Maker (Book Review)

  • Author: Stefanie Lozinski
  • Series: Storm and Spire
  • Available Now!
  • Synopsis: Danger escalates as Wes, Alder, Celesyria and Kessara continue in their efforts to restore rightful worship in kingdoms overtaken by darkness.
  • Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author. Opinions expressed are my own.

Note: Maker is book four in the Storm and Spire series. To avoid spoilers of books 1-3, please consider reading my review of book one, instead.

Scripture Connection

If we are faithless,

He remains faithful,

for He cannot disown Himself.

2 Tim. 2:13

I feel that this verse perfectly sums up the theme of Maker (and it’s also one of my favorite verses!).

Spiritual Themes

Maker is rich with spiritual content and I found it to be deeply encouraging. In it, we see characters at different stages of their walks. One character is in a place of deep sorrow and repentance, and she’s scared of her own weakness. Another person feels that she’s actively disobeying the High One.

The author could have used these instances to emphasize the importance of our faithfulness to God. When things get tough, we need to “try harder,” like Boxer from Orwell’s Animal Farm. But, instead, she chooses the truth: God’s faithfulness. Lozinski boldly affirms that when we are faithless, He is indeed faithful! Amen!

I continue the spiritual themes discussion in my section on the Codex Veritatis.

What I Liked

This series just keeps getting better and better! There is now just one book in the series left and I’m a little sad about leaving behind these characters I’ve come to know as friends. Maker was quite an emotional read for me, at points, in the best way. I teared up at multiple points, but it was because of the beauty of the narrative (and dialogue!), not because of sad/depressing events.

I also bookmarked a lot of content in this one—not for “content notes,” but because of the many powerful moments in the story. Maker, I am so grateful to report, is a book the Lord really used to speak to me. While I usually try to emphasize the positives, when I’m reviewing a book, this title is the one that tipped the scale for me, from “Sure, this is a fun book,” to “This. This is a book that I really want young people to read.” And the reading experience is all the more gratifying, because of the gradual build up of the spiritual themes/content.

In particular, I was so grateful for those scenes that emphasized the graciousness of God: His understanding of exactly who we are (and where we are!) and His willingness to have us approach Him.

In terms of the romance, Lozinski picks up, in a surprising way, where the last book left off. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that I know that different readers responded differently to the romance of book three. I really like how Lozinski approaches the opposite angle, in book four. Very well done on the author’s part!

I’m quite impressed with Lozinski’s ability to integrate new characters, as well. She started with a small group of main characters, which has grown, throughout the books. Even secondary characters, like Nazzan and Jaconiel, have now become familiar. As I discussed in my review of book three, I’ve really enjoyed seeing how the characters relate with one another.

Additionally, because this is a five book series, it’s been neat to see how the characters grow, throughout the arc. In this book, I was particularly impressed with the actions of the two main guys,Wes and Alder. Having walked with Wes since book one, I really enjoyed seeing his development and maturation. He says some beautiful, wise things, this time around. I don’t typically think about character development, throughout a series, but this is certainly something Lozinski is doing well.

Codex Veritatis

(Minor thematic spoiler)

Overall, this falls, resoundingly, into the “What I Liked” category. There is one line I feel worth noting, as a content bit, too.

Throughout the books, the Codex has appeared to symbolize the Bible. Characters have had access to only fragments of the ancient document, but the words they read proved life-changing.

Maker, very appropriately, deals with the High One’s revealing truth through the Codex. During one discussion, characters consider whether universal access to the codex would overturn society’s idolatrous worship. There’s a line about how, without the High One illuminating truth, the Codex would be just another book. We also read that, even if the physical artifact is destroyed, the High One’s words CANNOT be destroyed, and He doesn’t need a book, in order to speak. (John 1:3 Jesus is the Word! And in Him, ALL things were created!)

I think this discussion is deeply relevant as I do believe that we need the Holy Spirit to intervene. If the Bible is the Word of God, we need God to interpret it for us! As we see in Jesus’s temptation, others can warp these words. I find Lozinski’s writing here to be refreshing and valuable, because I think the western church often emphasizes that, with the right tools (i.e., commentary and exegesis), we can interpret the Word of God. This activity is reduced to a mental exercise, rather than a reliance on the Heavenly Father.

There’s just one line I want to mention, which works narratively, but doesn’t work for me in direct correspondence to the Bible. That’s a line about how people decided to write the Codex: “They began to write a book, filling it with the truth about the High One and about history.”

I recognize that this is, of course, fantasy, so it doesn’t make sense that every detail is going to “map” to reality. I just wanted to note that this is one way the Codex seems to be different than the Bible.

Content Notes

This book has some kissing, again. There’s also a scene where a group of bandits is capturing/assaulting a woman. This scene is not graphic, but there are cues as to the men’s intentions. This scene also reminds Kessara of her own frightening experience.

Recommendation Status

So highly recommended! For me, the events and discussions of the novel boil down to a single powerful truth: “When we are faithless, He is faithful, for God cannot disown Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). Our faith will not be enough! But the Maker is faithful.

Published by Stephaniesninthsuitcase

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

2 thoughts on “Maker (Book Review)

  1. Thank you SO much for this! I shared it on my Facebook author page as well ❤ Beautiful words and I really appreciate how much you take out of my stories – makes me feel like I'm doing stuff at least somewhat right, hehe

    Liked by 1 person

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