08 September 2012

Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz, Book review

Publisher: Revell
ISBN-13: 978-0800720414

On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

My thoughts:

Laura Frantz needs little introduction as each of her Christian novels resounds with spirited historical authenticity and good fellowship! This latest novel promises to be as well received as her book 'The Colonel's Lady' - see review (here).

In 'Love's Reckoning', first book in The Ballantyne Legacy, you find yourself stepping in a tableau of 18th Century American frontier of such dimension, you can be certain to experience even the heat of a blacksmith's forge or the bitter cold of the winter of 1784!
Such is Laura Frantz's exquisite penmanship! She is well on her way to become the grand Dame of American Frontier Historical Fiction!

Silas Ballantyne is a man skilled in the art of ironwork and a wonderful fiddler, a Scotsman determined to carve a future for himself in the American wilderness. His stern devious master is inclined to hold with tradition: this new apprentice shall marry in the family thus establishing a stronger place for the blacksmith in the county.
Cunning Elspeth holds little appeal for Silas however once he meets Eden, the gentle daughter who thirsts for the 'Buick' word.

Once again Laura Frantz offers us a beautiful story to discover, each character richly defined, her historical research impeccable and the opportunity to learn about a country carved out of the wilderness by sheer audacity surely with God's blessings!

'Love's Reckoning' spans over a decade of bittersweet events leading us to witness the often heart wrenching events which plagues Silas and Eden's feelings for each other, their lives steadfastly promised to each other.

A novel as beautiful as the cover hinted at, the main characters' faith shining like a beacon in a storm, this first installment in the Ballantyne Legacy has much promise for a historical fiction aficionado such as myself!
Laura Frantz' special attention to such details as billets doux placed by Silas for Eden to uncover during her long hard days of toil are nothing but genial! There is a chance for us all to feel the quiver of tender feelings anew!
To say nothing of such lines as James Thompson Poetry:
'Thine is the balmy breath of morn, 
Just as the dew-bent rose is born...,

Love's Reckoning is a graceful story you will want to share with others, no matter their age, a story of strong will, determination and pure love. Standing fast despite the odds, Silas and Eden's love reflects the teachings of the Lord of the universe's love letter to us, as read in the Book of John!

Bravo! 5 Stars!!

“Available September 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


About the Author:

Laura Frantz tells us:
'I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized in our Baptist Church, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries...'

Read more about this lovely lady on her website (here).

I received this book free from BAKER/REVELL as part of their blogger review program.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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