Title: Trust and Obey
Author: Faith Blum
Series: Tales of the East, book 1 (can be a stand-alone)
Major Themes: Ancient Israel, Biblical Fiction
Synopsis: When Hadassah and Gidal’s parents cannot pay their debt to the priestess, they are taken slaves until payment can be made…will they ever make it back home alive?
Recently, several authors I follow all had books coming out at the same time, so I was kept busy catching up on reviews. Trust and Obey, the first in the Tales of the East series, is written by an author I’ve followed for quite a while. I’ve always appreciated her stories—they can tend to be a little on the simplistic side (plot-wise), but there’s a charm to them, too, and I really enjoy the faith aspects and characters. So when I saw new Biblical fiction from Blum coming out next, I knew I wanted to read it—and I wasn’t disappointed!
I was really surprised when I started reading Hadassah and Gidal’s story. I was drawn in right away, instantly sympathizing with them in their trouble and rooting for their triumph.
David is running from Saul, trying to follow the Lord. The Lord has left Saul, and he’s floundering, trying to figure out what to do next. And in the meantime, Hadassah and Gidal’s parents are in debt to a woman who claims to be the Lord’s priestess, but her actions don’t line up. Can they stay safe—even when they’re put into slavery because their parents can’t pay? And what do David and Saul have to do with this false priestess?
Like I said before, I was surprised when I was sucked into Trust and Obey right away. I always hope that will happen with me, and it often doesn’t. It wasn’t like this book was the most heart-stopping read ever, or anything like that! But I enjoyed it. It was a good break from the normal fast-paced adventure novel, or romance novel, and a reminder that sometimes even the little things can be a blessing.
I loved the theme in this story of obeying even when we don’t necessarily understand why we should. It could come off as tacky or unrealistic in the setting that it was in here, but I appreciated it anyway.
Overall, while this wasn’t the absolute greatest book I’ve read lately, I really appreciated it, and think it would be a great book to hand to a tween/early teenager. It’s good, solid reading material that follows the Biblical account very well, and contains a great message.
I requested a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Chapter 7 has a fight in it, describes a man seeing King Saul die (a suicide—little more detail than the Bible), and mentions someone taking Saul’s head. It also includes them burning the bodies of dead men after the battle, so they could give them a proper burial. In chapter 9, there is more fighting and a man is killed. Chapter 13 has a girl tied up in a room while someone tries to burn the house down around her. Chapter 15 tells of another man who was killed.
Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15