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The Sword: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy Book 1) by [Litfin, Bryan M.]
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The Sword: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 415 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Theologian and scholar Bryan Litfin has accomplished a rare feat—he has fashioned a land and time unique to any reader’s experience.”
Jerry B. Jenkins, author, The Left Behind Series

“Some fiction is mere entertainment and some fiction is like a mirror in which we see ourselves and our world reflected in challenging and instructive ways. The Sword is a mirror of who we are at the core and what we struggle with in our non-fiction lives. Don’t miss this one. It is a compelling read that is well beyond mere entertainment.”
Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University

“Ever wonder about a world with an ‘almost-absence’ of God? Theologian turned ‘futurist’ Bryan Litfin provides us a compelling tale of the endurance of God’s amazing love—even to a distant remnant. Get your mind around The Sword. It could be the start of something big.”
Mark Elfstrand, Executive Producer/Host, Morning Ride, Moody Radio, Chicago, Illinois

“Pulling us into the future to reveal the past, Bryan Litfin’s great what-if story discovers instead what is, laying bare the tendencies of the human soul, the strategies of our adversary, and the gentle sovereignty of the eternal God. In The Sword discovering truth is as exciting as discovering love, for, as Litfin skillfully portrays, they are one and the same.”
Amy Rachel Peterson, author, Perpetua: A Bride, A Martyr, A Passion

Review

“Theologian and scholar Bryan Litfin has accomplished a rare feat—he has fashioned a land and time unique to any reader’s experience.”
Jerry B. Jenkins, author, The Left Behind series

“Some fiction is mere entertainment and some fiction is like a mirror in which we see ourselves and our world reflected in challenging and instructive ways. The Sword is a mirror of who we are at the core and what we struggle with in our non-fiction lives. Don’t miss this one. It is a compelling read that is well beyond mere entertainment.”
Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“Ever wonder about a world with an ‘almost-absence’ of God? Theologian turned ‘futurist’ Bryan Litfin provides us a compelling tale of the endurance of God’s amazing love—even to a distant remnant. Get your mind around The Sword. It could be the start of something big.”
Mark Elfstrand, Executive Producer/Host, Morning Ride, Moody Radio, Chicago, Illinois

“Pulling us into the future to reveal the past, Bryan Litfin’s great what-if story discovers instead what is, laying bare the tendencies of the human soul, the strategies of our adversary, and the gentle sovereignty of the eternal God. In The Sword discovering truth is as exciting as discovering love, for, as Litfin skillfully portrays, they are one and the same.”
Amy Rachel Peterson, author, Perpetua: A Bride, A Martyr, A Passion

“The one-of-a-kind concept for this novel mixes an apocalyptic near-future with an almost medieval past. The thrilling action and romance underscores the necessity of prayer and the power of God’s word to awaken a people to have hope in a love that supersedes that which they have before known. It is refreshing to read about characters whose struggles are real and whose virtues are worthy of admiration. I cannot wait until the second book in the series hits the shelves next year.”
Seth Parrish, High School Principal, Yongsan International School of Seoul, Seoul, Korea

The Sword’s thrilling, fast-paced story line draws you in and won’t let you put it down. It’s a swashbuckling adventure that men will love. And the character development encourages your soul, making it well worth the read. I was fascinated to discover Christianity alongside the people of Chiveis and see them experience freedom and love for the first time. It gave me a new perspective of the privilege of choosing to give one’s self to God.”
Stacia Johnston, wife and mother of three

The Sword has something to entice every reader: action, adventure, drama, mystery, discovery and romance. Through a commanding use of descriptive language and character development, Litfin engages his readers to the point that they will feel a part of the journey themselves. Seasoned and novice readers alike will benefit from Litfin’s ability to provide a thrilling adventure while at the same time giving the opportunity to ponder the theological implications and Biblical parallels held within the Kingdom of Chiveis. Boasting of an original plot set in a unique era which beckons its reader into a new world vaguely familiar with fresh twists on life, The Sword will leave you begging for more.”
Narissa Muik, Vancouver, Canada


Product Details

  • File Size: 3178 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; Redesign edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: April 15, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003FPN3LA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,321 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy J. Etherington on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished this book last night and have had thoughts for a review since about page 4. I should probably do this under three heads; Storytelling, Writing, and Theology.

Storytelling
Litfin is a theology professor and this is his first foray into fiction. That said, the story is fairly well done. I never felt like the storyline got stuck though I did begin to wonder at one place if Litfin had forgotten one of the important subplots. No, he hadn't and that was the point. The story line was good but not great. Don't expect CS Lewis here (Litfin never pretends to be Lewis either!) While not compelling it was entertaining. I have found myself entering the world of Chiveis in my head and imagining other adventures. I even spent some time on Google Maps and found the location he describes including the cathedral on the cover. I'm such a nerd.

Writing
In the videos on the website, Litfin says that he did research for the book. That included how to write fiction and the writing reflects it. It isn't bad but it isn't great either. His writing is sufficient. He knows how to keep the episodes moving so that each time I put the book down I wanted to pick it back up. However, his dialogue was stilted and awkward at times. One of the things I remember hearing about fiction writing was "Show it, don't say it." In a few places, Litfin does both. I wasn't so bothered by his writing there but I did wonder which editor let that go out like that.

Despite a few relatively minor irritations like that I thought the writing was capable. His characters were mostly people you felt like you knew. The world he describes is one you believe (mostly). Once again, it isn't stellar writing but it is good, light, pop Christian fiction. Just the target he was aiming at.
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Format: Paperback
The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin is the first book in the Chiveis Trilogy. 400 years after the world has fallen apart due to plague and nuclear war, small pockets of humanity are reestablishing civilization, but it's more similar to the Middle Ages than the 20th century. In mountain kingdom of Chiveis, the people work the land and serve three gods under the leading of the major god Astrebril. Teofil is the renowned leader of the Fifth Regiment of the kingdom of Chiveis, well respected for his fighting ability. Anastasia is from Edgeton, a city on the edge of the kingdom, who is well known for her beauty, singing, and skill with a bow. The two are thrown together and the sparks quickly fly, but they are distracted by learning about the god Deu who was worshiped by the Ancients and used the cross as his symbol. Denounced as evil by the High Priestess of Astebril, Deu has long been forgotten until a book of his sacred writings is discovered, and everyone who comes into contact with it finds their lives completely changed. I'm not normally a fan of fantasy, which The Sword has hints of, but the unusual premise had me hooked from the first page of history which convincingly describe the fall of civilization. While many of the characters are stock characters from fantasy series, the story is compelling and very fresh. It's fascinating imagining what it would be like for people who had never heard any stories from the Bible to encounter them the first time. How would they react? Would they see the same things readers do today? I also commend Litfin for refusing to give in to cliches. The small story of Rosetta's horse and foal shatters the illusion that Litfin is writing about some make believe version of God. This story has the potential of becoming an epic within the Christian fiction community. I look forward to reading the next story.
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Format: Paperback
"The Sword" was an entertaining Christian fantasy set in our future after modern civilization has fallen. The target audience appeared to be Christian adults (both women and men), but some teens might like it.

The characters were varied, complex, and interesting, and I was curious about what would happen to them. The story was fast-paced and exciting, with the action rarely slowing. The suspense was created by the physical danger to the characters and the attraction between the two main characters even though they were divided in their beliefs. (And I thought the resolution of this difference was handled in a nice and convincing manner.)

The story was frequently unrealistic and inconsistent, and the characters acted in illogical ways. For example, two characters have a letter they desperately need to get to the prince and they know they can't get to him, yet they don't give it to a character that can and will see the prince. In the prologue, the author has a super-virus that--following his parameters and taking into account only the mail system--would have killed everyone in the world who received mail in less than four weeks, but he has it last for decades. And then he adds in a worldwide, nuclear war. Yet the world, several hundred years later, looks remarkably like a pagan medieval Europe with healthy humans and every pre-war plant and animal.

Also, taking into consideration the only religions they knew, it seemed like the characters were a little quick to follow this new god and trust that he was good. While the reader can see God working behind the scenes, the characters had very little evidence that he even existed. And their knowledge of him was based solely on the first few chapters of Genesis, some Psalms, and Ruth.
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