Courage, by Molly Evangeline, is a continuation of the story presented in Truth, featuring Makilien, an eighteen-year-old who faces danger with a courageous spirit. Finding trouble in her hometown and danger to herself and family as certain news of her previous adventures spreads, she, her family, and friend Aedan embark on another incredible adventure in the struggle of good versus evil. Many twists, turns, and dangers await them. From strengthening the forces to using their powers of persuasion to coping with the horrors of war, pain, and loss, Makilien once again grows.
Compared to Truth, this book had a different feel. The description is much better; the characters are deeper; the plot is much more dramatic and exciting. Unexpected plot twists abound – the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat. There is more danger; there are more battles. If you do not enjoy reading battle scenes, you probably will not enjoy this book. The main battle scene, in particular, seemed quite long and drawn out – but it was appropriate to the setting. While there is a slightly stronger element of romance in the book than in its prequel, it is at least not overdone, does not overshadow the main plot, and (at least as far as the main character is concerned) fits well with the storyline and theme of courage. The book does an excellent job of building on the characters developed in Truth. Revisiting some of the places feels like visiting old friends. The interactions and dialogue before the climax begins building are well done, friendly, and realistic.
The strong focus on Elohim begun in Book 1 continues. However, the focus is not so central. Truth is focused on one character finding truth; Courage involves a wider spectrum of people involved in a much larger struggle. The spiritual elements are not as defined and specific, but they are still strongly present. The way that the people allow Elohim to plan their battles and guide their steps no matter what is crucial. The continued trust in only Elohim – for He is the only hope – is beautiful to see. The loyalty between all the characters is inspiring as well – with a healthy dose of treacherous characters involved at various points, making the good/evil contrast strikingingly clear.
In this book, we get to see much more of Aedan and Sirion’s points of view. While Aedan behaves with uncharacteristic suddenness and dreaminess at a few points, for the most part the additional viewpoints are quite enjoyable. Along with the other elements of the story, it makes Courage be more involved and require more intellectual engagement than Truth. Truth is an excellent first book; Courage is an excellent second book – for its more involved storyline keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat. I for one could not put it down. The surprises thrown in here and there, along with the realistic characters, were gripping. What happens next?
Overall, I would say that Courage ranks about as highly as Truth. While Truth has a more powerful and touching spiritual element and analogies, Courage possesses a higher literary element. Truth feeds the spirit more; Courage feeds the literary mind. All in all, however, Courage presents a fascinating story that illustrates and encourages us to “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24).