As Sure as the Dawn is the third and final book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers. I’ve reviewed the first book, A Voice in the Wind, and the second, An Echo in the Darkness, and I recommend reading those first. I’ll give you the synopsis and then my thoughts. This review will have slight spoilers.
Following A Voice in the Wind and An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure as the Dawn continues the chronicles of Hadassah, a Christian slave woman living during the height of the Roman Empire. She has saved the life of the scorned child of a disreputable Roman woman and the Germanic gladiator, Atretes. For her faith, Hadassah now languishes in condemnation, awaiting death in a dungeon beneath the arena. Atretes, who holds fast to his dreams of revenge for the slaughter of his people, wants his son back. So he seeks out John the Baptist, who is the key to finding the custodian of his son, and brings his war-weary soul closer to redemption.
This book is all about Atretes and his journey back to his homeland. In the first book we were introduced to Atretes as he became a Roman captive and forced to be a gladiator. In the second book Atretes is not really mentioned so I was curious if his storyline would be concluded in the third book and I’m glad that it was. I really enjoyed his character in the first book but in this one he grated on my nerves. That’s not the fault of Francine Rivers because the story was well written, it’s just how Atretes character developed. He’s very stubborn and headstrong to the point of stupidity. He does change somewhat as the story progresses and he becomes a Christian but I still found him annoying most of the time, haha. However, I did really enjoy the story and characters.
I did have one minor complaint from a Christian and just a reader’s standpoint but of course, this is just my opinion. When Atretes, Rizpah and Theophilus make it to Atrete’s German home village miraculously Rizpah and Theophilus can speak German. They claim that it’s miracle from God so that they can witness and communicate with the villagers. As a Christian, I do believe that God can do miraculous things, however, this seemed just unnecessary. God isn’t a magic genie, and not that He can’t, but I don’t think He would suddenly make someone fluent in another language. This seemed like lazy storytelling as a way to easily make Rizpah and Theophilus be able to communicate with the others.
I did really like this trilogy overall but I feel like the last two books couldn’t keep my interest as well as the first one. However, if you enjoy Christian, historical fiction I recommend it. Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it or any other books by Francine Rivers? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!
3 thoughts on “Book Review for “As Sure as the Dawn” by Francine Rivers”
I wanted to respond to something you said in this review.
YOU SAID: ” When Atretes, Rizpah and Theophilus make it to Atrete’s German home village miraculously Rizpah and Theophilus can speak German. They claim that it’s miracle from God so that they can witness and communicate with the villagers. As a Christian, I do believe that God can do miraculous things, however, this seemed just unnecessary. God isn’t a magic genie, and not that He can’t, but I don’t think He would suddenly make someone fluent in another language. This seemed like lazy storytelling as a way to easily make Rizpah and Theophilus be able to communicate with the others.”
I SAY: In many different sects of Christianity (or denominations, take your pick) the belief of the speaking in tongues and gifts of the Holy Spirit are taught. This is not lazy story-telling, but in a way, it does refer to a part in Acts, where the Day of the Pentecost came upon the apostles and the other disciples (see Acts 2). I am a Pentecostal Christian, and I grew up around the belief in the speaking of tongues- the speaking of other languages of this world by the power of the Holy Spirit (of course, your view on this may be different than mine, but I suppose that’s why I didn’t give this part much thought, since it seemed so normal to me). Since the Mark of The Lion series takes place not too long after Jesus’s death and resurrection, and the day of the Pentecost came around this time (give or take 10 years, maybe) I’d say it would be reasonable to believe that if the Holy Spirit settled upon the people who were gathered that day, then the Holy Spirit could’ve shown Himself among Theophilus, Atretes, and Rizpah. After all, isn’t it said in Matthew 18:20, ” For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them?” Since God, being one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases (the Father; the Son, or Jesus Christ; and the Holy Spirit) is present as the Holy Spirit, it makes sense here.
“And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”” (Acts 2:7-12)
Once again, these are just my thoughts on this subject. I am not a theologian with a degree, but I wanted to put my two cents in.
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I appreciate your well thought out comment. I believe in speaking in tongues as well but I’ve never heard it referred to as being able to speak other languages, only a language that the Lord understands. However, as I said, the Lord is definitely capable of giving someone the ability to fluently speak another language. Thanks for commenting!
Just a thought….I have heard of someone being able to speak/understand other languages….I think maybe perry stones dad (?) I do understand where you may have come to the opinion you hold as well. I was raised in a Holy Ghost church as well so maybe that is why it wasn’t an odd thing to me either. God bless!
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