My husband accidentally bought me a happy Monday gift a while back when Morgan L. Busse’s Heir of Hope was on sale and he’d mistaken it for the first book of her new series rather than the last book of her prior series. So here you go, my first review in ages.
Heir of Hope is an enjoyable, satisfying conclusion to the Follower of the Word series. Despite this, I must confess I almost threw the book across the room at one moment that was too emotionally manipulative for my tastes and unnecessary in my view. The author turns it around, so hang in there with her if you pick it up and feel similarly.
More challenging is if you believe God’s power would never flow through one of God’s people in a way that is harmful to the person. For an Elderan Truthsayer, the gift of healing always harms the Truthsayer when their spiritual gift is benefiting someone else. In the Lands, the Word (i.e. Jesus) usually heals by taking a person’s sickness or injury off of the person and putting it on the Elderan Truthsayer. If that violates your beliefs and you are not willing to extend grace to a Fantasy novel, skip this series. In real life, God’s back is the only back God has stripped to heal us. And, in fairness, the author does a good job of showcasing the real back striped for our healing and will challenge us to re-consider how scarred we imagine our Lord is.
Likewise, she is following a good principle for fantasy magic (“give it consequences”) and there is a slim possibility God might work differently with a “magical” self-healing race than he does with an ordinary human. But skip this one if you’re a charismatic or a Pentecostal with firm ideas on how the real gift of healing works and not open to the possibility of God ever doing it another way . However, if you can suspend disbelief or otherwise overlook “speculative theology” in a fantasy world, you’re in for a treat.
On an unrelated note, if you have zero ability to handle violence that includes amputated body parts, skip this one, but let the rest of you note the author does a good job balancing realism and good taste.
Overall, Morgan Busse has again proved she is a master world-builder. She’ll take you to another time and another place and make it seem real. She’s so good at it, fans of Christian fantasy who believe God gives spiritual gifts to Christians today may forget this is a fantasy world and take issue with how the real gift of healing works for make-believe Elderans. Still, for the gracious, and for fans of Christian Fantasy of differing views, there’s plenty to enjoy and to think about here.
If you’re interested in checking out this series, I do strongly recommend you start with book 1, Daughter of Light.