Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette {Book Review}

After not opening my computer for nearly three months the faithful device has shuddered and puffed and barely refused to function. We already crossed the hour mark since I began trying to log onto my WordPress account to write this book review and alas, it won’t cooperate. So, what I’m going to attempt to do is write this post, email it to my phone and copy and paste from there. Formatting might be a bit of an issue, but you’ll get the point. 

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodread

Pages: 368

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 

Release Date: July 6, 2021

Title: Between the Wild Branches

Author: Connilyn Cossette 

Fiction 

Why I Choose this Book

When I say Connilyn Cossette is my favorite author of Biblical fiction what I really mean is that I devour her books, recommend them endlessly, and await with eager anticipation for her latest release. I feel completely honored to have reviewed each of her books and talked about them all across the internet and bring them up more often than any other author’s books in day-to-day conversation.

What I Thought about the Book

Unfortunately, this book review took me a bit of time to get around to writing. That’s mostly because I took a while reading the book because when someone likes an author as much as I like Miss Connilyn then it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that not all of her books are for me. And, that’s sadly the realization I finally had to admit to when it came to this series. 

Miss Connilyn’s writing is magnificent as always. Her characters are well developed. Her setting is rich and full of color, immersing the reader and taking them away on the wings of their imagination. 

But the story? It wasn’t for me. The main character is a fighter for sport and although the story in no way condones such behavior, that’s a storyline I’ve never enjoyed reading. The story isn’t hugely graphic, but there was enough that it soured the book for me. 

 Conclusion 

I will excitedly read Miss Connilyn’s books in the future, but sadly this is one I won’t be re-reading. 

Rating 

I’m giving Between the Wild Branches 3 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until the Mountains​ Fall {Time for me to gush about another one of my favorite 2019 reads}

June 5th was the last time I posted a book review. (Say what!?!) I’m not sure when I last went that long without tapping out a review, and I’ve missed getting to share my bookish thoughts with y’all. Thankfully I get to jump back into the ring with a book that I really liked, so that’s going to be fun. 😉

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 352
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Title: Until the Mountains Fall
Fiction

1

ABOUT THE BOOK
(Which you might want to skip because going into a book blind is so much fun.)

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 protection 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?

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

Connilyn Cossette is my only 100% auto-buy author – except I’ve never had to auto-buy her books because I’ve gotten to be on the review team for each and every one of her books. Y’all, I can’t tell you how honored I am to be able to say that! Seriously, every time I’ve been chosen to review one of her books I do an internal, external, and internet happy dance. (Just check out my reviews below to see my gushing.)

Miss Connilyn is my very favorite Biblical Fiction author – and I don’t say that lightly. Read more about her other books here:

Counted with the Stars 
Shadow of the Storm 
Wings of the Wind
A Light on the Hill
Shelter of the Most High 

As I always do with this author’s books, I went into the story completely blind – meaning, the first time I’ve read the back cover blurb was just now, as I’m writing this review. This can be a bit sketchy with a new-to-me author, but I trust Miss Connilyn’s writing so much that not knowing what I’m getting myself into is exceedingly interesting.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

Let’s get real: When I first opened the pages of this book and started reading I felt a bit of a sinking feeling. I was concerned that it was going to be one of those trite, overly romanticized, mail-order brides type of books. (Remember, I hadn’t read the blurb.) But never fear! We’re talking about Miss Connilyn here – she writes amazing Biblical fiction, not cheesy Hallmark flicks. *cue sigh of relief*

As the story progressed there were twists and turns I did not expect, keeping me reading far into the night even though I was in the midst of a busy work week. I kept waiting for a slow chapter to arrive so I could convince myself to set the book down and sleep but finally had to compromise and put it away when there was a scene/point of view shift.

I’ve only read a few books with an unreliable narrator, and those books are fairly mindblowing to me. Rivkah, the main female character in this story, isn’t exactly an unreliable narrator, but she is to the point where I had vastly different opinions of her depending on who was narrating. It takes advanced skills as an author to pull that character voice off so well.

Malakhi, the main male character, had far more depth than I first expected him to have. I wasn’t anticipating liking him – especially not after the first part of the book, but as his story went on I found myself cheering for him. He was thoroughly written and felt extremely real. He wasn’t perfect by any means, which of course is the mark of a good character. His character development was intense at times and was well-paced.

There were a host of side characters who captured my attention and at times my heart. Seeing their story, watching the way they weren’t simply put there to progress the main character’s stories, but having an arc of their own reminded me of what a skilled author Miss Connilyn is.

The plot itself wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I think I figured it would follow some of the same guidelines as the first two books in the series, but instead, this one had a few new elements.

One thing that generally bothers me in books, but in this case ended up working out well, was a time jump. There’s about a five-year gap between the first part and second part of the book. I’m not a fan of this plot device, yet in Until the Mountains Fall Miss Connilyn pulls it off exceedingly well. The characters are the same but have changed as much as you’d expect during such a time period. The world is different, yet I didn’t feel jarred or like I’d missed out on life due to the missing years. The jump did exactly what it was supposed to – it made us totally skip a boring, listless middle-of-the-book-filler section – and kept the plot moving.

CONCLUSION (With Vague Spoilers)

There is some content in this book that isn’t suitable for young teens – war, violence, mention of some of the evil practices of pagan worship, mentions of inappropriate behavior, characters who are taken advantage of, etc… Everything was written in a vague way and is probably less graphic than if you’re reading some sections of the Old Testament, but still, I’d recommend parental guidance for probably anyone under 15.

I came away from this book with the feeling that Miss Connilyn did it again – wrote another winner and once again made the time period of the Bible leap into life for me. I can’t hardly wait to read her next book!

This summer I moved out of state and wasn’t able to bring most of my books with me. That means I’ve never seen all three books together, but I can’t wait until I have them all with me. The covers are amazing together, right?

*Note: This is the third book in a series. They can be easily read in any order, but you’ll get to know the supporting characters and surroundings a lot better, and avoid spoilers if you read them in order.

RATING

I’m giving Until the Mountains Fall 4 out of 5 stars. I’ve already loaned the book out to a friend, and am planning on requesting it for my library. Y’all should do the same. 😉