Truth (Makilien, #1) By Molly Evangeline

Once upon a time there was a distant corner of the land that remained separated from the rest of the world. Almost no one ever left the quaint little village, and strangers were very rare and generally distrusted.

The villagers are content and happy with their life, except for our MC. Then one day a stranger comes to town. An older man with grey in his hair and who is by far stranger than anyone else who's stopped by.

While most people avoid him and decide he's a troublemaker, MC approaches him to find more about the world outside.

He informs her that the world is very different from what she knows. There is a great evil out there. Not a person, just EVIL incarnate. And he wants to control the whole world.

He agrees to meet her at a later date, but is captured and doesn't make the meeting.

She takes matters into her own hands and leaves her village and heads to... well she's not sure where. South. She steps outside the fence and thinks:

(I swear, I'm not making any of this up. At about 10% I was done, but this was too amusing/annoying not to pursue further.)

Character is walking near the road when she hears something and dives into the forest and behind a tree.

Someone shout, Quick! Get off the road!

Then arrives... A host of guards dressed all in black on black horses.

They(of course) stop right at that spot where she went off the road to discuss what to do and let her know who they're chasing(in case there was doubt). Also one of them stares oddly into the trees where she's at. Now the chances of someone stopping right where she hid and then eyeballing the forest as if hey i might've stopped right where she's hiding and should stare at those trees are pretty low, but you know... maybe he had a strong sense of smell.

She continues on her way and reaches a village that's slightly larger than her own. She pulls up her hood and it starts to rain.

She finds an inn(the Red Boar or something. Thank goodness it wasn't the prancing boar...) and when the innkeeper asks her business she lets him know that her business is her own.

He finds her a room. Later she goes down to the main room and gets something to eat. (no fear, she avoids pints). She foolishly leaves her gold carrying pouch showing.

This causes a stir and vagabonds descend. (the sad part is I said to my friends a few pages before this that I'd let them know when a certain ranger appeared) But no worries, she is rescued by a person she's never met before but who steps in and saves her.

[image error] Molly Evangeline I don’t normally read fantasy. Most ‘Christian’ fantasy seems to be me just to be an excuse for witchcraft, and other things that I hate. Truth is a wonderful exception to the norm. Reading it was like breathing a breath of fresh air in the fantasy world.

I bought this book because the plot sounded compelling, and I was trying to find some fantasy that my siblings might like. I was totally unprepared for what I found, a fantasy series that I can’t wait to finish; A book that at times took my breath away with its poignant words.

What I loved about this book.
There was absolutely no witchcraft or magic of any kind! I was so pleased!
One of the things I hate about most fantasy books is the allegories of faith. Molly Evangeline didn’t make God to be a king or something in her books, even though there is an allegory. God is a deity, not anything else.

I loved Makilien. Her search for purpose and meaning in life echo the hearts cry of so many people. This message is so easy to relate to, I am sure it will bless many who read it. Makilien was a well-developed character, I feel like I know her.

Things you might want to know.
Although I feel like this book is appropriate for all ages, some might find some of the creatures disturbing. Molly doesn’t go into too much detail (or so I felt) but there are some evil creatures.

For my friends who don’t like romance books, you are in luck! This book had no romance. I get the feeling that Makilien might have some romance in a future book, but if it is anything like Molly’s other books, it will be God honoring.

If you are looking for a great fantasy book that is clean and wholesome, I recommend Truth.

“I don't think I have the faith to believe in Elohim.
But He Always believes in you.” ~ From Truth by Molly Evangeline
Quote used with permission. Molly Evangeline Thrilling the imagination ... Stirring the heart ... Impacting the soul ...

Truth swept me into a beautiful story of finding the truth of God, fighting evil, and forming bonds of love. Makilien is a young woman trapped in a village devoid of truth. Her family accepts it; but she just cannot. There’s something more out there, she knows it in her heart. So she embarks on an incredible journey in search of truth… and finds that and more.

Oh my goodness, I just can’t even find the words to describe this book properly. At first it went at a little slower pace, and I was just reading it now and then, and enjoying it. Then it became so much more! The characters were unforgettable, the relationships so real and personal. I got goose-bumps on the part where the shepherd appears to Makilien and reveals who he is. Makilien’s struggle with accepting Elohim was is such a real thing, and when she did, it was just wonderful! :) With humor, tenderness, anticipation, and surprises, Truth is a vivid and beautiful Christian allegory.

Thank you for writing this, Molly Evangeline, I loved it! :) :) Molly Evangeline Review coming soon! :D Molly Evangeline When the author posted on her blog a post for volunteers to read and review her books, and that she would send the volunteers a free book. I sent her an email at once volunteering to read Truth, the first book in her fantasy trilogy

And I’m glad I did!

The story is allegorical to the spiritual struggle of God’s people against the evils of the world. I loved the Christian Allegory in this book, and how it was handled. As Makilien goes through her journey, her new friends introduce her to Elohim, about whom she has her doubts. How can she believe in something she can’t see? Later she meets Manian … who was masterfully done.

In fact, the only issues I have with the book was that Makilien seemed to lack a feminine side.

For full review see this link: Molly Evangeline

Trapped in a village no one is allowed to leave, Makilien yearns for the answers to her questions about life and the world outside the village walls. Yet no one but her closest friend seems to understand or share her desire. Despite her family's fears and warnings of the consequences, she is determined to find answers.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger, and the knowledge he possesses, drives Makilien to drastic action. Confronted with a world she knows nothing about, she must choose carefully who to trust as both good and evil lurk in all places. As a battle looms, one in which will be determined the fate of all, she must decide whether to believe in the One who is truth or fall prey to the lies of the enemy.

(Young Adult/Christian Fiction) Truth (Makilien, #1)

I was drawn into the storyline almost immediately. I felt for Makilien as she tried to discover the truth in a city determined to hide it. I love how Makilien grows throughout the book, and her decision at the end.

The elves? Need I say more? These are everything you think of about elves: tall, graceful, live in the woods. But with a sense of humor. Lots of humor.

I enjoyed the adventure of this book. It’s a straight forward good-vs-evil, epic battle, adventure story with Christian themes weaved into it.
Molly Evangeline I really like this book! Molly did an awesome job! It has a Middle-Earth feel, yet it was refreshingly different.

The book always kept my attention and I kept wanting to read more. And I panicked when I lost my phone because I was mid-chapter. ;)

When there's fighting in this, it's not super descriptive, but not totally vague. Points for that!

And there were a few things that bothered me, but overall I loved it! If Goodreads gave half stars, I would give Truth 4.5 stars.

I loved this book and can't wait to read more by Molly! Molly Evangeline What a great book! Love the works by this author! Molly Evangeline Picking back up later Molly Evangeline I love fantasy novels. If you browse through my Goodreads profile or my bookshelves at home, you'll find lots of it. Tolkien and Pratchett are some of my favorite authors. I even made an impassioned effort to really enjoy the Inheritance Cycle, almost more because of the fact that I had to support young writers (solidarity and all that) than because I was particularly interested in dragon riders (I do love dragons, let it be known; even written an entire novel about them, but that is neither here nor there). So when I heard about Ms. Evangeline, I was rather excited. There aren't many Christian fantasy authors, much less female Christian fantasy authors and, while Christian fiction usually isn't quite my thing--I'm more familiar with George R.R. Martin than with Francine Rivers--I figured that getting a free book in exchange for a review wouldn't be too bad. I'm a sucker for free books.

Truth is the story of Makilien, a young woman from a small village in the north of an undefined fantasy world. This village is held in subjection to Zirtan, the devil-figure of this world, who portrays himself as a benevolent father to the people he has subjugated. Makilien, though, feels as if something is off about this story and, after a stranger shows up in the village (before promptly disappearing), she determines to set off and find out the truth...not just about Zirtan, but about her life and what it's supposed to mean. So begins an adventure.

There were parts of Truth which were superb. The moral--which was fuzzy in some places, but clear in others--was also quite a good one. Truth is to be found in One, and that One is not made of darkness. Makilien's story reiterates this idea over and over. Some of the backstories were amazing--I loved the Shaike, especially. I'm a sucker for well-written baddie armies, and the Shaike certainly seem to deliver at first blush. I also loved the two Elvish brothers--Elandir and Elmorhirian--who, despite their tongue-bending names (two of many such names), were absolutely hilarious. Brotherly banter will forever own my heart.

Many of the other characters, however, were easily forgotten. Backstories were revealed too late--in Sirion's case--or not at all, as with probably three-quarters the supporting cast. Even characters who weave their lives throughout the story, as with Halondar and Torick, are barely fleshed-out, and the reader is left wondering just who these men Makilien is trusting her most intimate secrets with are, precisely.

Then again, Makilien poses her own problems. Of all the characters, she was, to my regret, the one I found least relatable. She strikes the reader as a tourist, simply wandering through her own world with wide-eyed unconcern for what is actually happening, putting herself in situations where she is sure to be hurt, going off into things she's always been told are dangerous without a second's thought. Other than this appalling lack of common sense, there is nothing significant about her, no reason in-universe that she shouldn't be shuffled off into a corner, safely out of sight and in why is she not? A far more compelling choice of main character in my opinion, for the reader, would have been Halandor or Torick, or even Vanawyn if the author had absolutely had to have a female main character.

As it is, Makilien reads like a badly written self-insert in a world she is nothing but a hapless observer in. It is strange to me, then, that her in-universe companions seem so eager to let her engage in this tourism: Halandor allows her to go into numerous dangerous situations without ever questioning her decision or--what would be far more likely in a cultural setting such as this--simply telling her she is not going. Inexperienced, weak young women are liabilities to fighting men, no matter their special messages from the God-figure in their allegorical world--especially when other, perfectly capable young women (/coughvanawyncough/) are left out of these same dangerous situations, apparently due to some cultural norm despite her apparent training and skill level. As a reader, I'm mildly confused by the decision to go with this particular character as the main viewpoint character.

As always, however, there is more than one element to a story. If the characters are less than engaging, but the story is good, I can generally ignore the bad bit and move on--and vice versa. However, even the general plot and movement of Ms. Evangeline's novel struck me as both dreadfully familiar and rather stiff. It almost feels, in places, as if Truth is attempting to be not so much a thinly-veiled allegory of the Bible as it is of Lord of the Rings. Being as familiar with that story as I am, it was difficult to ignore the parallels of Minarald/Minas Tirith, Halandor/Aragorn, and the the various other creatures and characters that populate Dolennar. Even this, however, would be forgiveable, because I've found myself unconsciously borrowing from sources before--and such a source as Lord of the Rings, which has infected all of modern fantasy is hard to get out of one's system completely.

Yet even the bits of the plot that weren't (hopefully unintentionally) borrowed left me underwhelmed. The conflict moved too quickly in the beginning, and Makilien's movement through the world was alternately rushed and far too slow, leaving me simultaneously bored and trying to keep up. This was exacerbated by the lack of detail and emotion in the exposition. As Makilien sees this beautiful world that neither of us have ever seen, she rarely narrates any of the things she loves to sketch with more than a few words--or, in the case of one of the Elven cities, with no description at all.

Even amidst all this, with Makilien breathlessly narrating near the end about how heartbroken she was at saying goodbye to all her friends, throughout the preceding chapters, I felt nothing. As a reader, there was no growth of companionship or true friendship; only Makilien, the lonely observer of the world around her, never quite letting me see the world, keeping me an arm's length away from it--and from the people in it, too. Even Meniah, who is supposed to be so important that they'd trade fighting men for him, seems distant and flat. Like the others, he is a plot device for Makilien's story, not a real person with his own story that is briefly intersecting with Makilien's before going off on its own.

There are brief exceptions to these things. The Elven brothers are engaging and amazing. Sirion and Makilien have a beautiful relationship (even if I dare you to tell me that thing ain't gonna turn romantic at some point because come on, that boy screams love interest in every known language on earth). I can sense the mythos this world could have, and it makes me at least a little interested to see how Ms. Evangeline could take this if she wanted to.

Two stars. Molly Evangeline

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