Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Review: Ransomed


     Other blogs have frequently done book reviews, and I have not.  But I think I may make an exception for authors like Elizabeth Ender, Rachel Heffington, and Katy Pistole.
     I recently ordered Elizabeth Ender's book "Ransomed."  There were a few things that interested me when I saw it online.  For one thing the little teaser description caught my eye:
BOTH OF THEM HAVE PROMISED TO PROTECT ME. MY LORD IS NOT HERE. THE STRANGER IS. ONE SAID I WOULD DIE IF I LEFT; THE OTHER SAYS I CANNOT LIVE UNLESS I GO...AND TO GO WITH ONE MEANS TO FORSAKE THE OTHER.
DO I STAY OR DO I GO?

THIS IS MY CHOICE.
     This dilema was rather fascinating to me, and from the description I could not immediately discern which was the correct way to go.  Was the "good guy" the one who told her to stay or who told her to go?  The fact that I could not tell put me very much in the same position as the main character, and the fact that E. Ender had done that with six-sentence description intrigued me.  I wanted to know more.
     So I ordered the book.
     And it arrived.
     And it was awesome.
     I was overcome when I first read it.  The second time I read it was aloud, and I almost cried at one point.  It is a short story but it packs a powerful punch.  I learned some things about myself as I read it.  It was pretty cool.
     Also the illustrations were awesome.
     I recommend it.

[***Spoiler Alert***This next part talks about our world but there are some parallels in the story***Do not read until you have read Ransomed unless you accept the risk of spoilers***]

     I know that I have a couple of unsaved friends who would not have liked it at all.  They would have felt that the part about betrayal to be overdone.  "She didn't know," they would have argued.  "She was misled.  Surely no one could blame her for that."  They would have kicked against the demand for perfection -- everyone rebels a little bit, they would say -- it is silly to expect a person to have no shortcomings.
     It's funny which things we humans kick against.  Our universe is set to be governed by a set of rules.  They are good rules.  No one denies that a world without lying, stealing, murdering is a good world.  It is not like we have rule that everyone must point their fingers at the sky at 5pm every day or a rule that no one is allowed to eat any vegetables.  Ours are good rules that we have been given.  And, like it or not, these are the rules that are set for us.
     We willingly accept rules in fantasy stories.  People in one story can fly -- oh, okay.  No one, in this other story, can touch the great stone table or they will die -- oh, okay.  A character, in a third story, is set to guard a jewel with his life: neither con-artist nor natural disaster nor wars against him may ever cause him to lose the jewel...or his life will follow -- oh, okay.  But, my, oh my, do we kick against the good rules of our own world!
      Long ago, there were laws set in motion for us.  These laws cannot be changed.  These are the deep code, unalterable.  "They are good laws," you say, "but we can't keep them.  It's not possible.  For generations, we have proved it."  This is true.  I don't deny it.  What, then, is to be done?  Who knows the deep code so well that He can make a way for us to live?  Is it possible?
     There is One.  He found a way to take our punishment and yet live.  He found the loophole, but it required the greatest sacrifice on His part.  Yet, He did it...for us.  He was the only One who could have...and He did.
     So say what you like about the poor misled girl in the story.  Regardless of how she came to do it, she violated the unviolatable law...but someone who knew the law better than anyone else, even better than the enemy who bent it to his purposes, took her place. 
     And I suppose you will have to read the story to find out what happened. I'm not giving any more spoilers.

You can find out more about this book at:


 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review! I'm so glad you liked Ransomed!

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