of its storyworld.”
I wish she had told me before I started reading. I felt in many instances that I was swimming in a cesspool. This is a nasty, exceedingly sinful world. It goes far beyond lusty or licentious, though she skillfully avoids any graphic detail.
It is very entertaining
I have no doubt that most people will love the book and be eagerly waiting for the next book and then the conclusion of the series. The characters are well-developed and depraved as they are, most are likable or at least understandable. Even the bad guys are comprehensible.
The society is complex, and the world is well-built. I found the descriptions a tiny bit sparse, but then I like that level of knowledge far more than most—as a world-builder myself.
Spiritually, it is barely two-star, with little Truth
The evil, however, is three-star. As with two-star evil, there is a god for every purpose—and they are all nasty beings. However, it gets into three-star evil by saying these so-called gods are black spirits.
The positive spiritual world is largely powerless and invisible in this book. There is a Creator God, but we are not made aware of any power wielded by this god. There is no hint of a savior or a holy spirit.
It’s a dark, dark book where I regularly felt dirty simply by reading the content. Jill hints pretty strongly that it will get better for the next book. She does have a history in this regard, and it is quite good. I am looking forward to the second book, King’s Blood.
Bethany gave me a free review copy with no restrictions.