Shelter of the Most High

Shelter of the Most High

by Connilyn Cossette

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Overview

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764219870
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Series: Cities of Refuge Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 263,305
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out from Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing's Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of over twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

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Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge Book #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
summer_no9 8 months ago
This book had great beautiful adventure story writing and compelling to read with that also will be encouraging and inspiring us to discovery back to the time about the Bronze Age across to the ocean with the pirate fight that had effect to the people that had living on the island had to moving to the other and had become refuge but life never stop struggling from the passed and secret special the daughter of a high priest like Sofea had to be faith to protect her family and the place she live too. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Bethany House for this review”.
Faye_reviews More than 1 year ago
Sofea and her cousin Prezi are taken by marauders from their island home in Sicily, and find themselves alone outside of Kedesh. Eitan has grown up inside the walls of the refuge city, Kedesh, and has taken the Nazarite vow, wearing his hair long. He longs to serve his countrymen as a soldier like his step-father, Darek, but due to the the tragedy in his past he must remain within the city. He is enchanted by the beautiful Sofea, and their friendship grows as the barrier of language fades. As a murder conspiracy is uncovered and trusts are betrayed will they learn to trust the One True God, who is a shelter and comfort to those who love Him? I loved how this book picks up Eitan's story eleven years after the events of the previous book, and though this book also stands well on its own, I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to read Moriyah and Darek's story in A Light on the Hill. Eitan is an intelligent young man, with a stubbornness that is both his strength and his weakness. He loves his siblings and adores his mother, Moriyah, while his relationship with Darek is more complex. He is honorable and fights to do what is right, even when he doesn't want to. Sofea and her cousin share a close bond, brought even closer as they are strangers in a new land. Sofea is willing to put aside her strong will for her cousin's safety, she is drawn to her new friends and their God who is unlike the demanding and unforgiving gods of her homeland. I admired her sacrificial love for her cousin and her friends, she is quick thinking and daring. A story of love, sacrifice, family, betrayal, and God's unfailing love, set during the years after the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Well researched I love how these books help me to think more about the struggles that God's people faced entering the promised land. Ms. Cossette uses beautiful, lush descriptions that bring the story to life. Prezi is one of my favorite characters, she is a cousin and sister to Sofea, she wants the best for her friend and her calm demeanor compliments Sofea well. Another terrific story from Connilyn Cossette, with a action-packed and tension fraught climax. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
jcservantslave More than 1 year ago
This was SUCH a thrilling book! It had me up and down and all around. The tenderness, the adventure, forgiveness and redemption. I was so thrilled to be able to revisit little Eitan, now a grown man and bucking against the confines of his life, unable to let go and move past the mistakes made in his childhood. Sofea is such a spunky, curious, free-spirited kind of person, yet unsettled by the life she has always known and the new one she is growing to love. Eitan and Sofea are drawn to one another and that is just the beginning of a whole mess of trouble. Lies, betrayal and hurt, but also courage, sacrifice and love. I'm serious, this book has it all! This series (two books, so far) is INCREDIBLE! I was only about a quarter of the way through the book and ALREADY so thrilled by it that I had to stop everything to run and tell my sister that she would absolutely ADORE this series and needed to get reading it immediately! Way to go, Ms. Cossette! This is one of the BEST Biblical fiction books I've ever read! I can't WAIT to get the chance to dive into book #3, "Until the Mountains Fall"!
Reading_Bee More than 1 year ago
Connilyn Cossette does it again!! This book though!!! Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is an amazing example of Biblical Fiction! One of my favorite things about Connilyn Cossette’s books is her unique perspective on Biblical events—the way she writes these stories about these incredible events from the view of “regular people” during Biblical times, rather than the more “famous” people. Kidnapped from her beloved home by a band of pirates, Sofea must fight to survive, but when she is rescued by a group of Israelites, she wonders if perhaps she has found a safe place and a new home in the midst of all the trouble that surrounds her. Eitan has lived in the City of Refuge since boyhood, and although it seems impossible, he longs to leave the city and join in the fight to protect the fledgling nation of Israel. However, when his father rescues a beautiful (and fierce) foreign young woman, and brings her to safety within their home, Eitan comes to realize there is much more at stake than he ever imagined. A stunning sequel, with so many beloved characters, along with some new ones—I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s powerful message of hope, trust, and new beginnings through the love of God. Connilyn Cossette does such a wonderful job of presenting the truths and lessons from God’s Word through these fabulous stories...I cannot wait to read the next installation in this incredible series—HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!
Kathae More than 1 year ago
Having read all of Cossette's previous novels, I was intrigued at the introduction to Sofea and Prezi in their native homeland. What a heart wrenching, yet exciting beginning to this book! Then this book continued to take me from the depths of despair to the heights of elation. It was wonderful to join Moriyah's family eleven years later. Her dreams had come true, and this book chronicles the emotional and spiritual journey of her adopted son, Eitan. I really appreciated knowing the background of all the characters, but the book does stand alone. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy Biblical fiction. I received a copy from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shelter of the Most High is written by Connilyn Cossette. It is a Biblical fiction book and also has some history in the book. It is the second book in the series Cities of Refuge. The second book takes off where the first ended but adds some new characters Sofea and Prezi. Sofea and Prezi are on the sea on the Island of Sicily and their boat is taken over by marauders. Prezi is handicapped and the cousin of Sofea. They end up in a foreign land and lose everything. They meet Eithan who has been living with Moriyah his adoptive mother in the city of refuge. Eithan is attracted to Sofea. The city of refuge is supposed to protect people who have innocently hurt , killed someone from others who would hurt them. Eithan and Moriyah have been living in Kadesh, city of refuge for 11 years and have suffered post traumatic stress. Eithan has wanted to learn how to fight with Derek, his step father, but for years Derek does not want him to venture out of the city of refuge. He fears that his brother will kill him over a dispute in which his sons were killed. During the story Sofea and Prezi get taken and captured. They became part of a murder plot. Eithan does everything possible to rescue Prezi and Sofea to safety. It proves to be challenging. The story is a reminder that God is our refuge and wants to protect us and those in the city of refuge from harm. It paints the Biblical history of the times Eithan , Sofea, Prezi lived. It is well written and helps the reader understand Biblical history. What will become of Sofea and Eithan's relationship? What will happen with Prezi and Sofea? Will they get rescued to safety. The book is well written and I would highly recommend it. It was given to me by the publisher and netgalley to read and review. I appreciate this opportunity and thank netgalley and the publisher very much. I look forward to the third book coming out in the series. Publish your review! We’ve already copied it to your clipboard.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is a novel not to be missed. It’s difficult for my words to adequately reflect the magnificence of this story, and a 5-star rating falls far short. I found it entertaining, informative, and uplifting. It stands tall in the biblical fiction genre, but reads purely as exquisite historical fiction also. When a writer describes a setting or scene, I usually feel one of two ways – either standing at the edge, looking on to what is happening, or being drawn in, practically breathing the same air as the characters. I can’t explain how Cossette does it, but the second effect is what I felt on every page. Everything from Sicily to Kedesh of 1388 BC is vivid, and I have a much greater understanding of the depth of meaning in the term refuge. Characters are so very rich and complex … … the relationship between Sofea and Eitan: “I’d vowed from the beginning that I wanted nothing of Eitan’s interest, but at this moment I wanted nothing more than to live at the center of it.” … Moriyah, a devout woman who felt that Sofea and Prezi had been brought to their family in order to heal … the strained relationship between Eitan and his stepfather, Darek … Prezi, Sofea’s cousin, once a follower who now found her voice: “Given the choice between the gods our people venerated on that hill and the God who offers shelter for even the most undeserving, I know whom I choose.” But what touched me the most was seeing Yahweh through the eyes of Sofea and Prezi, with their heritage of pagan gods and evil worship practices. I’ve always loved the revelation of God’s character that the Old Testament gives us, and Cossette’s narrative makes it fresh and new all over again. Yahweh, the God of refuge, shelter, protection … the God who values all life. It’s hard to put this book down at any point, especially when the danger and action picks up in the second half, but Cossette still gives readers time to breathe. Shelter of the Most High is a story that lives on long after the last page is turned. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
Cossette’s books transport readers back to another time, her skill at setting such that you feel as though you are walking the dusty roads, rooftops, and marketplaces right along with the characters. Her extensive research helps the era come alive with intriguing details, and I love how she has pulled an entire series of compelling characters and soul-touching plots from a concept briefly mentioned in Scripture. It allows me to see familiar Old Testament settings & customs in new and fresh ways, prompting me to do further study of Scripture on my own. Sofea firmly set up camp in my heart throughout Shelter of the Most High. The fact that she came from a pagan culture enabled me to see God and the Hebrew culture from her point of view, something that I believe is beneficial for anyone who has been raised in a Christian home. Sometimes we become complacent to our Biblical knowledge, our traditions, the exquisite mercy & wooing pursuit of our God, and it takes seeing it all through the eyes of someone who didn’t have that luxury to fully appreciate anew the gift we’ve been given in our Savior. Eitan has the heart of a warrior as well as a huge capacity for love, two traits that could either serve him well or destroy him depending on how he chooses to use them. Sofea and Eitan’s character growth and their sizzling chemistry (those kisses! whew!) add layers to their individual stories as well as their mutual plot arc. I have seen some reviews that say it’s best to have read book 1, that they had a hard time following the characters and the dynamic that was established earlier on, but I did not find that to be the case. It does make me want to go back and read the first book, not because I was lost but because I was so captivated by these characters that I want to learn all I can about them. I was able to pick up on the undertones fairly easily and, while I knew there was more to their story, the author did a great job of making sure readers have all the info they need to be fully present in this one. Bottom Line: An exquisite tale of mercy, grace and love, Shelter of the Most High invites readers to experience the refuge of God in ways they perhaps had not considered before. You will quickly become deeply invested in the characters and their emotional journeys, full of adventure and surprising twists. Cossette’s writing talent is immediately apparent as her words wrap around all the senses and engage the reader from the first to the last page. Tender, moving, and entertaining, this book – and Cossette’s entire book list – belongs on your must-read list! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
E_Espinoza More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and unique, Shelter of the Most High, by Connilyn Cossette, is the second book in the Cities of Refuge series. This novel may be set thousands of years in the past, but this story is incredibly fresh and relevant, full of romance, drama, and suspense. Shelter of the Most High is a well-researched and engaging story of perseverance, courage, and redemption that teems significantly with thoughtful descriptions that offer a new outlook on ancient settings and themes. Perhaps better than any other author I have read, Ms. Cossette is profoundly talented at writing her novels in the first person point of view. Her skillful use of this narrative style ensures that all of her books are extremely engrossing. Seeing, feeling, and wholly experiencing the story through the perspectives of the characters themselves is utterly compelling. I did not simply read Shelter of the Most High. Rather, I stepped into the sandals of the main characters, I felt the heat of the cooking fires, I heard the wind blowing past the walls of the city, and I was swiftly transported back into an ancient world of loss, love, faith, adventure, and mystery. Shelter of the Most High is an utterly captivating work of fiction that finds meaning and purpose in an obvious respect for both history and the Bible. It is truly an enthralling novel that entertains, uplifts, and inspires. I will certainly re-read this book in the future. I will eagerly share this book with my friends. And I will repeatedly recommend it earnestly and sincerely to all readers. *I was given a copy of this novel by the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
“The Almighty Creator spoke your being into existence. How could you be anything less than precious?” This is a quote to end all quotes for me, one I want to memorize, because it is TRUTH. What a wonderful, yet chilling, story Connilyn Cossette has penned in Shelter of the Most High. As always, I especially pay attention when a book has a double-entendre title. Well- done from the start! Cossette takes the reader back to the time in Israel’s history when Israel has just entered the Promised Land, captured much territory, and now their revered leader Joshua is ready to die. One of Israel’s traveling spies, Darek, finds Sofea and Prezi, malnourished and greatly abused, on an island. Taking them back to his family, Sofea and Prezi slowly heal as they are assimilated into a large family whose God is so very different from their own. Cossette is a new-to-me author that I can’t wait to begin reading more, starting with the first and soon-to-come third book of this series. This book, although book two of a series, stands well on its own. Spell-binding could describe Cossette’s writing. Once started, it was hard to stop reading. Perhaps gritty also describes Cossette’s style. Not in language, but the physical abuse, carnage, and false god worship may turn a few delicate stomachs. What else, besides the compelling storyline, history immersion, and sweet romance make this a great book? Themes of unrelinquished guilt, undeserved mercy, and unconditional love. If you have not tried Cossette’s Biblical fiction, or at least not Shelter of the Most High, I strongly invite you back to Cossette’s ancient Israel, the Cities of Refuge, and the Great Sea. I was given a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. No review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful series. I did not want to put this book down. This was a fantastic biblical fiction story. This story showed what Sofea felt when she was taken from her home and ends up with people she doesn’t know and can’t understand. Eitan learns many lessons also. This was one of my favorite books written in 2018. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
I don't know where I've been, but I can't believe I have not read a book by this author. Her silky smooth textured writing places readers right in the midst of the story. Sofea is a wonderful character with great passion. As she escapes with her cousin Prezi, the author transports us back in time. It was hard to read how Sofea and Prezi had been treated and to discover what had happened to their village. I loved how determined Sofea was to keep her cousin safe . I'm not sure how brave I would be to jump off a ship but when faced with danger, but Sofea knew they must jump or face death. Eitan is a young man who has not been allowed to from leave his city because of a grudge someone has against him. It is evident as you read the story that revenge fuels several characters. I liked how Eitan and his family took Sofea and Prezi in and made them feel safe. There was a bit of uncertainty between the cousins of their new home but at least they were not out in water or wandering around without shelter to protect them. I loved getting to know each character but I have to say Prezi was my favorite. Her quiet disposition was refreshing and I loved how she was hungry to know who God was. I loved how the story flowed and the mystery surrounding Eitan. Someone is out to harm him and will do anything to lure him straight into the path of death. I loved this story and how seamless the author incorporated biblical truths throughout the story. It is also a beautiful story of people seeking forgiveness and acceptance. I loved the adventure Eitan took when he found out Sofea and Prezi were in danger. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save them. A great reminder that we also had someone who gave their life to save us. I highly recommend this story filled with historical facts and a lesson in hope. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible biblical romance novel! The characters were extremely well developed. I felt like I connected with many of them. I have read about the cities of refuge in the bible. I never took the time to really think about what it would have been like for a manslayer who was stuck living inside one city with no possibility of leaving. I felt like I was able to really step into their sandals and feel some of the frustration. I have never read any books by this author before. She did a marvelous job of describing life in the early years in the Promised Land. I really enjoyed seeing how Moriyah ran her household and welcomed outsiders into her home. I will be reading more of her books. The development of the plot and the danger that Sofea and Prezi are put in more than once is great. I was able to fell their fear right along with them. The journey that Eitan goes on to mature and work through his past is fantastic. He definitely has some struggles that he faces and personal faults to overcome. I loved seeing how she wove actual Biblical figures into her fictional story. It made everything feel even more real. I have decided to give this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I’m highly recommending it. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Stardust_Fiddle More than 1 year ago
My expectations were high going into “Shelter of the Most High”, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. Connilyn Cossette is now on my list of favorite authors, and you can bet that I will be bumping all of her books to the top of my pleasure reading list. I am eager to explore Moriyah’s story in “A Light on the Hill”, and although it is not necessary to read it first, I am sure that it offers background information that would enhance the reading experience of the second book. “Shelter of the Most High” holds its own as a standalone, however, and takes off with a flying leap right from the very beginning. There are no lulls in this story! With a diverse cast of characters and a vulnerable but determined heroine, the plot resembles a wheel hub with spokes fanning out from it, each intriguing and skillfully connected to the whole. Sanctuary cities are a hot-button topic in today’s political climate, and the concept of a city of refuge, while clearly different in implementation, connects the reader to the narrative and makes the story more contemporaneous. The other issues that unfold augment this connection. Some of the characters suffer from PTSD, and the reality of transitioning from one culture to another, overcoming language barriers as well as foreign customs, is very convincingly portrayed. Romance plays a role also, and one of the most poignant elements in the novel is the faith journey that the characters embark upon. Sofea and Eitan were the main protagonists, and the story is told from their alternating points of view in the first person, but this tale belongs just as much to the secondary characters. Cossette truly achieves a well-rounded narrative in which all of the characters’ lives echo throughout the pages and enrich those of the hero and heroine. This is Biblical fiction done well, on par with the works of such authors as Tessa Afshar. Highly recommended! I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and NetGalley and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Ourpugs More than 1 year ago
Shelter of most high The book starts out with Prezi and Sofea were out together, who are cousins ,gets kidnapped. They are taken away on a ship. After a few days when it lands they are kicked off. They are left alone on a beach without any food or water. They are found by a Hebrew guys, who they don’t understand. Most of the story take place after this time. This is not a summary of the book, a lot of detail I left out. You need to read the book to fill in the details and find out how it ends. The book is set Before Christ, way early Bible times. This is 2nd in a series which I did not read the first one but I am curious what it was like. In my opinion I think it would have been better to read book one first. The book was fast paced, interesting from start to finish. My favorite character was Eitan, who was a very hard worker and very inspiring. I received an complementary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
BMace More than 1 year ago
This well written story has opened my eyes to the importance of the cities of refuge describe in the Old Testament of the Bible. For one who had accidentally killed another person, living in these cities meant life and not death. Revenge could not be served as long as they remained within its protective walls. Such was the life of Eitan, his mother Moiyah as well as many others. Through no choice of their own, Sofea and Prezi found themselves in this curious city. Was it possible that Yahweh plucked them from the sea to reside forever in this shelter of the most high? Leaving the sorrow of their past behind, the girls realize that God values them and that He has been with them every step of this torturous journey. Can they, along with Eitan, finally experience peace? I received this fantastic ebook from CelebrateLit and this review gives my personal impressions and opinions.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
“The Almighty Creator spoke your being into existence. How could you be anything less than precious?” How can this be the first Connilyn Cossette book I have read? How could I have spent these past few years as an avid reader of Christian Fiction in such ignorance of the pure delight that is Connilyn Cossette’s writing? Wow, Shelter of the Most High totally blew me away. Kedesh, one of the cities of refuge during the time of Joshua, came to life in the pages and drew me in immediately. I love the way the author melds historical and Biblical facts with believable and realistic fiction to expand and stretch the reader’s horizon. The writing is beautiful and emotional, the plot is complex yet tightly woven, the characters are truly unforgettable, and the faith lessons are relevant. Sofea, along with her cousin, is a foreigner stranded amongst the Israelites in the city of Kedesh. Eitan is a young man sentenced to Kedesh for events that transpired eleven years ago. Reading Light On a Hill (book one in Cities of Refuge) prior to this book will help the reader understand the events chronologically. However, even without having read the first book, I was able to piece together the pertinent background from the first book by reading this one. Sofea is a fearful yet curious, loyal, determined, tender soul who has to learn a new way of life - from language to religion. Eitan is impulsive, strong, impatient yet kind, generous, loving, dedicated and fun. They both have different fears and hurts from their pasts to overcome as God gently works on their scarred hearts. Their romance is slow and sweet even as their budding friendship is threatened by evil intentions of others and their own insecurities. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, you don’t want to miss this book. It’s a must read! I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
TheBeccaFiles More than 1 year ago
Wow! Connilyn has done it again! She has made Biblical history come to life in a story that is sure to captivate the reader from the very first page. In my review of the first book in the series, I shared that Eitan was my favorite character, so I was very pleased to see him return as a main character in this story. Unlike the first book in the series which was told solely from Moriyah's point-of-view, Shelter of the Most High was told from both Eitan and Sofea's points-of-view. Starting off with another action-intense beginning, this was a very easy story to become quickly engrossed in. This was a rather quick read for me since I wasn't able to put it down! While there are some series that can be read as stand-alones, this is not one that I would recommend to be read out-of-order. Although the main characters have shifted from the first book, the back-story is too relevant to be skipped. I was highly intrigued by Sofea's character. Although she and Prezi lost everything in their life, what they gained by learning of Yahweh and His ways changed them for the better. Coming from a land that worshiped many false gods and included even human sacrifices, it was difficult for the girls to grasp the concept of the loving God and Creator of the world. It was interesting to see Sofea blossom from the beat-down daughter of an evil man, to a worthy daughter of the King. One thing I love about Connilyn's writing is the imagery that's present on every page. She adds just the right amount of detail to paint a vivid picture in your mind without trailing away from the actual story. Her details invite the reader into the world of the characters as if they are standing right beside them. Shelter of the Most High is an absolutely remarkable book and one that I highly recommend. I can't wait to see what Connilyn comes up with next for the series! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to share a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Phyllis_H More than 1 year ago
Finding true refuge Snatched away from her island home by pirates along with her cousin, Sofea knew she could never go back. When they were picked up on the beach of Canaan by warriors she could not understand, she fully expected the worst. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the sense of what it would be like to be completely immersed in a culture where I couldn’t speak the language or be understood, and where the culture was a mystery to me. The way the author helped me experience Sofea’s confusion was remarkable. I really liked her character, the strength and fierce determination she showed despite circumstances that appeared to be dire. Eitan was so interesting! He apparently was introduced in A Light on the Hill along with his mother, Moriyah. (I really need to read that book!) Now, as a man of twenty years, he is struggling with a desire to be able to fight for Yahweh along with his mother’s husband, and yet he can’t leave Kedesh. Oh, speaking of Kedesh! I have a completely new understanding of the Cities of Refuge that were set up in Israel now. Not that I’d given them much thought, but now I have a sense that though they were a place of refuge, they were also a prison of sorts. The very fact that by simply stepping outside the walls, the Avenger of Blood could take your life would be quite confining! I can’t believe I have not read any of this author’s books before and plan to remedy that. Starting with book 1 of this series. That said, I didn’t feel like I was lost as I read this one, it really could stand alone. I want to read the first so I can know everything that has happened already! Read with a Preview and Guest Post at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book for free. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Joy Hunt More than 1 year ago
Biblical fiction is hard to do well. And so I wasn't sure what to expect from Shelter of the Most High.  There are so many challenges associated with this subgenre.  Like any work of historical fiction, the author has do get the historical context right.  But when you're dealing with the biblical times, sometimes we don't know all that much about the historical background.  We have a lot more records of, for example, Victorian England or the American Civil War.  The records are in languages that are still spoken today by many of these authors.  With biblical fiction, there may be limited sources.  But also, the Bible is such a sensitive thing that researchers have done scholarly battle over the information that is available.  How do you know who to trust? To add to it, there's a concern about character development with Bible characters, especially Jesus.  Because we're dealing with God's Word, we don't want to say something about that real person that is just made up (not based on Scripture or historical sources).  Gerd Theissen addresses this concern well in his introduction to Shadow of the Galilean. Can you write fiction about Bible characters? I don't know that it is necessarily wrong to fill in the gaps about Bible characters in fiction writing (or storytelling), as long as we are clear that's what we're doing.  Bible stories sometimes don't give us all the dialogue, and when we have it, it is translated so there is some wiggle room.  When I tell the Hagar story, I might say "and she was probably like..." but that works a lot better in storytelling than in writing. In general, my stance is to be clear about your genre.  If you're writing fiction, and folks know you're writing fiction, they should also know that you will have to create details that aren't there simply because we don't have that information.  It's okay.  You don't need to write the Bible (unless you're a translator).  Someone already did that.  (A lot of someones, and a Someone. But that's for another time.) The authors that have done biblical fiction well have toed this line by writing about fictional characters set in biblical times. They are able to bring their characters into contact with biblical themes and even biblical characters, using those characters as a touchstone.  That's what Connilyn Cossette did with Shelter of the Most High.  In this way, authors don't have to get into that fuzzy territory of making something up about people in the Bible.  And good biblical fiction writers would say they write about could have happened, just like any other historical fiction writer would.  Folks just get persnickety about the Bible. ;) What did I think of Shelter of the Most High? I thought this story was done really well.  Christianity and Judaism have been a part of our culture for so long that it was refreshing to step inside the head of a young woman who would have found early Hebrew monotheism utterly foreign and sometimes terrifying.  There's a taste of the surrounding towns gravitating back towards Canaanite religion, and the memories of people who were alive for the end of the journey from Egypt.  Historically, this book seemed fairly accurate (for what we can know and what we choose to debate about or not.).  There are a lot of unknowns about this time, such as how much of Moses' instructions were actually carried out.  I thought Ms. Rossette filled in the gaps in a reasonable way.
Fiction_Faith_and_Fun More than 1 year ago
The cities of refuge were established as the Israelites settled into the Promised Land. There were protections offered in these cities, but what would it have been like to have sought that protection? Shelter of the Most High takes an intriguing look at what life might have looked like in Kedesh, one of the cities of refuge. Much of the information must be speculated, but it’s fun to imagine what might have been. Some of our own culture may creep into the characters, but I enjoyed reading Sofea and Eitan’s story. Believable suspense and wonderful characters combine to create a tough-to-set-down story. Shelter of the Most High is the second book in the Cities of Refuge series. I have not yet read the first, but I had no trouble following the story. However, since this series is chronological, it would be better to start at the beginning so you don’t spoil the story. If you enjoy a well-told story that helps “flesh out” the Bible (while understanding that this is Biblical fiction), you’ll want to read Shelter of the Most High and the rest of the Cities of Refuge series! (I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book by Connilyn before and now I wonder why. This is a beautiful story that from the first moments will capture you and wrap you up in the prose. Connilyn does a wonderful job of bring this Biblical time to life and making it so real you can easily relate to the characters and enjoy their trails and struggles. There are many layers to this story that will keep you engaged from beginning until the end. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
annelr More than 1 year ago
Shelter of the Most High, the second book in the Cities of Refuge series by Connilyn Cossette is an amazingly remarkable story. Even though part of a series, the book can easily be read as a stand-alone. Characters from the first story return but the author gives enough of the backstory that the reader does not feel lost or have a lot of unanswered questions. That being said, I would recommend reading Light on the Hill as it is an amazing story too! Biblical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and this book did not disappoint. Cossette is an expert storyteller and with breathtaking, edge-of-the-seat action, she immediately draws the reader in right from the beginning as the heroine, Sofea, is stolen by sea marauders--her life changed forever. She, and her cousin, Prezi, best of friends, find themselves drawn into the lives of a Hebrew family living in a city of refuge--a city set apart for manslayers to be safe from those who would seek vengeance. There she will find time to rest and heal and she will meet a God who loves her unconditionally but will she be able to accept that love? Can she trust the Eternal One who watches, protects and offers shelter? The characters have depth and reality and their emotions and strengths resonate well with readers. I enjoyed seeing the changes in Prezi as she recognizes the Hebrew God is the one true God. From a frightened, curled up ball of despair she is changed into a fearless girl who knows without a doubt that Yahweh would save her. And, of course, there is a love story. Eitan is a metalworker extraordinaire, yet has such a deep desire to go outside the walls of the city to fight along with his step-father. He is courageous and inexplicably drawn to Sofea. Their love is sweet and yet fraught with tension and obstacles. For Sofea, the island had been her past but could she trust that Eitan and the Hebrews would be her future? For Eitan, he knows that he will do whatever he can to protect Sofea and show her his love and loyalty. As the story moves at a fast pace toward an exciting climax, it is full of suspense and action with kidnappings, betrayal, deceptions, murder, and on the softer side--family and friendships, loyalty and love, and faith. It is a story of mercy granted and learning to accept that incredible gift and a story of hope that someday what was broken will be mended. I fear the wait until the next book in the series is released will be long. Such wonderful stories from a notably talented author. I was given a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
MNGringa1 More than 1 year ago
Pirates, Prison and Parley set the tone for Shelter of the Most High. Book 2 in the Cities of Refuge series. This book starts out in Sicily, which made me wonder how this could be a part of the a series of the Cities of Refuge. I quickly learned that Pirates would play an import role in transporting these characters to Canaan. Sofia and her cousin, Prezi, survive an attack from pirates. Their families are not so lucky. The girls survive being tossed overboard and left to drown. Rescued by Spies and taken to Kadesh to live. We are introduced to Eitan who is trapped in the City because of a choice that was made by a 9 year old child. Eitan is now a young man who is struggling with the sentence that was issued to protect him from his Uncle who is looking for revenge. Throughout this story, the place that seems to be a prison can also become a place of refuge. Eitan and Sofia learn that a prision can also provide safety and security. I loved Eitan and Sofia's story. I related to it as life seems to throw us into situations that can feel like a prison. Time and life lessons reveal there can be protection in a "prison." I simply have to look for it. Eitan finds parley in his discussion with the High Priest. Sofia finds parley with God. This story is filled with action and plot twists and of course parley. We see how the characters ultimately parley with God. This is a fascinating book that can be read as a stand alone or as a part of the series. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for the complimentary e-book in exchange for this review.
emontes More than 1 year ago
Captivating Historical Fiction about Forgiveness and Love! This book is filled with intrigue, betrayal, love, and forgiveness. I read the first book in the City of Refuge series, which explored the story of a part of Biblical History not known to many of us. It is refreshing to delve into a part of history not spoken of often, as well as to explore new cultures and countries. In 'Shelter of the Most High', the second book in the series, we learn more about the characters in Kedesh and a bit about the Sicani people from Sicily. This was a special treat for me because I lived in Sicily for almost 2 years. Author, Connilyn Cossette fleshes out her characters in such a way that you feel you know them and can relate to some of their character flaws and traits. Sofea, the protaganist, immerses herself in the sea. This is her escape from the evil she deals with at home due to her father's priesthood. Some readers may not relate with Sofea because her traumatic past is glimpsed at only briefly. She is hesitant and wary in her new home. Her strength is her loyalty to her cousin Prezi. This is one of the things Eitan notices about her right away. The love Sofea has for Prezi parallels the love Eitan has for Moriyah. Sofea and Eitan complement each other. Eitan, a manslayer who has lived in Kedesh most of his life, is a loving, kind man who is harder on himself than anyone else. He is vulnerable, seeking love, due to his abandonment in childhood. This is portrayed best in his friendship with Nadir, who ultimately betrays Eitan. The reader can feel the bond between Eitan and his 'mother' Moriyah, and the stress between Eitan and his 'father' Darek. I liked his character very much. I have read many historical fiction books based in Biblical times, but never encountered one with pirates in it, nor Sicani people. That makes this story wonderful and sets it apart from the others. I enjoyed this read very much, and as always, I look forward to Connilyn's next book in this series!