About the Book
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother's death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah's father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.
As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
About the Author
Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out from Egypt and Cities of Refuge series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the 2017 Christy Award, INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing's Best Award. She lives with her husband of twenty-one years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com.
As a genre, Biblical fiction is one of the most difficult to write. The author must be well-versed not only in the ancient historical setting, but also of course in the Bible itself. To break it down further, crafting stories that occur during the time of the Old Testament adds to the challenge because the mindset is different. There is a shift from being under the law in the Old Testament to faith and forgiveness in Christ after the Resurrection, as exemplified in Galatians 3:24-25: “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” This change in the way of life distinguishes the Old and New Testaments and as such establishes a requisite precedent for any writing in the genre.
Connilyn Cossette fulfills these standards with aplomb in book three of the Cities of Refuge series, “Until the Mountains Fall.” Opening in the serene refuge city of Kedesh in 1380 BC, this story employs fictional main characters to transport the reader to ancient Israel, bringing the Old Testament vividly to life and foreshadowing the coming of Christ. Despite the differences of living in a post-Resurrection world today, many themes remain the same, now embodied with even more hope in the realization of the Savior. As a result, this story resonates in a deeply intimate way, whether readers are familiar with the Bible or not.
Told in a dual first-person narrative, “Until the Mountains Fall” follows Rivkah and Malakhi along a twisting path to discovering the unrelenting grace of Yahweh (God). Following the death of her new husband, Rivkah is subject by the Torah law to a levirate marriage, in which she will marry her husband’s brother, Malakhi. My heart ached for Rivkah from the outset. She is very independent and intelligent and has an arrogance about her that leads her to rebel against how trapped she feels. Still, rather than disliking her character, I felt empathy and pity for her. I appreciated that she was a female scribe who loved languages: “The dance of ink over finely woven plant fibers became an act of worship, a connection to the Creator of language himself, especially when the words of a new song spilled from my heart onto a sheet of papyrus.” What an incredible description of our God-given skills when we use them for His glory!
Like so many of us, Rivkah wants to be in control of her own life, and she ends up reaping the consequences of her irresponsible choices. Her betrothed, Malakhi, also endures the costs of her decisions, the reverberations of which reach farther than she could ever have realized. Rivkah’s faith journey becomes derailed as she drifts farther from Yahweh, only to ultimately come to realize that no one can outrun God’s magnificent grace.
Epitomizing the story of the prodigal, “Until the Mountains Fall” is an engaging story with a beautiful message of redemption. The time lapses in the narrative are at times somewhat disconcerting but contrast well with the gradual and thoughtful unveiling of the storyline. There are plenty of twists that enhance the plot and take it far beyond a simple romance, as well as tear-jerker scenes. There is some mature and violent content, but it is tastefully done, without graphic details, and these scenes are integral to the story. Although each book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading the Cities of Refuge series in order, as the characters carry over and their stories intertwine. Regardless, though, “Until the Mountains Fall” is a breathtaking, heartrending, and ultimately redemptive story of deliverance, highlighting the grace, mercy, and loving care of God, our Abba Father.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.