Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband's brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh's head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother's death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah's father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.
As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
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How does she do that? Author Connilyn Cossette amazes me with her ability to put me in the story and make me feel the emotions that the characters are experiencing: Rivkah's rebellion, loss, and love, her sister's angst, Malachi's abiding love, the unrest because of what their enemies might be planning.
There was much to love about this book. I loved being seeing how Biblical traditions were put into practice. I loved how the elders were a source of wisdom, and how Malakhi respected and obeyed them.
It was difficult to read about the consequences of pridefully straying from God and ignoring His precepts. The consequences for individuals and leaders of the people were severe, but there was a strong lesson to be learned from their actions.
This was the third installment of the Cities of Refuge series, but I think it stands alone well. Those who enjoy Biblical and historical fiction will certainly enjoy this book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
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