Their newest book is Tenth Stone in their series The A.D. Chronicles. I read it over the weekend. Yep, the whole book. Stayed up entirely too late Sunday night to finish it (and I'm still recovering!).
I am amazed at the attention to detail, the characters these authors bring to life on these pages, the captivating plots they create. Each book in the series could stand alone, but yet is also interwoven with not only the books from this series, but previous series they've written.
I've read so many of their books, but haven't written about them mainly because I think I should review the first book in a series, but not necessarily the rest of the books. And it's been awhile since I read First Light, the first book in this particular series.
However, in Tenth Stone, the Thoenes return to several characters they introduced in the second book Second Touch. I am so happy to read more about them, that I had to write about Tenth Stone.
Lily is the character I am just thrilled to know. She was a leper, cast from her own home as a child, who found her way to the valley of Mak'ob, home to a community of lepers. In Second Touch, you learn her story, her tender heart towards her fellow lepers and towards her God.
The thing I love most about Lily is her prayers. I remember a sermon once preached on Psalm 96:1 "Sing to the Lord a new song." I could not imagine singing a new song to God every day or even several times a day - until I met Lily.
Every time Lily prays, she gives God a new name. She did it in Second Touch, and does it again in Tenth Stone. Each new name for God comes from the situation she is currently dealing with - external pressures, internal fears, or both. Here's just a small sampling:
"I am praying again, Lord Who Knows the Hearts of All Men - rich and poor, proud and humble." (pg 90)
"I am praying again, You Who Command the Angels I Can't See. Did you tell them to remind Yod we shouldn't be afraid?" (pg 199)
"I am praying again, You Who Number the Stars and Number the Grains of Sand and Count the Stones of Zion among Your Treasures." (pg 211)
"I am praying again, You Who Sent the Redeemed to the Safety of Exile. ... Oh Lord, God of Exiles, Guardian of Ha-Golah, the exiled Stones of Zion, so it has come to this. You, our Redeemer, are in Exile with us all." (pg 220)
Tenth Stone is a great book - entertaining and interesting. It's also a great book to on understanding prayer, faith and what it looks like in everyday (well, perhaps not everyday), earthly circumstances.
Who of us has not been afraid? Take Lily's prayer from pg 199 and make it your own, praying through what is making you afraid. Who of us has not felt unnoticed, uncared for, or perhaps even lost in the midst of a much larger struggle? Take Lily's prayer from pg 211 and make it your own.
For me, the mark of a great book is one which captures my attention while also subtly teaching me a lesson. The Thoene's books do just that.