Friday, October 23, 2009

Ginger Garrett's In the Arms of Immortals ~ Reviewed

In the Arms of Immortals
Book II Chronicles of the Scribe
Ginger Garrett
David C. Cook, publisher
ISBN: 978-0-7814-4888-8

Sicily, 1347. It starts with a strange ship in the village harbor. That night an old man falls ill… then the baker’s wife… then a street urchin. By morning half the townspeople are dead and more are dying—horribly. Civic order breaks down. Wolves move in from the countryside. And no one has a clue what is happening or how to stop it. Not the local priest. Not the rich baron. Not the baron’s proud daughter, nor the powerful knight who loves her. Certainly not the outcast healer whom many call a witch.

Only the Destroyer and the unseen Watchers know the real story… along with an unwilling visitor from another time. Mariskka recognizes the Black Death that will soon decimate Europe. But she has no voice to speak, no way to help… until she dares open her pain-hardened heart to the unfathomable truth.

Not only does Ginger Garrett take one of her main characters back to the past, but by reading In the Arms of Immortals, you’ll travel along as well—and it’s not a fluffy B&B excursion. As much as I personally love to view history through romantic colored glasses, the ugly side of humanity and sin is revealed through this tale…which makes the amazing love and mercy God holds for His creation all the more awesome.

What really shines through in Garrett’s characterization is that you’ll not only find bits and pieces of yourself in the hero and heroine but also in the antagonist. Panthea is a woman who slowly gives herself over to sin, and it all starts with simple little thoughts she knows she shouldn’t be harboring. How many times have I caught myself doing the very same thing? A great reminder that the path leading away from God is taken one step at a time. But though this is a dark tale, the hope God offers is woven throughout. Even until her dying breath, Panthea is offered complete and total forgiveness.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the glimpses Garrett gives of the unseen spirits around us. There’s a reason the first thing out of an angel’s mouth is, “Fear not.” You’ll understand why after you read some of the shocking descriptions of these immortals.

With the usual Garrett style, In the Arms of the Immortals is filled with wit, irony and truth, all packed into a fast paced story. Make sure to buckle up for a great ride when you crack this book open…a satisfying adventure indeed!

Review by: Michelle Griep

Bonus Review:

Ginger Garrett has a unique talent for blending history, imagination and the supernatural. In the Chronicles of the Scribes series Garrett takes a slice of history, looks at it through a different than usual angle, then slips in a present-day character who sees/participates or "writes" the story. Then, if that's not enough plot, there is the addition of angels and demons.

In the Arms of Immortals finds a thief being sent back to mutely witness the Sicilian plague. As the story unfolds, so does the horror and the sorrow of the time and of the choices made by the thief. Garrett writes with realism and poetry at times, but the scene changes were sometimes choppy. I found it difficult to love the story but it was a fascinating read. Anyone who is a fan of tweaky historicals might want to check it out.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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