Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Shelter of the Most High proves once again that Connilyn Cossette was destined to write biblical fiction! In this second book of the Cities of Refuge series she gives us the chance to learn more about the young adopted son of Moriyah who was featured in the first book, 'A Light on the Hill'. Eleven years have passed and Eitan is now a grown man who wants to join the Hebrew army. Since he still faces danger and must remain in the refuge city of Kadesh he finds that his service must be limited to using his blacksmithing skills to supply the weapons needed to fight the enemy. And then, the life that Eitan has come to know is changed forever when the daughter of a pagan high priest arrives in Kadesh with her cousin after their escape from the men who murdered their entire family on the island of Sicily. Sofea doesn't understand the language spoken in Kadesh and she certainly doesn't understand why she isn't immediately made a slave of the people living there. She is also astounded that she is shown such kindness from strangers because she had often been treated cruelly by her own father. As Sofea observes their way of life she realizes that the Hebrews appear to worship a very special God and she wants to learn more about this God who has prompted such devotion. Just who is this God that they love and worship; who is this God who returns their love and seems always willing to protect and forgive? Sofea needs to understand this God that these people lovingly call Yahweh!
The Cities of Refuge are briefly mentioned in Joshua 20 in the Old Testament but this biblically-based fictitious account gives us a better understanding of the purpose of a city of refuge and the advantage and disadvantage of living there. This story has deceit, treachery, and a murder plot but it is also a love story. As Eitan and Sofea work to uncover the traitor they discover just how special they have become to each other and they struggle to preserve their new-found love. And then, Cossette shares the ultimate love story, the love between God and His children, and we witness how a young woman who had only known the worship of pagan Gods finds her way to worshipping the One True God. In one beautiful excerpt, Sofea realizes that "not only did Eitan love me in spite of everything, but the journey to understanding that I was inexplicably valued by the One Who Made the Stars had been worth every painful step." (p. 291)
This is a powerful story and it seems obvious that the author devoted a lot of time to researching and developing this project. I recommend Shelter of the Most High to anyone who enjoys biblical fiction and I look forward to the next book in this series.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher but I voluntarily chose to write this review. These are my honest opinions.
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