Today's Hidden Gem is author R J Larson. I came across her books a while ago, and was able to get ahold of Prophet soon after. I really loved the style of her writing, and also loved how she made it a Biblical retelling in a fantasy land. I love retellings, but especially if they are from the Bible! I haven't been able to read all of her books (unfortunately) but I hope you will give her books a try. Her stories are taken from the Old Testament, and are woven into a new way to look on scripture. R J Larson does an excellent job bringing you into a familiar tale that will often surprise you, and keep you glued to the pages.
Don't forget to check out Shantelle's blog for an author interview and giveaway!
About the author: R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips for lunch while writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre.
Books of the Infinite series:
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she's much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne's elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Yet she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
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. Pulled in separate ways, each must seek to follow the Infinite's leading and hope He will reunite them again soon.
Against his wishes and desires, Akabe of Siphra has been chosen by his people to be King. But what does a warrior know of ruling during peacetime? Guided by the Infinite, Akabe seeks to rebuild the Temple in the city of Munra to give the sacred books of Parne a home. But dangerous factions are forming in the background. To gain the land he needs, Akabe must forsake the yearnings of his heart and instead align himself through marriage to the Thaenfall family.
Meanwhile, Kien Lantec and Ela Roeh are drawn still closer together...while becoming pawns in a quest to gain power over the region. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies and murderous plots, each must seek the Infinite to guide them through an ever more tangled web of intrigue and danger.
Realms of the Infinite series:
For daring to trust their Creator, Araine and Nikaros are swept from their homes into a foreign land…slaves to their enemies
Araine Khalome of ToronSea follows the goddess Atea. But Araine secretly questions Atea’s power as a goddess. Wrestling with her spiritual doubts, Araine finds old scrolls containing verses that come alive, beckoning her soul. Within those words, Araine senses the presence of the Infinite, the despised Most Ancient God, enemy to all Ateans, and she’s captivated—secretly risking her life to read the Books of the Infinite.
You are forever in My sight…
Betrayed and condemned, Araine is swept away to the kingdom of Belaal, where she is swiftly apprehended and marked as a slave. Caught up in the lethal political and religious struggles within Balaal, Araine joins forces with another slave, Nikaros, a hostage and exiled son of an Eosyth Lord. As they fight to survive the antagonistic royal court, Nik and Araine soon realize that they must also protect the despotic god-king who has enslaved them.
But the god-king, Bel-Tygeon, has plans of his own.
Child of Dust, are you My servant?
Queen: My review of Queen
Bel-Tygeon, the fallen god-king of Belaal, has bowed to the Infinite and accepted life as a mortal. Now he is desperate to return to his kingdom. Hunted by his enemies, he accepts refuge among the Eosyths, at the bidding of Serena of Clan Darom. But Serena and her family are also Bel-Tygeon’s enemies, and he must conceal his true name and royal rank from them—even when he realizes that Serena is the woman he has sought for years. The woman he loves. The woman he longs to proclaim as his queen.
Yet she can never be his.
Serena of Clan Darom wants nothing more than to protect her family and to save her people, the Eosyths, from their many enemies. She cannot afford to fall in love with a madman. A stranger. Yet honor dictates that she must shelter Ty and protect him with her life. Will one act of kindness destroy everything she’s worked for and believed?
And how can the unknowable Infinite, worshiped by her lord-father, ever help her in their struggle to survive?
Child of Dust, are you My servant?
Corban Thaenfall is a nobleman, a murderer, and a traitor, with no hope of redemption...until he joins the fight to save a royal Dynasty.
Matteo of Darzeq, lastborn son of King Jonatan, has never imagined becoming king of Darzeq--least of all when the path to Darzeq's throne has been stained with his own family's blood. Driven by the desire for justice, Matteo recognizes an unwilling ally in Lord Corban Thaenfall, whose thirst for redemption matches Matteo's longing for vengeance against his enemies.
But will the price of victory be more than either man intends to pay?
An Agocii warrior seizes the chance to escape his outcast status and begin a new life...
Vsevold, outcast warrior of the Agocii, finds hope in the defeat of his people at the devastating siege of Parne. Determined to begin a new life, he turns to the Infinite of Parne, shunning Utzaii, the sun god of the Agocii.
Longing to escape an isolated existence, Aniya, daughter of Vsevold, accepts her lord-father's new beliefs and carves out a daring life for herself, finding hope for a future beyond all her dreams.
But one fateful bargain will destroy their world and return them to the shadows.
Child of dust, are you My servant?