~ About the Book ~
Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.
Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.
Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage–for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?
~ Excerpt ~
“This one’s alive.” The declaration seemed to come from far away, as if floating high above me, the familiar language weighted with a foreign accent.
“Finish it,” yelled another disembodied voice. “We are to leave no man breathing.”
My eyes closed and I drew a deep breath, a shuddering inhale that would be my last. The enemy sword would cleave the last of the life from my body, and I could sleep, fly to the gods, if they deigned to receive one who had shunned them.
Nothing came. No sword. No end. I opened my eyes and a blood-spattered, bearded face hovered over me with a confused expression. Soundless words formed on his lips. A woman?
My helmet was gone and my braid free. There was no escaping the fate that would now meet me on this battlefield. My brothers, unrestrained even around their sister, had drunkenly regaled me with stories of women in battle camps. Victors plundered women along with weapons and supplies. Perhaps I would again lose consciousness from the pain of my wound and he would kill me quickly after he sated his—
“Can you move?” His surprising question scattered my disturbing thoughts. The man thrust his sword into his scabbard, pushed the dead men off my legs and body, and knelt beside me. Cinnamon-brown eyes, full of conflict, met mine. A thick ragged beard covered his face and met long, brown hair streaked with gold from the sun.
In my confusion and haze, I could not answer. Why was he waiting? Was he drawing out the terror? Even if I could reach the dagger at my belt with my useless arm, there was no strength left in me to fight.
He looked around, as if searching out someone to aid him. But instead of calling out for another enemy to help slaughter me, he checked me for weapons and, finding my dagger, relieved me of my last defense. “Rather not have that jammed between my ribs,” he muttered.
Then, in a baffling move, he slipped a small skin-bag from his shoulder and held it to my parched lips. An explosion of cool, clean water poured into my mouth. I choked and coughed. He placed a hand behind my good shoulder and lifted me, guiding me into a sitting position. “Here, drink.”
With only a brief pause to consider his intentions, I lifted my mouth to the spout and guzzled. The sweetest mountain-fresh water I had ever tasted doused the burn in my throat, stirring a spark of life, of unwelcome hope, into my desiccated body.
“That arrow is in deep.” He examined my back but did not touch the wound. “I’ll find a healer.”
Why would this enemy, one whose face was streaked and speckled with the blood of my countrymen, take me to a healer? He checked my other limbs and, satisfied that I was able, helped me stand. A spasm of searing pain spiked down my arm and across my chest. The world swayed and tilted. My knees collapsed. I was locked in his arms for a moment before blackness engulfed me again.
~ Review ~
Wow! Can this girl write, or can this girl write?! This is Biblical fiction at its most riveting. In fact, I highly recommend the whole series (although you don’t have to have read the previous books to pick this one up). For starters, they’re incredibly well researched—and I’m speaking in terms of general historical details as well as Biblical accuracy. But then to bring them alive on the page so vividly . . . I’m just in awe. Not only do I LOVE seeing Biblical history come to life, but I love the way this series has enriched my knowledge and understanding of this part of the Old Testament.
In addition to her historical accuracy, Connilyn Cossette knows how to weave a deeply gripping love story—and I do say love story, because a true love story is more than just a romance. I love stories that include an element of ‘enemies to lovers’ (for want of a better phrase), and an embittered Canaanite woman and her Israelite conqueror proved to be one of the richest settings in which to explore this tension.
It was also an ideal setting in which to contrast the ways of the Canaanites with the laws God gave to the Israelites. Alanah fully expects to be treated the way her people would treat a captured woman, but not only does Tobiah’s God forbid the violation of women, He also provides a means for their protection by allowing them to be claimed as a wife. It was so eye-opening to view the Israelite’s laws and customs in their historical context and through the eyes of one who had grown up in such a depraved society as the Canaanites. And I loved watching the way in which Tobiah’s steadfast determination to do right by Alanah gradually softened her to both Tobiah and his God.
The second half of the novel took a completely unexpected turn that had me even more hooked than the first half (if that’s possible!) I won’t say anything else on that matter except that it tied in brilliantly with the Biblical account of the fall of Jericho.
Fantastically gripping, must-read Biblical fiction!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review.
Series: #3 Out of Egypt
Release date: 2 May 2017
Publisher: Bethany House
~ Previous Books in the Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Connilyn Cossette is the author of the Out from Egypt Series with Bethany House Publishers. When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kiddos (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on scraps of paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Texas where she loves the people but misses mountains, tall trees and barefoot-soft green grass. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into fiction.