Title: Until the Mountains Fall (Cities of Refuge #3)
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publishing Date: July 2, 2019
Length: 352 pages
About the Book:
Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband’s brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh’s head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother’s death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah’s father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.
As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
Connilyn Cossette is a master at recreating Biblical times with such vivid imagery that the reader can’t help but feel as if they are in the midst of the journey along with the characters. This wasn’t an easy book to let go once I’d finished. I am now impatiently waiting for the release of Like Flames in the Night, the fourth and concluding book in the series.
One thing that was unique about this installment of the series is that it added the theme of the prodigal son with a bit of a twist. You see Rivkah acting out from a mix of selfish rebellion and fear. Despite quickly discovering the flaw in her choices, she fears that she could never be forgiven. What I loved about how the author fleshed out Rivkah’s journey was that I was able to personalize and connect with it more deeply. In the biblical account, the younger son takes his inheritance and squanders it. I struggle to be able to look at him with compassion because if I can be honest I can’t help but resonate with the older brother’s feelings. I believe it’s at least in-part to life experiences with a tainted version of this. Yet when I look at Rivkah’s story, in a way I can start to see the prodigal in myself. I may not have taken an inheritance and squandered it or lived “on the wild side” until I was penniless, but I have made bad decisions in my life and paid dearly for them. I’ve felt the weight of what feeling unworthy can do to a person. I’ve experienced isolation because it feels safer than asking for help or forgiveness. This book has helped me look at the original story through a clearer lens. There really is true beauty in joy in restoration.
As with the other books in this series, this one is told through more than one perspective. It’s seen through the eyes of both Rivkah and Malakhi. The two views are exquisitely orchestrated throughout to produce a deeper quality of realism inciting self-reflection and empathy. This is a story not merely read, but experienced. I don’t even have the words to say just how deeply this novel sucked me in.
And that ending?? Oh that ending!! Don’t worry, no spoilers–but I am now thoroughly impatient for the arrival of the next book! I cannot wait to see how this series concludes (although I also know I’ll be sad for it to be over). I honestly can’t recommend this series enough! Connilyn Cossette has secured a very deserved place as one of my favorite authors.
*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.