Monday, January 26, 2015

Fire and Steel, Volume One: A Generation Rising - Gerald N. Lund

Summary:  The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?
As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.
Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.  (Summary and Image from goodreads.com)
My Review:  Have you ever had an author that you just know you're going to love what he or she writes?  You don't even have to look at the novel description to know you'll read it, you have such loyalty to the author that you'll buy the book without thinking.  Growing up, Gerald Lund was one of those authors.  We gave my grandma the Work and the Glory series every year for Christmas ... but I always read them first.  (Sorry, Grandma.)  I can't even explain the excitement I had when I found out that he was writing another series!

In traditional form, my mom gave this to my dad for Christmas-- and I read it first.  (Sorry, Dad.)  I was looking forward to a good epic I could invest in for the next few years, since all of my series are coming to an end.  I was shocked.  You see, the problem with having an author that you follow for years is that while you age, so do they.  And not all authors age well with their writing ability.  One of my favorite authors (I've followed her for years) recently published a book that was unrecognizable ... and I really felt like that had happened here. The storyline felt clunky, storybook-ish (very little substance, just an "And then this happened, and it was cool..." vibe), and just didn't sit well with me.

Until the last chapter.  The ending shouldn't have shocked me, but it truly did.  Enough so, as well, that I'll definitely be reading the second volume when it comes out.

This was a quick read, and relatively work-free.  The storyline felt quite simplistic, but an American family will be introduced in the next book, and then we'll be able to watch the two families' lives as they intertwine.  I'm not writing the series off quite yet!
My Rating: Two and a half stars
For the Sensitive Reader:  Clean -- but war.

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