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A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers Book #3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 377 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- Book 3 of 3 in The Codebreakers
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From the Back Cover
She sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed.
Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.
"The deeply spiritual third installment of White's The Codebreakers series features a romance between a Russian cryptographer and an English photographer amid the destruction of WWI. . . . White's smooth flowing narrative and resonant themes of misinformation and social upheaval will draw readers in to this glowing love story."--Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (September 8, 2020)
- Publication date : September 8, 2020
- File size : 9671 KB
- Print length : 377 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B087RTCYWF
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0764237756
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #192,491 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is the part where I usually go into what I loved about each individual character, but here, I loved them all and how they worked together. Lily Blackwell, for instance, is a multifaceted heroine on her own, with her eye for light and detail not only in photography but in life, and her zest for that life. But meeting and working with Zivon truly brings out all her potential, as she relearns how to trust and opens herself up to his point of view about issues she may not have considered before. Similarly, Zivon is fascinating and yes, swoon-worthy. For me, you don't get much swoonier than a cunning linguist who balances said cunning with deep-rooted faith--and with a sparkly bow of a Russian accent on top. Mmmmmm! But it's Lily who brings out the best in Zivon, especially when she restores his faith in humanity and what the world can be.
The secondary characters are similar, in that I loved how their interactions enhanced the story. Evgeni and especially Nadya were favorites. Kudos to Roseanna for making me actively sympathize with and want to know more about an antagonist. I enjoyed Nadya's character growth very much, but also, like Evgeni, didn't want her to lose the traits that set her apart. The same is true for Evgeni. These two characters were great examples of how ordinary, hurting people can easily be sucked into harmful agendas, and how those agendas may not start out as harmful but must be looked at through God's lens if they are to be fully understood.
Speaking of God's lens, the spiritual threads here are spot on. Father Smirnov is another wonderful secondary character, and I love that he's based on someone real. His conversation with Zivon about the Bolsheviks and privileging mercy for souls over justice was a highlight for me. Additionally, I enjoyed the more nuanced spirituality that popped up as Lily, Zivon, Evgeni, and even somewhat minor characters like Mrs. Blackwell, grew. For instance, Roseanna did a great job presenting both sides of the argument regarding art as propaganda. Because of that, it hurt all the more when Mama Blackwell discovered Lily's deception. But the way mother and daughter worked through that was true to life and human emotions, and what they learned about God and His desires for them became absolutely touching.
The plot keeps pages turning for hours. This time, Roseanna mixed the usual WWI espionage in with a couple of interesting twists, one of which absolutely broke my heart but also led to some poignant spiritual discussions. I also loved her twist with Nadya at the end. I'd love to see if Nadya pops up again in a future novel, so I can learn what happened to her.
Finally, Roseanna expertly balances a lot of plot threads and events that might trip up most writers. In one book, you have a world war, plus a foreign revolution that not many people are cognizant of, plus a flu epidemic--and they all influence the characters and story in realistic ways. All I can say to that is bravo--I don't think I could pull it off, though I hope to someday. My final word on this book and series? A fifteen-star, enthusiastic recommendation.
While the book is predominantly about Lily Blackwell, Ivy, her sister, is her best friend and plays an integral part, but the story never shifts to her viewpoint. Ivy’s relationship with Lily is more important to our understanding than her life facts. Lily works for the intelligence department (unbeknownst to nearly everyone) and uses her photography skills to save lives.
The story is also told from Zivon Marin’s viewpoint, one of the lucky men who was invited back for dinner. Zivon is one of Russia’s top cryptographers and barely escaped the October Rising with his brother (who he believes is now dead thanks to a train accident). Britain responded to him first in his request for asylum (lucky for Lily) and he now works for the intelligence department, though neither Britain nor he knows if they can trust the other yet.
I quite enjoyed this book. Even though I started the series hoping there was more about codebreakers than it turned out to have, and this one had less than the others—as Lily is a very gifted photographer with mean darkroom skills—I still found it difficult to put down the series.
The inclusion of the Spanish Influenza took me by complete surprise; though in all honesty it really shouldn’t have. I knew the dates, location, and remember enough history that it should have been obvious. My excuse will be that I was so wrapped up in Zivon and Lily’s story that I forgot when I was for a moment. Lily volunteers at one of London’s hospitals and one of her best friends is Ara (a nurse and the female protagonist of book two in the series), so it’s only natural to include the flu in Lily’s life. But when ____ happened to ____! Ah! And then THAT happened. Oh!
As this was the final book in the trilogy, and Ara’s father was mentioned briefly early in the book, I would have liked another passing comment in the final chapter about him. After all, he had been in Mexico nine months by the end of this book, and I would have liked to know that Phillip and Arabelle would get their wedding sooner than later. At least Roseanna was nice enough to invite us to Drake and Margot’s wedding (book one’s main characters) even though it didn’t go as smoothly as everyone hoped.
I fell in love with Roseanna White's stories when I read The Number of Love. After that I quickly devoured all I could of her other books...just in time for Wings of Devotion to be released...and then had to wait such a miserably long time for A Portrait of Loyalty. I hate waiting for books. I really, really do. So much so that I will rarely start a series before knowing that all books have been released, and yet here I am.
It was completely and totally worth it.
This story made me cry (something I typically abhor), but it also left me with that indefinable feeling inside, that glow, that satisfaction that the story touched me deeply.
I won't leave spoilers, though I admit I often read reviews hoping for a few, except to say that I appreciate the perspective given to Evgeny and Nadya.
I hope there will be another story for a certain man in this book.
And I really enjoyed another glimpse of Brook.
I also need to go back and review a little. I couldn't totally remember Kira's story.
Thank you for a wonderful story.
Thank you for stories of tragedy, triumph, love, loss, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
We need them all.