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BOOK REVIEW - "Rise of the LivingWood" by Kylie Beevers


Do you love heartwarming and epic stories that are perfect for the whole family? I recently had the privilege of reading this beautiful novel, and I loved every second of it. If you enjoy S.D. Smith, foxes, sword fighting, and beautiful writing, this book is for you. Read on to learn more about Rise of the LivingWood, and for my review!





ABOUT THE BOOK

"Swift as a fox. Sharp eyes. Soft paws."


Bramble is just your ordinary fox scrounging the forest floor with his Da, Mum, and kit brother before he is thrust snout first into the warrior life. For his whole life Bramble has known the LivingWood to be a safe, secure place. A place where he and his family live in peace with no threats. But one day Bramble encounters his Uncle, who he had no idea even existed, and now he’s got no choice but to trust his gut and blaze a trail into a battle he has to fight.

Wolves have besieged the borders. War seeks to devour them all. Will Bramble uphold his call? And what will it cost?






MY REVIEW


RATING: ★★★★★

I can't recommend this book enough! This is the type of story that's perfect for the whole family. The content and writing style reminded me a lot of The Green Ember by S.D. Smith — entertaining for younger audiences with deeper themes that are impactful for both adults and teens.



THEMES & MESSAGES

Strong family themes exist in this story, which was beautiful and refreshing to see. Bramble's family dynamics were realistic and so much fun to read about. Respect for parents and sibling bonds was prevalent from the beginning. The world needs more stories like this, and I really appreciated the family elements.


This book is so deep! There were also so many wise characters and thought-provoking quotes —especially from Roan and Lady Dawn — which were inspiring to read! None of the themes felt preachy or forced but flowed naturally throughout the story. I was learning and growing right along with Bramble, and often found myself pausing to reflect on the underlying messages (when I wasn't dying to find out what happened next, of course).


The story has an overarching theme of discovering purpose and stepping into calling. Other messages such as courage, chivalry, forgiveness, loyalty, and friendship were also present. I absolutely loved all of the Biblical references and the contrasts between light and dark.



CHARACTERS

The author did a fantastic job with the cast. Each character is so unique, relatable, and three-dimensional. I also loved how realistic and authentic each of the relationships were in this novel.


Bramble was obviously my favorite. Ah, Bram. What an achingly relatable character! I enjoyed his unique perspective on the world and was rooting for him from the beginning. I loved the humility and quiet strength he portrayed, as well as his courage and willingness to serve.


Fenex, Shawn, Roan, and Hawthorn were all wonderful characters. Each of their journeys was so impactful, and I cared deeply about each of them. I did have a harder time liking Shawn, as his personality is a little rough around the edges, but he eventually won me over.


All of the side characters were so interesting! Even the ones that didn't make many appearances. I especially loved the squirrel scribe, Aiken; and the older fox, Harvey (who made me laugh SO hard in a particular scene).



WRITING STYLE

I must say, Beever's prose were wonderful! I was just soaking up all the descriptions and unique word choices. There were a few places where it got repetitive, and I did find a few typos, which all books have.


While Bramble is the central character, the story switches between point-of-views pretty frequently, but none of them were confusing. Each was enjoyable to read, unique, and contributed to the overarching plot.


This book is geared toward middle-grade readers, but as I said before, it's perfect for any age. The writing style was so fitting for the story: whimsical, vivid, and lush. I was immediately transported into the world of foxes and wolves when I read the first sentence. The sword fights and action scenes were particularly well written and were some of my favorite parts to read. Humor is also interspersed throughout the narrative, and I often found myself laughing out loud.



SPIRITUAL ASPECTS

The spiritual depth in this saga is part of what makes it so immersive and impactful. I ADORED the Scripture infused throughout, as well as the gentle allegories and messages.


The foxes serve the Creator, and it's explained that each creature was made by Him and given a special purpose. It was also interesting to see the different perspectives the animals had of the Creator — especially between wolves and foxes.



VIOLENCE

War is a central aspect as the story entails an ongoing conflict between foxes and wolves. While there's a fair amount of bloodshed, descriptions are kept to a minimum and much is left to the imagination. It's hinted that Dusk, a fox pledged to the wolves, is abused.


Bramble gets into a few mishaps as a new recruit in the King's army, which includes him hurling a stone at his General. When training with a friend, Bramble's "inner animal" comes out, almost killing his fellow recruit. General Shawn explains to Bramble that this "inner animal" is something that all foxes have. It's savage, but one can learn to control it.



SEXUAL CONTENT & ROMANCE

There's very little romance in this novel; but what existed was kept minimal, clean, and told from a Biblical perspective.


General Shawn pursues Fenex and is very protective of her even when she makes it quite clear that she's not interested. At first, his affection annoyed me and felt one-sided, but as time went on, I began to see it was an essential part of the story. The ending between them was SO sweet! Shawn's love for Fenex reflected, in part, the love Christ has for us: never failing and never-ending.



LANGUAGE & PROFANITY

None.



DRUG & ALCOHOL CONTENT

None.



WRAP UP

Beevers wove an epic tale full of adventure, beautiful messages, and delightful illustrations. I was so enthralled I could scarcely put it down. Even when I wasn't reading, I was thinking about it and looking forward to when I could pick it up again. Clear your schedule and make room on your bookshelf... you won't want to put it down!




FAVORITE QUOTES

"History holds invaluable lessons. We’d all do well to never forget."
"Be brave, love. The good Creator goes before you and guards your rear."
“The thunder comes before the flood. We all must bear the storm. I pray the good Creator’s protection upon you all.”

Kylie Beevers, Rise of the LivingWood



DISCLAIMER: I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kylie Beevers is a young teen who strives to show her faith in Yeshua, our Messiah. She longs to show others the love that He showed her and to search for Truth. She’s a young author passionate about bringing clean, morally sound reads to the middle-grade audience. Her debut novel, Rise of the LivingWood, is an epic saga featuring a battle of wolves and wit, foxes and faith. When you can’t find her writing stories that ring with truth, you can find her in the middle of the woods, engrossed in the spectacular works of Creation (generally wielding a dagger or a sword or whatnot). She loves to encourage young writers seeking to nurture that spark of imagination in themselves as well as to prepare for the next generation and their book content.









LET'S TALK

Do you enjoy stories with animal characters? Have you ever shot a bow and arrow before? Which do you love more, wolves or foxes? Are you excited for spring? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!




Now go change the world,

-Ava



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6件のコメント


Lillian Keith
Lillian Keith
2023年3月17日

Lol, I used to do archery a year or two ago, so a book with characters who can shoot? Sign me up! Thanks so much for the review, Ava! And Happy *early* Spring!

いいね!
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
2023年3月20日
返信先

Ooh, that's so cool! Archery is so much fun. You're so welcome, girl! Thank you for reading! Yes, Happy Spring. 🥰

いいね!

Deigan Marie
Deigan Marie
2023年3月17日

Such a great review, Ava! I can't wait to get my hands on this book 🥰

いいね!
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
2023年3月20日
返信先

Thank you, Deigan!! Yes, you would love it! ❤️

いいね!

Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
2023年3月17日

Beautiful review, Ava!!! This book sounds incredible and I cannot WAIT to read it! I love those quotes! 😍

いいね!
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
2023年3月20日
返信先

Thank you so much, Saraina!!! Yes! I can't wait for you to read it! Ahh, so do I! 🥰

いいね!
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