Title: A Light on the Hill
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Series: Cities of Refuge #1
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publishing Date: February 6, 2018
About the Book:
Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.
Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.
Connilyn Cossette has brought history to life in a powerful way through the eyes of Moriyah. With a traumatic childhood leading to poor prospects for a prosperous future, Moriyah has surely been dealt a difficult hand. My heart immediately went out to her and left me engrossed in her journey of hope for even a physical future.
Although he was only present for brief moments in the story, my favorite character was little Eitan. Small himself and with some physical impairments himself, Eitan is Moriyah’s fiercest little protector. He doesn’t hesitate to stand up for Moriyah when boys (much larger and stronger than himself) are attacking her. He isn’t afraid of being a David before Goliath to protect his friend. Everyone would love to have a little Eitan in their life.
I loved that the story was unpredictable. While there were certain outcomes you could expect, the journey itself was loaded with action and suspense. You never know what the characters would face around their next corner or how they would escape the very present and imminent dangers. It was certainly not an easy book to put down!
One thing that was interesting about this story was that the deeper Moriyah went into her journey, the more God peeled the shell she’d been hiding behind in her life. She had a permanent physical brand to remember her days being kidnapped in Jericho, but instead of allowing herself to move on from them, she allowed the brand to become her identity. It took a terrifying journey and a strong man to see past the mark to the woman inside for her to begin to rediscover both her identity and her worth in the Lord. As painful as her journey may have been, she would not have become the woman she did without having to face the giants that had been set before her. Despite the adversity she flourished in to a beautiful woman of God.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to get started on the next in the series. I highly recommend it to historical and biblical fiction fans!
*I received a copy of this book through a blog giveaway. I was not required to give a review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings:
*PLEASE NOTE: This section may contain mild spoilers but I do my best to reveal the difficult and/or triggering content without giving away the story
As a whole I would consider this a clean read despite some violence. There are some unkind words said to Moriyah particularly of a sexual nature (Ex: the name “harlot”). She shares that she was saved before becoming a “zonah” (prostitute), but because she was already marked as one through the brand, she was still labeled as one by many when she returned home. I wouldn’t consider any of it explicit however. I could consider this book for readers aged 14 and up.