Friday, May 13, 2016

Book Tour & My Review: A FIRE THAT HEALS

"A Lost Faith Is Never Too Far Gone"

Serena is devastated when her lifelong friend, Aminadab, is banned from Zarahemla for abandoning his faith and persecuting the saints. To add to her despair, she loses the rare ruby her father entrusted to her and she feels all is lost.
Unbeknownst to her, Aminadab finds the ruby, and takes it as his only reminder of Serena. As an outcast, Aminadab and his company of dissenters seek refuge among the Lamanites, who happen to be the very people who killed his parents. Not only is his anxiety high for being surrounded by these bloodthirsty people, but he quickly discovers he’s in the middle of a Gadianton plot to start a war between the Nephites and Lamanites.

Selling the ruby soon becomes the only option Aminadab has at escaping the volatile life he finds himself in. However, this act might forever banish him from ever being in Serena’s graces again. 

In D Vansen’s Book of Mormon adventure, Aminadab must choose which side he’s on in a reflective journey of self-discovery, while Serena must stay faithful and hold onto the hope that a lost faith is never too far gone.

D Vansen lives in Northern Utah with her family. After serving a LDS mission, she developed a love for the Book
of Mormon and its eternal truths. She claims that if you ever want the scriptures and its characters to come to life, 
plot a novel from them. She loves all things artistic, unless it involves combining food ingredients. Thank heavens
she has children that will help with that specific talent.

Connect with the Author here: 

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this fiction book based on a period of time in the history of the Book of Mormon. The characters were engaging, particularly those of Aminadab and Kinnor.

Yes, Kinnor in some respects was your typical snarling, insulting villain, but his methodology as portrayed throughout the story was so typical of how self-serving individuals with a lust for power and control trap others into doing their bidding and make it almost impossible to break away and go another direction. How he operated was a textbook example of what people need to watch out for to avoid that situation. The author handled it very well.

Serena was a sweetheart, but not overly believable to me. Her romantic interest in Aminadab and interactions with family and friends were believable. However, the portrayal of her being a young single woman from a poor section of the city, yet a great personal friend with two of the most highly-placed religious and/or political powers in her society, sounded nice, but did not ring true to me. As little as women are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, I suspect the attitudes towards women in that society were much like they were in much of the old world of Asia Minor—they were considered irrelevant outside the walls of their home. I doubt the women from poor families befriended and rubbed elbows with the top leaders.

Aminadab allowed himself to be taken in by Kinnor’s initial promises because he fell into a way of thinking experienced by many people. A family tragedy influenced him to believe that because bad things happen to good people, there must not be a God. If God does live, He does not care about people. Otherwise He would always protect and save those who are living good lives. It is a hard concept to accept that, to God, death is not a tragedy. In order to not interfere with the gift of free agency each person on earth has received, He will not always prevent death and suffering, but he will make it up in the next life. Because of this struggle, Aminadab resisted the established religious leaders of his day. It is a struggle timeless in nature, and I very much like how the author handled it.

Overall, the author did an excellent job of taking, not even a secondary character in the Book of Mormon, but the name of a tertiary character at best, and developing a plausible story of how he could be in the right place at the right time to speak out to non-believers among the enemies of his people.

There is plenty of action in this story—to fully enjoy this book it helps to not be squeamish—and plenty of human nature to ponder over. This is more of an inspirational action adventure novel, but the romance elements in it are clean and proper. I highly recommend it.

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 A lost faith is never too far gone: A FIRE THAT HEALS by D. Vansen book review by @robyn_echols


  1. Thank you Robyn for your kind review. And thank you for hosting me on your blog.

  2. I did want to pose a thought about not feeling it was likely that Serena who is from the poor side of the city would be close with Nephi and Lehi. They had more of a connection with her because her father saved their father's life, but also I believe that they (Nephi and Lehi who were faithful examples) tried to practice the doctrine of loving God and all men.