Review for The Battle for Vast Dominion

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Photo from internet. I do not own the photo.

Synopsis:

This is the third book in the Trophy Chase Trilogy. Packer has become king and has to deal with the war that is at hand. With his new authority, Packer has the opportunity to reach out to the Drammune and try to convert them. Meanwhile, Panna must face the political ramifications of her husband’s past.

My Thoughts:

This book could almost have been split into two books. The first half covers political ramifications of having a new king and the war that follows. Then the second half is about Packer’s plan to convert the Drammune and what ensues. Although I did enjoy the book, this one seemed slower then the previous two, and I took longer to get through it. The first half was almost better then the second. There are many characters who we hear from. I actually enjoyed hearing from the Firefish’s perspective. While some of the others, like Hand, I just did not care about.

The ending left me hanging. The way the author ended Talon’s story was sad, and I wish it could have gone a different angle. Also, I did not like that we jump from a young Packer to an old Packer. I wanted to see more of Packer growing older slowly. It tied up all the loose ends, but the way they tied some of them up felt out of place.

Language-

A “Dear God” in a non-reverent way. Mentions of sailors swearing. No words used.

Violence-

Now, Nearing Vast has just entered into a war so there are bound to be battles along the way. The first battle is a purposeful retreat and little bloodshed occurs. There is a scene where you think main characters are possibly going to die, but God keeps them safe. One character shoots an advisor and he dies. She also knifes two character as she escapes later on. Packer’s friends find clothing with blood on it, and they think Packer is injured. There is a fist fight between two characters.

There is a naval battle where most of the shooting is done by friendly ships. It mentioned causalities and men floating in the water. The Firefish attacks a character and leaves him with one arm. It then goes and sinks a Drammune ship with all aboard.

Lastly, there is a last battle between Nearing Vast, Drammune, and the Achawuk. Ships fire at people in the water. Mentions blood in water which brings Firefish. Ships are destroyed by Achawuk. A character tries to kill main character and throw him in water. A character shoots someone attacking the ship. A character is pierced with a sword and kills her and her unborn baby. There is mention of poison in the water which kills many of the Firefish. A character is wounded and at death’s door. Packer forgives him before the character dies.

Innuendo-

Packer and Panna lay clothed in bed and have a discussion of the previous day’s events. A mention of hand holding. There is a couple sentences of how Panna is beautiful.

Note: This is after they are married.

Conclusion-

This is a decent conclusion to this pirate trilogy. There are certainly things about this book that made it less enjoyable, but I am glad I took the time to read it. The author poses several theological points like being a pacifist among others. There is definitely some violence throughout this book, but it is a pirate story so, it is to be expected. One scene near the end may be too much for younger audiences. Death does occur, and we see some main characters perish. Plus, the first half is definitely more political then the other books were. I would consider this a book for young adults on up. I would say 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Review of The Hand That Bears the Sword

Summery from back of the book –

“In the midst of their joyous “honey month,” newlyweds Packer and Panna Throme are once again thrust unwillingly into high adventure. Pirate Scat Wilkins, no longer in command of his great ship, has returned with evil intentions for Packer as the Trophy Chase sets sail for deep waters once again. While Packer is away, Panna, his bride, faces danger at the hands of the lecherous Prince Mather.” (Polivka, 2007).

My thoughts –

This is the second book in the Trophy Chase Trilogy, and it picks up right where the previous book left off. It is the largest book in the trilogy clocking in with 423 pages. There was so much good stuff in this one that I cruised right through it. All the key characters, that I had met in the previous book, were back. Some of the scenes also reminded me of the Hornblower series which I would also recommend.

I would say that I enjoyed this plot better then the first. The author introduced a new nation, Drammun, and I loved learning how they were different then the Vast. Throughout this book we find out more about Talon which helped me to understand her. Packer had more theological questions that put his faith to the test. Should he trust in his sword or let God do what he had planned? Panna also seemed to grow up a little bit and I liked her as a character better.

Violence –

The violence was dialed back a couple notches, and the violence that was there was mostly related to battles. At one point Packer believed that God wanted him to save his friends by killing all the enemies on his boat. He killed many men, but was not descriptive.

The Firefish returns in this book in a way that I was not expecting, but it worked. The Firefish does destroy a couple ships and ate all that fell into the water.

A character is shot with arrows and dies in his wife’s arms. Another character is hung, but people tried to save him to no avail. Afterwards, the people revolt and fight the Drammun.

Language –

None that I remember.

Innuendo –

If the language was toned down, then the innuendo went up. Panna is kept at the palace and the prince there has a thing for her. For a while she does not realize that he likes her. Once she does realize, she tries to stay away from him. At one point he tries to kiss her, but she rebuffs him with a punch and explains that she is married. At one point he asks to have dinner with her, and she accepts, but knocks him unconscious before dinner.

Another character gets married for political reasons and does end up loving her husband. She becomes pregnant.

Overall

This was a great squeal to the first book. I would say that this one was my favorite. I loved the character development and how the author was able to take me to this different world. Even Talon, had a human side to her. The violence did not bother me, but it is in there. I was annoyed with the prince for the majority of the book. However, this was definitely a step up from the first book.

Works Cited

Polivka, George Bryan. The Hand that Bears the Sword. Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Review for The Legend of The Firefish

So for my first review I’ll start with a book that I just finished and really enjoyed which was The Legend of The Firefish by George Bryan Polivka. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book,

Synopsis –

“Packer Throme longs to bring prosperity back to his poor fishing village by discovering the trade secrets of Scat Wilkins, a notorious pirate who now seeks to hunt the legendary Firefish and sell its rare meat. Packer begins his quest by stowing away aboard Scat’s ship, the Trophy Chase, bound for the open sea. Through he is armed with a hard-won mastery of the sword and the love of Panna Seline, daughter of a priest of the kingdom of Nearing Vast, many tests of his courage and his resolve will follow -beginning when the young voyager is discovered by Scat himself.”

Overview –

This book mashed together pirates and fantasy with a dash of theology. Although it started a bit slow, it quickly picked up speed. It was a fascinating read, and I connected with the main character, Packer Throme. The characters felt realistic, and several of them had personal struggles that they were working through. There are several scenes that are very touching and emotional.

My Thoughts –

The book is written from a Christian perspective, but it is given in small thoughtful morsels. Basically the main character wanted to prove his father was correct and use that information to help others. For the most part Nearing Vast holds to Christian morals. The pirates are a mixed bag. Several are believers who strengthen Packer’s faith. While Scat and Talon are quite the villains.

Language –

There were a few references to hell and sending a person to hell. Also a couple instances of the use of idiots, but other than that fairly clean.

Violence –

There is a fair amount of violence spread out throughout the book, but that is to be expected for a pirate novel. Of the violence mentioned, none of it was gratuitous.

First, a character is keel hauled under the ship and almost dies due to lack of oxygen. One character was considered to be a witch, but she isn’t. She saved a person by expelling water from his lungs. Same character tortured the main character both physically and mentally. It did end up being a good thing, but was descriptive.

Secondly, there were several sea battles between the pirates and the Firefish. The Firefish swallowed people who were in the water and accidentally electrocutes the main character which caused him to almost fall. Several sailors died in battle or were stabbed. Another minor character was punched in the face. We did not find out what happens to him until near the end.

Lastly, there was a sword duel between two characters. Despite the the fact that they were fighting, this scene carries a lot of weight. During the sword duel, one character gets stabbed and get a couple minor cuts.

Innuendo –

Packer liked Panna ,and we saw the effect it had, but for the majority of the book they were separated. They kissed three times, but it was not descriptive.

Conclusion –

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. The book is geared towards adults as an adult fantasy, but I think young adults would get a lot out of this book as well.