From Publishers Weekly
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"Hinck combines adventure with humor in this creative story. The reader is treated to impressive sword battles, an alien mind poison and surprises throughout the book." -- Romantic Times
"The story holds you on the edge of your seat and a number of twists keep you reading." -- Blog Critics
"A compelling adventure, an engaging heroine, a unique and fascinating other world. The Restorer satisfies on many levels. Skillfully incorporating themes of faith, sacrifice and the power of words to deceive or deliver, Sharon Hinck has crafted a tale that resonates in both soul and spirit. A welcome addition to the expanding genre of Christian fantasy. Don't miss it!" -- Karen Hancock
"Just in time for a great summer read . . . There's no better way for an out-of-this-world vacation." -- Novel Reviews
"Sharon Hinck has done a remarkable job in writing a fantasy for people who don't normally read fantasies. A soccer mom finds herself in an alternate universe where she has to save her adopted people from vastly more powerful enemies. Loved the swordplay. Loved the spiritual insights. Most of all, loved the main character, Susan Mitchell, a compelling mix of Everymom and Wonder Woman." ~ Randy Ingermanson, award-winning author of Retribution -- Randy Ingermanson
"This story will keep you panting as you follow its jagged, twisting path, and a constant stream of breathtaking surprises are coiled around every corner." -- GoodReads.com
I knew that Sharon Hinck was a gifted writer, and I knew that her ability to write details was impeccable. What The Restorer showed me is just how big her imagination is! She's taken two concepts that have no right to work in the same story -- a harried housewife and a sprawling fantasy world with its own science, culture, and rules -- and smashed the two together into something altogether fresh and compelling -- even for a red-blooded, testosterone-driven guy like me. She zigged every time I expected her to zag, and the world she created is full of mystery and suspense and the awe of discovery. But it's the characters, especially her soccer-mom-come-prophesied-hero, who keep you coming back for more. -- Robin Parrish
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress) is simply too good a book for me to put up a review on my own blog. I want as many people as possible to know about this fantasy.
It's been a long time since I inhaled a book, though of late there have been a couple I've gulped down pretty quickly. One such was Hinck's Renovating Becky Miller.
Fans of the Becky Miller books will also love this first book of The Sword of Lyric trilogy. But so will fantasy lovers.
This story is about Susan, a soccer mom turned Restorer. The characters are wonderfully accessible and engaging. They feel like they could be the neighbors next door or the couple in your Bible study. Maybe she teaches your daughter's Sunday school class. Maybe he is a regular on church work days. Or maybe they are you.
On the other hand, the world in which Susan finds herself is a brand new place. It is NOT Middle Earth or another Narnia. It is a place with a surprising mix of technology and primitive devices, and we see it through the eyes of soccer-mom Susan, so we understand it the way she does.
The novel is a story for Christians, without a doubt, but Hinck communicates the faith elements in a unique way. She does not use symbolism, and she does not put Christianity in the fantasy world ... not exactly, anyway. The parallel place has people of the Verses and they worship the One, creator of the world. They are looking for a Deliverer.
Susan is a Christian and recites Scripture, but she doesn't try to bring Christ to these people. She simply concludes that in her world the Deliverer has already come whereas these people are still waiting for Him. It is as if she is with a group of Old Testament Israelites (though the world bears no resemblance to that of the Promised Land).
The bond she feels with these people is in large part because they both believe in the One who has sent/will send the Deliverer and has made Himself known through Scripture/the Verses.
The worlds may be parallel. God is the same. Very powerful!
The story is outstanding, too--full of tension, conflict, intrigue, suspense, surprises, danger, sadness, triumph, hope, fear ... I can't begin to capture it all and certainly do not want to spoil the story by telling you specifics. The pace is fast but every step is properly motivated and understandable.
I have to qualify that statement because there is a period when Susan is adjusting to the parallel world and nothing makes sense to her. It all fits, but Hinck doesn't tip her hand and show you prematurely where everything belongs.
I enthusiastically recommend The Restorer as a Must Read for fantasy lovers and for Christian women. I highly recommend it for every other reader. -- Rebecca LuElla Miller
The Restorer is a great book for the hero - or heroine - in all of us. Sharon Hinck gives us a beautifully-realized world that demands the best that an everyday, run-of-the-mill Mom doesn't even know she has. Hinck's prose engages us in every moment of the struggle as the strength of the One drives the battle of the faithful against unimaginable odds. Excellent characters and an intriguing plot provide readers with great entertainment along with spiritual inspiration and enlightenment. I simply loved this book, hated for it to end, and am grateful that there's another in the Sword of Lyric series coming soon. -- Kathryn Mackel