a flight of arrows // a book review

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review*

Greetings, my beloved pineapples. Today I finally decided to get off my lazy butt and write a review that's been due for a while now! The deal was, I had gotten it from Book Bloggers as a reviewer's copy, but it was the second book in the series, and it's just one of those series where you HAVE to read them from the beginning. So, I had to get the first book from the library. The thing is, we were kind of taking a break from the library (idk my mom just stopped going there for a while don't ask why, I'm not sure why) and so it just took an embarrassingly long time to get myself to read the first book so that I could read the second book and write this review.

And now I'm rambling again.


ANYWAYS, without further ado!

//the book 

October 1776--August 1777

It is said that what a man sows he will reap--and for such a harvest there is no set season. No one connected to Reginald Aubrey is untouched by the crime he committed twenty years ago. 

Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own. Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalist refugees eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile. Coming to terms with who and what he is proves impossible, but if he breaks his Loyalist oath, he'll be no better than the man who constructed his life of lies.

Not Anna, Reginald's adopted daughter, nor Two Hawks, William's twin, both who long for Reginald to accept their love despite the challenges they will face, building a marriage that bridges two cultures. 

Not Good Voice and Stone Thrower, freed of bitterness by a courageous act of forgiveness, but still yearning for their firstborn son and fearful for the future of their Oneida people.

As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

//the review 

writing style: 3/5
This was actually one of the biggest problems for me. The plot, the characters, the setting, I loved it all! But when it came down to the writing in general, I felt it was too slow and (I really hate saying this) boring a lot of the time. Certain parts lacked climax, others were drawn too long. 

However, there were some very tasteful elements that Benton included in the book that I did enjoy! A lot of the descriptions were beautiful, and that made it bearable when things got slooooow. 

characters: 5/5
Okay, pineapples. Let's talk about these characters (?!). 

basically me ^^
While the writing was slow, and the development was equally as slow, the characters pretty much saved the day for me. BLESS THEM. They're all so cool in their own blessed way! Although more time passes in the first book (about 20 years), we get to see their fruit in the second book, which was so encouraging and challenging and I cried. 

Each of the characters are dealing with their own baggage. For Reginald, he was dealing with so much guilt and self-loathing, and doesn't even want to try to see that God's mercy is just a heartbeat away. He sees grace in the other characters, but refuses to allow that kind of peace for himself. I think the author did a marvelous job with Reginald! He's so lost, but refuses to be found, and yet God never leaves his side. The Lord's amazing agape love is shown through several choice characters, trying to draw this one lost sheep to the foot of the cross. I love it!

Lydia was as strong a character you'll ever come by. She knows things, and yet she loves with God's agape love and is a light in a darkened house. She's constantly pointing other's to Jesus, and ministering to the needy. I was so inspired by her servant's heart! 

One character I can relate to was Anna. Her walk with the Lord was rough. She wanted to follow what is good and right, yet her flesh would combat that knowledge. In obeying the Lord, she must first lay down her own will and give everything to the Lord... and that is SO not easy! Her heart wants left, but the Lord is calling her right. I loved watching her grow in this book. It was so wonderful to see someone with this kind of faith, not perfect but growing-- like so many Christians out there. I know I can relate with her! 

TWO HAWKS (or Jonathan). Oh my word! Can we just... take a moment... *silence* *happy sigh*... okay. Let me just begin by saying, I want to marry a Two Hawks. He was amazing. Utterly, divinely amazing. His faith, his walk with the Lord. He was so devote, and honoring, and he just loved the Lord so much! Even when awkward moments conjured, he acted with utmost integrity and, with the Lord's strength, self control. I just really love him you guys. He had to face so many things in his lifetime, and yet his faith is so unwavering. He doesn't know the future, but he knows who holds the future and that is enough for him. 

I feel like although he made up so much of the main plot, William didn't really play a huge role. I mean. OBVIOUSLY he did. But like, I feel like he was hardly there. I really was hoping to get to know him better in the second book, but that hope was squashed when all the scenes with him were the bland parts (except for the occasional "I wonder what my real family is like" parts). I really really really hate saying stuff like that, but I honestly just made myself push through those chapters to get to the next character POV's. 

Good Voice and Stone Thrower were a showering of blessings and mercy! In the book, both were already saved and walking the straight and narrow. And both just dripped of God's mercy and agape love, especially towards Reginald. Both were broken by their loss, but both had turned away from the bitterness and instead turned to God's grace. There were so many parts with these two where I just sat back and was just like "Wow." They are so incredible! 

Oh and Strikes-the-War... she was fierce. 'Nuff said. 

setting + plot: 5/5
The plot, though sad at times, was fantabulous! I mean. Twins separated at birth? BLESS YOUR HEART LORI BENTON. 

I have an odd obsession with twins :) 

Back to the review! I really enjoyed the plot because it was dramatic, and heartbreaking, and it was very well executed (minus the slow pace). Another plus was that, while there were so many characters and names, each one played an important role and none of them are just random. So while there are more names to remember, I'm not mad because they all drove the plot. 

There were so many "Noooooooooo!!! YOU'RE SO CLOSE!!!" moments, I would literally scream and kick my legs. It was pretty frustrating... but in a good way! 

Like I said above, the only thing that really really annoyed me was how slow the plot was. A lot was supposed to be happening, but it didn't feel that way because it was all in slow motion. 

OH AND CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT TO EXAMINE THESE SHIPS: it be like we FedEx or somethin'
ship ship ship ship ship
And they sail so  beautifully
my heart is so happy. 

Lydia and Reginald: I've always loved the "took you long enough to know I've loved you for 20 flippin' years" kind of romances. This was no exception! Lydia and Reginald were adorable and, although their ages were very far apart, it wasn't awkward at all. I feel like it was executed very nicely and appropriately. Lydia was patient and loving, and even when Reginald would rebuff her attention, she let the Lord handle his heart and just ministered to him in the only ways she knew how: prayer and kindness. 

Two Hawks and Anna: OKAY. Can I just... seriously I need to just marry this guy. Like right now. One thing I LOVE about their relationship, was that Two Hawks knew when to take the lead and when to tell Anna no. Unlike a lot of other so-called Christian books where the guy and girl are like, "Oh, we shouldn't be doing this blah blah blah" and yet neither of them stop anything, THEY ACTUALLY STOP IN THIS BOOK. *victory dance* That makes me happier than you can ever understand. It shows chastity, self control, and who they are choosing to follow. I love how tentative Two Hawks was about how he went about courting Anna, and how he wanted everything that they did in their relationship to honor God and her father, even if that went against what they wanted. He was patient, and she learned to lean on the Lord. Both displayed a huge huge HUGE amount of grace in doing so, which I believe makes the perfectly imperfect (but that's why it's perfect) relationship! 

I enjoyed reading this book, even with its shortcomings. The characters were marvelous and the conclusion was... *inaudible bookish fangirling* EEEEP. 

“You remember to trust in Heavenly Father. Life is a blessing, but it is also a testing. Take the one as you do the other and trust Him who allows all. Trust what Creator is doing, though we cannot understand it or see the full path.”