Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette is book four in the Christian historical fiction series, Cities of Refuge. I have reviewed the first three books and I recommend reading those reviews before this one, starting with A Light on the Hill. I have truly loved this series but I did have a slight issue with this final book… This review is spoiler free.
Strong-willed Tirzah wants to join her people in driving the enemy from the land of Israel and undergoes training for a secret mission inside the stronghold of Shechem. But soon after she has infiltrated the ruthless Aramean commander’s kitchen, she makes a reckless decision that puts her and her allies in grave danger.
Fresh off the battlefield, Liyam returns home to discover his beloved daughter is dead. After his vow to hunt down her killer leads to months of fruitless pursuit, his last hope is in a family connection that comes with strings attached. Strings that force him to pose as a mercenary and rescue an infuriating woman who refuses to leave her mission uncompleted.
When an opportunity to pave a path to a Hebrew victory arises, can Tirzah convince Liyam to fight alongside her in the refuge city of her birth? Or will Liyam’s thirst for vengeance outweigh his duty to his people, his God, and the woman he’s come to love?
Like Flames in the Night picks up with Moriyah and Derek’s youngest child, Tirzah. The previous two books told the stories of Tirzah’s older brothers, Eitan and Malakhi, so I was excited to learn more about one of the daughters in the family. For the most part, I love Tirzah. She’s a strong and empowered young woman… but that’s also my problem with her.
Tirzah is a multidimensional and well written character but not necessarily a good fit for a story based in the Old Testament world. Her thoughts and actions would fit better with a modern Christian woman. She’s not afraid to stand up to the men in her life and that’s clearly not a bad thing but is it really realistic for a woman living in the ancient world?
I’m sure there were many independent, free thinking women throughout history but nobody can deny that that would’ve been dangerous for them. This book is a really good book but I feel it borders more on the unrealistic side than the rest of the series. I prefer for historical fiction to be ALMOST completely accurate to the the time period.
However, this series is about a fictional family that is always on the periphery of Biblical events. Since it’s not about people actually mentioned in the Bible, I think there’s room for creative leeway. This is why I still love this book despite Tirzah not matching with the “ideal” Old Testament woman in my head.
The Cities of Refuge series is one of my favorites for Christian historical fiction and for just historical fiction in general. The characters are all fantastic, the settings are well researched, the romances are beautiful and the Biblical stories are portrayed accurately. If you’re looking for some new books, I can’t recommend these enough. Does this series sound like one you’d enjoy? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!