- Author: Stefanie Lozinski
- Series: Storm and Spire (Book 2)
- Releases Today!
- Synopsis: Wes, Celyseria and Kessara, now accompanied by a defected royal guard named Alder, navigate their tumultuous kingdoms in the aftermath of Wes’s actions.
- Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the ebook from the author. Opinions conveyed are my own.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.John 6:53-58
Lozinski cites this passage as a major inspiration for the first draft of the book. The Scriptural connection is quite apparent in light of the bread motif in Majesty. I really like that this communion verse was significant in the writing of a book that richly proclaims the goodness of Jesus. For me, this connection points to His beauty.
Compared to book one, Majesty delves more deeply into spiritual content, as we get more insight into the characters’ burgeoning relationships with the High One. Whereas Kessara, Wes and Celesyria are more in a place of walking by faith and praying to the God they don’t know very well, Alder receives dreams from Him.
One of Wes’s prayers is so beautiful! It’s in chapter seven and it’s such a great prayer to pray when feeling lost. I really appreciate books where I can pray along with the characters and receive the Lord’s ministry through it. I praise God for that!
There’s a gentle thread, throughout, about the importance of defending the helpless and about the sanctity of life. Lozinski wove these lines in deftly, and I appreciated that!
The “bread of hope” plays a clear symbolic role in the text, and prophecies continue to unfold. As is the case with respect to the characters’ relationships with the High One, there is more depth to these elements, this time around.
Portrayal and discussion of gender roles is fantastic. This is one of those things that I may or may not see in Christian fiction, but I was glad the author chose to deal with it explicitly.
There are some absolutely beautiful quotes about His love and sovereignty.
What I Liked
Overall, I liked book two much more than I liked book one, and felt that the writing was all-around stronger. With that said, there were some specific things that caught my attention.
First and foremost– the presentation of the Good News. Yes, yes, yes! Although concentrated in just a few parts of the story, this was done so very beautifully. I really appreciate that Lozinski focuses on God’s saving love, rather than talking about wrath and calling that Good News. At the same time, she acknowledges that we can’t understand everything He does. This is EXACTLY what I want to see in any book, and it’s so great in a book for teens. What higher commendation can I give? This is the message of Jesus’ love, and that is the most important thing!
The novel’s pacing was great. In this instance, book two benefited from being the second book in a sequence, because the characters and situations had already been introduced in book one. Whereas Magnify was warming up to the action, Majesty could dive right in. I think the action was faster paced, as well.
I have to admit that part of my increased interest was the romance element. I feel that Lozinksi did a fantastic job with this aspect, and I find it even more intriguing in light of how this element came about (the author explains in an end note to the reader). I think my interest was also heightened because I had the chance to read more from Kessara’s perspective, which was more relatable, for me.
Lozinski raises discussion points, a few times, with regard to gender roles and equality. I really like that she illustrates the strengths of each gender, without placing one above another. For example, Alder reflects his desire to protect Kessara from heavy burdens, “not because [she’s] weak, but because it’s beneath [her].” Kessara is shown to be brilliant and logical, as is her mother.
In another place, there’s discussion about what true strength is, in context of protectiveness. Also in conjunction with the theme of protectiveness, the author emphasizes that women shouldn’t have to fear for their safety, around men. Although that’s the world we live in, it is not the woman’s fault that evil people behave in certain ways. This is such an important point— and I’m all the happier to see it in a Christian YA novel.
I liked seeing how some of the mysteries/events of book one began to make more sense in the second book. It was neat to meet characters who were previously mentioned, but not introduced on page.
I will say that, while this book has more “content” than it’s predecessor, I would still consider it age appropriate, although I do have a trigger warning for certain readers– spoiler below.
There is a scene where one of the characters is ganged up on by a group of lecherous men who intend to sexually assault her. While she is rescued before that happens, the event is terrifying and she does get tossed around (but, as is clarified, fully clothed).
This is a book I’d highly and gladly recommend. While I would recommend reader discretion due to a possible trigger warning, I am so, so happy with the presentation of the GOOD news. Majesty is an excellent sequel that definitely improved upon book one.