Recently I mentioned The Restorer’s Journey, book three in Sharon Hinck’s Sword of Lyric series (NavPress), but I need to give a more complete review. This is a book and a series fans of Christian fantasy shouldn’t miss.
In the previous book, The Restorer’s Son, antagonists from the parallel world follow the Mitchells to their home. After acquiring technology, including handguns, they force Mark to set up the portal stones in order to return to their own world. As they leave, they kidnap Susan. Mark and son Jake determine to follow to bring her back, but only Jake, who is exhibiting the signs of a Restorer, makes it through. And so the adventures begin—to rescue Susan and to stop the antagonists.
Hinck delivers a fast-paced, exciting story, with a healthy number of surprises. Her writing is tight, her scenes are vivid, her characters believable. In short, this is an entertaining book, well worth investing a few hours. Once again Hinck does a masterful job juggling two different first person points of view. Most of the book, I found myself trying to guess how and when the two main threads would intersect.
Above all, Hinck delivers spiritual truth that does not call attention to itself. Faith and doubt are integral themes, arising from the needs of the characters and without any finger-pointing authorial conclusions. The characters grow, learn, change in a natural way because of what they experience and the decisions they make. And along the way, the reader hopes for them, fears for them, and cheers for them at every turn.
My biggest concern was that the plot became rushed towards the end. A significant event takes place and if it were paced as the rest of the story, it should have had twice as much coverage, in my opinion. This quick, in-and-out event was critical and I think needed to be developed more to really be credible. Instead it had an add-on feel.
I also had a question about antagonist Cameron being able to do what he did to turn the people of the Verses his way in such a short period of time. In book one of the series he had been so discredited, and even in book two did not have the position that would seem necessary to pull off what he did in this short span.
The Sword of Lyric is an outstanding Christian fantasy series. All three stand-alone stories, while connected with a thread, are adventures in which the reader can submerge himself and come out satisfied because of the entertaining story and edified because of the God-honoring themes. The Restorer’s Journey is a must read for Christian fantasy fans.
If you would like to win a copy of The Restorer’s Journey, leave a comment between now and next Monday. I will announce the winner during the CSFF Blog Tour for Marcher Lord Press. —–