Love and Memory is a new clean Christian fantasy book by Kendra E. Ardnek, releasing this week. There’s a giveaway you can enter for the next few days only, so do read on past my review.
I got to read an early copy of this book, and it’s a good one. Ups and downs, twists, heartache, pain, beauty, love, relationships, loss, friendship, and so much more.
If you check my Goodreads shelves and my reviews, you might scratch your head, wondering why I read this book at all, let alone enjoyed it. To be sure, it isn’t my normal genre. But these books are something special. They are the exception in many ways. Let me explain.
I don’t read many fantasy books of this type. Kendra’s books are one rare exception. Why? It’s because the way she handles the fantasy systems of her worlds are very solid and thought-through. They aren’t random. They are based on reality and on the true system of rightness/wrongness – on the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the enemy. Many of the fantasy elements are strictly scientific, and evil is never condoned or presented as right. Central to everything is Alphego, the Rizkan name for God. And what is more, the books are deep and heartfelt and rich and show right and wrong, good and sin – but they never go to a dark place.
This book is also full of romance. Everywhere. Specifically, there are a lot of arranged marriages, and there’s a lot of married/engaged/Tied romance (it’s complicated. Read the book.). And I’m not a big fan of romance in books. I typically don’t read romances, and when I do, I don’t enjoy them. But again, this series is unique. First, the romance is usually between a well-established couple: either best-friends-for-life-getting-married-or-already-married, or an arranged marriage. There’s not much if any of the whole “attraction but no relationship” phase. Second, it’s pretty clean. There are way more kisses than I like, but very few are totally unmarried couples (it’s complicated. Portal fantasy. But there’s a lifelong commitment behind the kisses). But why I enjoy this aspect anyway? The romance isn’t the focus. Sure, it’s a big plot point. But there’s so much more to their lives and the plots, and the romance is presented in its proper place. #putromanceinitsplaceinbooks
So – why do I enjoy a romantic fantasy? Primarily because of two things: the characters and the message. (Also, the plot is AWESOME, and the setting is cool.) The characters are so rich, so relatable, so well-drawn. And the message is so Biblical, so true to life, so applicable. And it’s woven in gently and gracefully through the characters, the choices they make, and the plot itself.
In particular, Love and Memory was full of heartbreak. There were wrong choices. There were characters I wanted to push off the page. (Or at least shut their mouths!) There were times I sighed with the characters because resolution is never as easy as we wish it was, and the things we try don’t magically fix our problems. I really appreciated how this book tackles the theme of return and reintegration. When there’s been a huge change in life, we don’t just bounce back. We’re never the same. With a portal fantasy, it’s easy for an author to return the characters to earth exactly as they left–but life doesn’t work that way. Truly, no one with those experiences can return unchanged, and that’s what Love and Memory shows. There’s hurt. There’s loss. There’s grief. There’s so much more, and with twelve points of view in this book, the author portrays a wide variety of actions and reactions.
But wow. There’s growth. There’s hope. There’s positive influence. There are friendships made and relationships restored or forged. There is love, and there is the hand of God guiding the lives of each person – drawing them to Himself.
Love and Memory reminds me of a frank heart-to-heart with the characters . . . a heart-to-heart that grips the reader with the ups and downs of the journey while reminding them that hope, love, and faith are never too far gone.
Love and Memory
Release Date: April 22nd, 2021
The Rizkaland Legends #3
When a Queen forgets,
Her enemies rejoice in her weakness.
But when the Queen remembers,
They tremble in fear.
When a King loves,
His country rejoices with him.
But when that love is broken.
The land is broken, too.
Can Water and Fire join again?
Can Love and Memory be restored?
They spent years in Rizkaland. They ruled the land, forged friendships, built families, and made it their home. But then it was time to return to Earth, and their former lives just don’t fit anymore. Clara and Andrew struggle to reevaluate their priorities when hundreds of miles separate them. Reuben and Petra are lost as they seek a balance between their old friendship and their Rizkan marriage. And Ashna and Noraeto never planned to return, so what live is there for them on Earth?
When the unthinkable happens and a new enemy arises, they’re all thrown back into Rizkaland, into a young prince’s rise to power and struggle to build alliances for his kingdom. But they no longer belong in their other world, either.
Are good memories too much to bear?
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CSYSSXS/
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32674009-love-and-memory
Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon
The author is giving away a paperback copy of Love and Memory for every ten preorders. To enter, you need only preorder the kindle edition and then forward Kendra your receipt at Kendraeardnek(at)gmail(dot)com. (Giveaway is U.S. Only.)