The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr ~ Prism Blog Tour, Review, Rafflecopter Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The End of the Magi
By Patrick W. Carr
Christian Historical Fiction
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
November 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Centuries before the magi arrived in Bethlehem,
a prophecy sets a young magus on his path . . .

Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel calls forth a select group of men who will count down the calendar until the arrival of Israel's promised king. Centuries later, as the day draws near, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are slain by a ruthless Parthian queen.

Equipped with very little, in haste Myrad escapes the city and, searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is keeping secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable asset, an epic journey filled with peril, near captures, and dangerous battles begins.

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can't forget, and the promise that the world will never be the same.


When the King's favor turns against his Magi, killing Myrad's father, it unleashes a chain of events that send Myrad on a journey that will leave him forever changed.

A step in a slightly different direction for author, Patrick Carr, who I am familiar with as an epic fantasy writer, in The End of the Magi, he delves into the time before Christ was born, showing the political tensions and unrest of a world in need of a Saviour.

Myrad is a newly appointed Magi, who has been dreaming of a luminous star that calls to him. After his father's death he finds himself at a loss, not knowing who to trust or where to turn, with the wrath of the Queen's soldiers after him. On the journey he faces attacks, betrayal, and also finds friends that become like family. Myrad shows a keen mind with a wisdom beyond his years, I admired his devotion to his mission, and determination to not let physical obstacles get in his way, as well as his honesty about his weaknesses.

Overall a well written high stakes journey, that imagines what it might have been like to follow the star, risking it all in a explosive political atmosphere, for the promise of the King. A story of courage, faith, and hope, just in time for Christmas. Multiple colorful characters, well researched, and daring. Great for fans of Biblical fiction and of Mr. Carr's worldbuilding skills!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Praise for the Book

"Carr retells the story of the Magi in this bustling biblical adventure . . . . Myrad's divine vision of the star and his arduous trek battling his own physical problems to pay homage to the Messiah capture the majesty of biblical narratives and will appeal to Christians well versed in scripture."--Publishers Weekly

"Patrick Carr brings us a captivating tale in The End of the Magi. Based on the Holy Bible, he weaves a fictional tale of the adventures of a group of magi from the east looking for the Messiah. Myrad is a strong main character even though he doesn't see himself as strong. He has great character traits and these help him find triumph over tragedy. . . . The End of the Magi is a great holiday read and gives us much to think about in our journey to know God better."--Fresh Fiction

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About the Author

Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot were both finalists for 2014 Christy Awards. He teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- One winner will receive a print copy of The End of the Magi and a $20 B&N gift card
- Four winners will each receive a print copy of The End of the Magi
- US only
- Ends November 29, 2019

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Protecting Tanner Hollow by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

4 thrilling novellas set in the seemingly idyllic Tanner Hollow, one featuring Derek St. John!

Action-packed, thrilling reads from Lynette Eason. I was so excited to read these novellas, and would save them as rewards for myself for getting other tasks done. They did not disappoint!

The first two stories feature brothers Nolan and Jason Tanner, as they evade killers and find love. The third story finds Eli Murphy risking his own secrets to help Honor. And the 4th is an absolute must read for fans of Ms. Eason's Blue Justice Series,  as it stars Derek St. John.

I enjoyed every one of these stories, they all pack a huge punch in a novella-length story. Great heroes and heroines, thrilling, suspenseful stories that do not disappoint! Perfect for fans of suspense!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Secret Christmas Child by Lee Tobin McClain ~ Review

My Review:
High School sweethearts reunite before Christmas, could this be their second chance at love?

Reese Markowski has returned to his hometown to work with at risk youth and dogs. He hires his ex-girlfriend, single mom, Gabby to work for him, they reconnect, but will the secret about her daughter keep them apart?

It is uncomfortable for Reese and Gabby at first, seeing each other after so long, and on the terms that they had broken up. Gabby is excellent with the children, and has big ideas to help the program. While Reese finds himself bonding with Gabby's young daughter.

I really enjoyed this story, it had a lot going on with the kids, dogs, Christmas program, and the relationship between Reese and Gabby. I also really liked the side characters, like Nana and Jacob.

Overall, a heartwarming Christmas read about second chances and love. I really liked how everyone just falls in love with Izzy, especially Reese and Jacob. Enjoyable read, definitely recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


What Comes My Way by Tracie Peterson ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

The long awaited conclusion to the Brookstone Brides Trilogy.

What Comes My Way picks up right where the previous book left off, making it a book that I would not recommend reading as a stand alone, as much of the set up is done in previous books, and this is the book where we finally get the answers. I really enjoyed the previous books in the series so picking his one up was a no brainer, in this book we get to know Ella a bit more, as well as Phillip, while still following Lizzie and Wesley from the first book.

Ella has come a long way since the beginning, finding her place as a talented trick rider she feels free from her past. She has grown in her faith and confidence with the help of her friends who have become family. When faces from her past reappear, she must put the past behind her and choose the life that she wants for herself.

Phillip Deshazer struggles with guilt, which shows itself in his overindulgence in strong drink. He must face his demons once and for all if his budding relationship with Ella stands a chance.

Overall, a great ending to a very entertaining and enjoyable series about strong women as they make their way in a wild west show. Ella and Phillip grow over the course of the book, I liked how it continues to follow the main characters from the previous book. Also it ties up many of the loose ends, with a fast paced conclusion, even though the beginning was a bit slow for me. Definitely a must read if you've read the other books the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Moon is Always Round by Jonathan Gibson, illustrated by Joe Hox ~ Review

My Review:

A beautiful, bittersweet children's book about God's unending goodness, in the midst of our suffering.

The story follows a young boy and his parents, as they eagerly await the birth of a new baby sister. The seasons change as does the shape of the moon, when unexpected events occur, the family holds tight to the promise of God's goodness.

A beautiful hardcover picture book, with lovely illustrations that show the striking contrast between light and dark, day and night, highlighting the brilliance of the moon. A well written book that talk about God's goodness, even in the midst of suffering. It includes lesson suggestions, the story behind the book, and a catechism on the moon.

Overall, a really well done book all around, very thoughtfully written and paced. A beautiful story about God's unchanging goodness, written for young children, but it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and would be great for starting deep discussions with the young person in your life. I was very impressed, and highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A riveting adventure of romance, sabotage, and forgiveness, set against the breathtaking wonder of the Grand Canyon. 

Meg Pero grew up assisting her photographer father, and after his death she is determined to fulfill his contract with the Army as part of the surveying team mapping the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. But the man leading the expedition is none other than her ex-fiance, Capt. Ben Coleridge.

Meg grew up on the road, following her father wherever his job took him, now that he's gone she's fighting to blaze a trail for herself as a photographer. She is a strong heroine, who must stand up for herself in a world of men, and an uncertain future. Meg is smart, and spunky, willing to do what it takes to prove her mettle as a photographer worthy of her position.

I loved the friendship and camaraderie among the surveying crew, which adds to the tension of who could be behind the mysterious events plaguing their crew. Meg finds a fast friend in Dot, the wife of the cartographer, who also cooks and serves as a chaperone. Dot has a strong faith, that encourages Meg and others on their journey.

Overall, a highly entertaining read with well developed characters who grow over the course of the book as they deal with sabotage, betrayal, and a second chance at love. I liked Ben's strong faith and how he finds ways to reconnect with Meg on their journey. There is a lot going on, with compelling characters, and a lot going on that kept me guessing where the story would go next. I also enjoyed learning about the Grand Canyon during the discovery/mapping phase, before it became a National Park. Very well-written read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard ~ Review

Lucie's Review:
A thrilling, suspense, with non-stop action, and romance set against the rugged beauty of Wyoming.

Harper Reynolds is an ex-crime scene photographer, who accidentally captures a murder on film while taking pictures in the Grand Tetons. She flees the scene, but the killer sees her, and then she loses her camera.

Reserve Deputy Heath McKade is brought on to help protect Harper after she takes her story to the county Sheriff's department. But can they catch the killer and find the camera, before it's too late?

Harper and Heath grew up together, but after her father was murdered they moved away and haven't seen each other since. Harper was strongly affected by what happened, and has always wondered if things might have happened differently if she hadn't been so scared. Harper is very skilled at her job, but the emotional toll can be overwhelming at times. She is determined to do the right thing, and is glad to have Heath at her side again to help her solve the crime.

Heath was one of my favorite characters from the previous companion book. He is ex-military, and skilled in high risk situations. He and Harper were best friends as children, and he stands by her side, and believes her even when no one else will. He admires her strength and dedication to seeing this through to the end.

I loved the fast-paced plot, filled with action and page-turning suspense. There was good tension, and character interaction between Harper and Heath. I liked that there was a strong backstory, and a beautiful setting. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't as much for faith conversations as in the previous book, but still a good book! A well written, page-turner, about courage and doing the right thing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Good News for Little Hearts created by Jocelyn Flenders, edited by Edward T. Welch, Jayne V. Clark, David Powlison and illustrated by Joe Hox ~ Review

My Review:

Good News for Little Hearts is a series of children's picture books from CCEF, that offer so much more than simply a moralistic message, but instead each story points to the Gospel and our need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Written to be read aloud to children ages 3-8, these books are great for starting discussion on dealing with life's challenges Scripturally, covering topics such as death, loneliness, and wanting something too much.

In Gus Loses His Grip, Gus Raccoon has a deceptively sugary sweet addiction, but what happens when his desire takes over? This book talks about how there are many things that in small amounts are not harmful, and can even be good, but when we let those things have control over us it can crossover very quickly into sin.

Tori Comes Out of Her Shell is about a young tortoise who is new to the neighborhood, she is shy and hides under her shell. But a Scriptural reminder from her new teacher, encourages Tori to step out of her comfort zone. I loved how this book focuses on how we are never alone, as well as how even when we are lonely sometimes, we aren't the only ones.

Henry Says Good-Bye follows a young hedgehog as he deals with death and sadness. I liked how this book deals with a tough topic, while offering understanding and hope, as well as a warning against letting our sadness cause us to sin.

Good News for Little Hearts books deal with tough life challenges in a way that young children can understand, opening up moments for meaningful discipleship opportunities with the child in your life, with each story pointing to the Gospel. Each book includes perforated cardboard Scripture cards, and a Gospel-focused discussion guide. The illustrations are charming, and fun, with a fun engaging layout.

Overall, I was completely blown away by the quality of these books for children, it sets a high standard, and honestly it's hard to find a book that is so well written on difficult topics, with young children in mind and a Christ-centered focus. These books strive for so much more than the moralistic fluff of other books out on the market, and I was very impressed. Great to share with the young people in your life, and designed to read aloud with your child. They would make a great gift for a baby shower, child's birthday, Christmas, Easter, or any occasion, also perfect for church libraries. Highly recommend!

I received complimentary copies of these books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A harrowing wilderness journey of endurance and determination. 

Ingrid Chastain is traveling with her father to deliver much need vaccines to the mountain dwelling folk, but a terrible accident leaves her injured and her father dead, leaving it up to her to complete their mission.

Micah is a drifter with a secret past, but when he finds Ingrid he knows that he must help her, so together they make the treacherous journey through the mountains.

The first in a brand new series with Bethany House Publishers, it begins with a this high stakes journey of strength, faith, and endurance, not without a high dose of pain along the way. Micah is running from his past with his wandering ways, while Ingrid is an angel of mercy to the mountain folk that she and her father serve. She relies on her faith in God to give her strength for the journey ahead of them, slowing getting to know Micah and breaking down his walls.

Slow to start at first, but it picked up after the characters got to know each other a bit. The journey was quite literally very painful, and I just couldn't help but feel terrible for their situation. There was good character building and interaction throughout, and I couldn't help but feel their pain as Murphy's Law seemed to be working in full force in their vicinity.

I wanted so much to love this book, but the literal agony of their journey made it a difficult read, because I couldn't stop thinking about how much pain their were both experiencing. My heart went out to them and the author did a great job of bringing their struggling to life. I applauded the strong themes of faith throughout, and the dangerous beauty of the mountains.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Soldier's Christmas Secrets by Laura Scott ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Four years ago a plane went down with Special Ops Agent Hawk Jacobson on board, and he is assumed dead. He suffers from amnesia but he knows that the plane crash wasn't an accident and that he's a target. So he goes into hiding living life off the grid, using his skills working as a private investigator. But when his past work bring him and his wife, Jillian back together, he is afraid that she has moved on, but he is still determined to keep her and her daughter safe.

Hawk is a skilled soldier, and even though he lost a lot of memories, he is a natural protector. He was one of my favorite characters in a previous companion book, so I was so excited to see that he got his own story. He is a good man, and he loves his family fiercely, he wants to do all that he can to protect them. I admired his willingness to put others' needs before his own, and how he is shows by his actions his true character.

This is a fast paced-read, with a compelling and complex plot. Easy to follow, yet filled with action, intensity, and I didn't want to put it down! I'm by no means a Love Inspired expert, but I've read my fair share, and this is only the second book I've read from them where the main characters are already married. I loved the twists, the character development, and interaction. The story was compelling, thrilling, and well developed. You won't want to miss this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Hereafter by Jody Hedlund ~ Review

My Review:

The thrilling conclusion to The Lost Princesses Series!

Emmeline had a happy child in the Inglewood Forest, raised by former Elite Guard, Lance, and former Lady-in-Waiting, Felicia, knowing that she would someday claim her rightful place as a princess of Mercia. After being captured and forced to marry Ethelrex, she is bent on escape, but could God have brought her here for such a time as this?

Ethelrex has trained for years to become the best of the best in preparation to succeed his father, King Ethelwulf as ruler of Warwick. He is determined to honor his father and prove himself worthy after many years away honing his skills as a warrior. He was a surprising character, in that I didn't know how I would feel about him, but in the end he was definitely one of my favorites! He is a born leader, with the ability to think critically, and a high moral code.

Emmeline is content with her upbringing, and has no wish to be princess. Out of all the princesses I think she is my favorite, and the one that I related best to. Emmeline loves her parents dearly, and is loyal, humble, and modest, acting bravely in the face of grave danger to protect the ones she loves.

I've enjoyed each of the books in this series, but this final one most of all, where everything comes full circle. I think I was most anticipating Emmeline's story because of how much I enjoyed Lance and Felicia's story at the very beginning of the series. Emmeline was the most relatable to me, because of her fears and insecurities, as well as her loyalty and bravery. Rex was well written, complex, yet honorable. Fast paced, and highly entertaining, I loved every minute of this book, because everything from previous books was being turned in it's head and kept me guessing as to how this could all work out in the end. A highly satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.