Thursday, August 31, 2023

Voice of the Ancient by Connilyn Cossette Book Review

About the Book:

As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. After an enemy attack strikes close to home, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan refuses to leave him behind.

Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.

United during their journeys and battling to survive the dangers that surround them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As challenges pile up, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but also learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is an informative novel of biblical history with a different emphasis. While it takes place during the reign of King Saul, the main characters are not biblical ones. In that sense, it is not a retelling of a biblical story. This allowed Cossette to more deeply explore the culture and religious ideas of the day in the context of fictional relationships.

I appreciate Cossette's deep dive into the era of Saul's reign. That she has done a great deal of research is evident. We learn about the possible changes in belief when the tribes east of the Jordan were separated so long from those west of that river. Error in belief may have easily crept in. An example is mixing in belief in the pagan goddess Asherah as the wife of Yahweh. (169) Readers are also reminded that bible stories were verbally transferred. One of the characters in this novel is such a story teller. What a difference in situation from our time when we can read those OT stories any time we wish.

I recommend this novel to readers who would like to gain a better understanding of how the tribes on both sides of the Jordan interacted and how their beliefs may have changed. You will also be reminded of other cultural practices of that day, such as arranged marriages, but you will also experience a touching love story. Cossette's writing style is a pleasure to read and I'll be looking for the next in this series.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Connilyn Cossette 
( is a Christy Award and Carol Award-winning author whose books have been found on ECPA and CBA bestseller lists. When she is not engulfed in the happy chaos of homeschooling two teenagers, devouring books whole, or avoiding housework, she can be found digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible to discover gems of grace that point to Jesus and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Although she and her husband have lived all over the country in their twenty-plus years of marriage, they currently call a little town south of Dallas, Texas, their home. Photo credit: Ami Trull Photography

Bethany House, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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