I love a good series and that’s how I feel towards RJ Larson’s second installment in ‘the Infinite Series’.
The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don’t involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien’s frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as a military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs to the Infinite to worship a new goddess.
But why Kien? Isn’t this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne?
Seeking answers, Kien visits Ela and finds her stricken by a devastating vision of her own. Her birthplace, Parne, has been corrupted by her enemies and will soon suffer judgment. As Parne’s prophet, Ela must risk her life and travel to warn her people of the coming disaster.
Separated from his beloved Ela, Kien sets off on his own journey to accomplish the Infinite’s will. But Kien is determined to do whatever he judges as right in order to rejoin Ela and save her from the destruction she envisions for Parne.
The first thing that made me love this book was the fact that on page one I immediately fell into the humorous rhythm of the story. Kien never disappoints in his interactions with Scythe/Pet and it was enough to carry us into the deeper regions of the story. In all honesty I’m left with more mixed emotions at the end of this novel (there were parts of the story that I loved and parts that I not so loved), but I still like the story enough to recommend it to others, so if you are planning to read this novel and don’t mind some spoilers, read on. And if you are planning on reading it and you don’t care for spoilers then I must apologize… please skip this blog post.
First of all Judge had a great theme of forgiveness and patience threaded all throughout both Kien and Ela’s adventures. But I actually liked Ela’s adventures in the story more than Kien’s simply because she had more action. While Kien failed his first mission, gotten eaten by a whale and was spit up in another country to deliver God’s words which got him only a bit closer to Parne (I have never laughed so hard at someone breaking their toes until reading Judge)…
Ela stopped a riot from happening, discovered that her father was being framed, faced the persecution from her own city’s priests, suffered the death of her ‘favorite little one‘ and was dropped in a well towards the end of the novel – not to mention while working signs and wonders in the midst of Parne’s destruction. I mean, Holy Cow! Ela did a lot and proved herself to be faithful to the Lord in the midst of all of her trials but she was very cranky. I think it was because she had to speak the Lord’s judgement over Parne and I sympathize with her on that but she really was cranky.
I loved to watch as Kien grew in his faith and his relationship with God. I liked how he began to slowly rely more and more on the voice of the Lord to guide his steps and keep him on the right path. I also loved how Mrs. Larson threaded that question of leaving our cares in the hands of the Lord, especially when we are helpless and can’t do anything in the natural. Both Ela and Kien battled with letting go of their fears for each other and had to trust the Almighty to get them through.
I also loved how Kien ended up right were we met him in Prophet, a lord on a mission. This time around Kien was fighting against the title, though he can’t do anything to refuse it, he tried to anyway. I think that this will be one of the next big tests for him as he learns what true leadership is about.
I was glad to see more of our background characters take a bit more stage light inJudge. Beka and Jon fit so nicely into the story’s plot that I wondered how we went through the first novel without them.
I also want a pet destroyer now. Scythe made the story so fun with his mood swings and fierce loyalty. It’s so funny how he protects both Kien and Ela with such ferocity and he won’t even let them hurt each other (they had an argument in the beginning of the story).
The only thing that I did not enjoy about Judge is that every time that Ela had a vision she suffered some kind of headache or bodily ailment and that seemed odd to me.
Annnnd the pacing in the middle of the book was a bit too slow for me.
This story gets three and a half stars from me. Don’t get me wrong I love the book and can’t wait to read the third one but the middle was slow for me annnd Kien’s part was kind of lacking that ‘something’ until he went to Siphra. In my opinion the book regains its momentum towards the end.
I will be reading King, the third book in this series which comes out this July so stay tuned everyone.
May He bless your steps and mine,