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A Mighty Fortress (Hymns of the West) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 19, 2013
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About the Author
An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, moderating on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?). As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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** The story is interesting enough that you want to know what is going to happen
** There is a strong Christian theme throughout.
** Some things are accurate: quoting KJV, dresses, outlaws, small town talk, etc.
** The bad guy isn't just evil, you get to see he is what he is because of a rough past and consistent wrong choices.
** There is a lot of time jumping at first... jumping time and jumping between characters. It can be somewhat confusing at times. One has to really pay attention. And later on in the book, years fly by in a couple chapters. This made me not be able to identify with the characters as well because so much time had passed so quickly, I wasn't sure what they were like any more.
** I enjoy Scripture, but these kids were quoting a ton. So much so that you kinda got distracted from the story.
** The emotions seemed shallow and forced, the conversions shallow and too fast for reality.
** Things that were opened in the beginning were not all wrapped up in the end, so one left the book with questions.
** The characters considered letting the bad guy off the hook (and the girl he raped did do so), just because they felt it was Christian forgiveness to do so. Thankfully, there were others involved. Forgiveness does NOT mean that you don't bring justice to evil. This really bothered me.
** There were a lot of Christian phrases in there that are modern, and didn't fit with the time period.
All-in-all, the story was interesting, but felt forced and superficially religious. I would not recommend it unless you wanted to know how NOT to write a Christian book.
But, this is Faith's first book, I believe. I am sure with practice she will improve. Maybe in another five or ten years I'll read another of her books and find it splendid.
This story had me experience all the emotions. I cried a few times, smiled and frowned a few times, and even felt a little scared for my people once or twice. That's how Joshua and Ruth, and even Jed came to be for me, "my" people. I was caught-up in their world, their experiences.
I am keeping this copy for my library, and I am going to buy more copies for gifts. Great storytelling, and wonderful Scripture references, along with the uplifting message of salvation and redemption through Christ makes this a great book for anyone.
Best for Ages: 13 and up
I must admit, I didn't think I was going to like this story or rate it very high after the first few chapters. After all, it was obvious the author has lots of room for improvement. However, in the end, I ended up giving this book four stars. Why? The story touched my heart.
It is true that sometimes this story seems to ramble. Occasionally, I felt a bit lost as to what was going on. Sometimes, the author told instead of showed. Yet, despite the imperfections in this story, the last few chapters made up for all its short comings.
The western setting felt like old Roy Rogers or Lone Ranger movies. It was fun and familiar, nothing jarring or out of the ordinary.
Joshua and Ruth started out feeling a little fake to me, but their characters strengthen as the story goes on. Joshua especially becomes a hero I admire. He protects his sister from harm and does what is right even when it was hard. The faith of the two siblings was very evident. They quote scripture often (toward the beginning it was a little over done, but it got much better) and are not ashamed to talk of their standards or beliefs with others.
My heart went out to Jed. Because of his rough childhood, he feels forced to fall into the wrong crowd. You can feel the tension within him sometimes of wanting to do what is right, but feeling trapped by his past. Jed ended up making the book work very well. Although sometimes, I didn't understand why he was doing what he was doing.
There were some characters and scenes I didn't think added to the book. Annabelle seemed to be thrown in for no reason other than to state the wrong kind of attention low cut dresses could make. Also, sometimes showing time passing didn't work very well.
The ending, as I said, made up for all the short comings. Although not what I was expecting, it was so much more satisfying than anything I could have imagined. I even got a little teary. I wish I could explain more, but I don't want to give anything away.
I recommend this books to those who like surprise endings, strong faith, and western stories.