"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.
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
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.
Bethany House Publishers, July 6, 2021
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