2015 winner of the New Look Writing Contest!
Nagad’s life was perfect until it was torn apart by the ravages of war. Now, haunted by his past, this young conscript must meet the enemy in battle. With shaking rage the nations collide in a fierce conflict for dominance. Yet more is at stake than the survival of a people. The dispute contests the claim of immortal supremacy, the outcome to prove whose god reigns omnipotent. And so, Nagad of Benjamin pushes on through the raging tide of battle. But to no avail. Soon crushed by the mighty war machine of Philistia, thousands of Hebrew soldiers lay slaughtered upon the carrion infested field. Hope has abandoned them. Then it is remembered, that in the days of their fathers, any army that bore the Ark of the Covenant could not be defeated. They need the Ark, for only then can the Chosen of God prevail against the enemy. But they are wrong.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)|
About the Author
Susan Van Volkenburgh is an oncology nurse turned homeschool educator and author. After the death of her father in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Susan began speaking on her experience. Her book, Silent Resolve and the God Who Let Me Down (A 9/11 Story), recounts Susan's loss and subsequent spiritual journey. Susan spends much of her time studying and teaching ancient history, and she drew from those studies and from her experience of grief and trauma to write The Stone of Ebenezer, a story of faith and restoration.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Strength and Adventure in Turbulent Times I received a free ecopy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review. This is historical fiction based on the biblical account of the time of Samuel when the Israelites were harried by the Philistines, a nation of giants that thought of the Jewish nation as dogs to be ruled over and the Ark of the Covenant, made in the wilderness after liberation from Egypt, resided in the tabernacle in Shiloh and the priesthood had become corrupt. The story follows a young soldier named Nagad, whose family had been wiped out by the Philistines in one of their numerous attacks. Nagad admires his captain, Tiphcar, and would gladly die for him and for his people, but fights out of a deep desire for revenge for the loss of his family. However, Van Volkenburgh also tells the story from the viewpoint of four soldiers of the opposing army who carry the captured Ark from city to city, watching plague and death follow its course until the Philistines are compelled to send it back on a cart pulled by oxen to rid themselves of the pestilence. Only when Samuel has finally turned the people of Israel back to the Lord are they able to defeat the Philistines and live in peace. This account is driven by character. Nagad is compelling and his view of Samuel and his purpose is well-documented and brings the time and mission to life. We learn more about the various cities of the Philistines as the four comrades carry the Ark from place to place according to their orders than we do about the towns and cities of Israel but it all adds to fleshing out the plot and is interesting. From the cover, I rather thought this intended for a teenage/young adult audience but as I read along, I began to re-think that. This story is written in a rather stilted, archaic style, ("Too many there were that came astride the outer defenses.") whether by purpose to lend authenticity to the ancient story or not, I can't say, but it was both a distraction and a deterrent. The writing was full of flowery language ("The earth in its fitful sleep raged as winter storms, unusual in strength and frequency, beset the region, flooding the valley, for the River Elah crested its banks.") which I sometimes had to look up for an exact definition or just felt was inappropriate or awkward. Also, the main character, Nagad, was constantly being referred to as "the young conscript" which drove me crazy. The story could use a good editing. Aside from that, I felt The Stone of Ebenezer was worth reading and gave interesting insight into a turbulent time in the history of the Jewish nation. Since it is a time of war, there is quite a bit of blood and gore and exciting descriptions of battle scenes. It is a good first novel and is meant to be the first of a trilogy of kings, so hopefully the writing will be easier to read as the author hits her stride with the next instalment.
Think Tolkien. An ancient land and people with a proud heritage are threatened by sinister forces. Their one hope—their sacred relic—is captured by the enemy, and their soldiers retreat, defeated and humiliated. Shadows overtake the land as bright dreams fade and hope wanes. Enter a young hero, eager to prove his mettle, who finds himself tested for more than courage in battle. Unlike the fantasy tale of Middle-earth, however, this tale is rooted in the true story of ancient Israel, told in epic fashion that brings to life famous Bible characters such as Eli the priest and Samuel the prophet. The author’s meticulous research, vocabulary of ancient Hebrew terms, and respect for holy scripture combine with her melodious writing style to craft a narrative artfully embellished with fictional details and sure to please lovers of Bible history who also enjoy historical fiction.