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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Jerusalem (The Name of the Hawk-Volume 5) by Murray Pura



The ancient city of David, the great city of Jerusalem, site of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God - Hawk and Skaytha and their companions have finally fought their way to the place where they believe they will be able to find the True Cross and restore it to its rightful place as a blessing to the entire world. But now a new enemy arises in a dream that torments Hawk - a knight with a shield bearing a cross of scarlet will defeat him in battle, seize Skaytha as his captive, and put her to death. Hawk tries to shake the bad omen off and hopes it is only his imagination - until they enter Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate, make their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and find four knights blocking their path. And one of them bears the shield of the scarlet cross that Hawk saw in his nightmare!

The Guru's Review: 

I have said many times before in this series, that Pura packs a lot in a short space and this volume of 25 pages is no different. 

Non stop action from the first page, with The Five coming under attack from supernatural beings, centaurs, from the pit of hell, to Hawk fighting his brother, Sir Galahad, without knowing they are brothers, to being confronted by a Warrior Angel and ordered to enter a portal to retrieve The Cross of Christ. I read this over a lunch break at work and could not believe how fast it finished and how absorbed I was in this short. 

During the fight with the centaurs, Africa panics, and does not understand why the angels do not fight for them, seeing these centaurs are supernatural and much bigger in size and number compared to The Five. Skaytha responds,
Some battles are for humans to fight!
They all fight valiantly and defeat these centaurs (not human and horse centaurs either!) but Africa does not, having left her dagger and sword in the baggage behind her saddle. Canach reprimands Africa for not fighting, 
We could have all been killed and you did nothing, nothing! Our task is to find and restore the True Cross to the world so that men and women may live and not die. But you would let them all die if only you might save your own skin. Take your blade from your baggage right now and wear it. Take it out or I will strike you dead. A whole world is at stake and you cry like a child when you need to be a woman and a warrior. 
When Africa tries to give excuses to not fight, Canach further reprimands her, 
All people are God's people, He made them, he loves them, and he wishes to protect and defend each and every one of them and restore them to his household. You are part of his plan to bring life where there is only death. Honor that. Honor him. I swear by all that is holy you will not live another day if you do not fight the next battle. 
Here is another spiritual warfare lesson that Pura has included, that while essential to The Five's quest and functioning as a team of warriors, is also a lesson for us. We are to encourage, uplift and exhort each other in our Christian walk, as Word says, "....as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another..." (Proverbs 27:17). When we struggle, am fearful, etc, we have the support of another or others to help us up and get back in the battle and walk with Christ. Each part of the Body of Christ doing their bit and functioning as they ought. 

The Five sojourn towards Jerusalem and fight more supernatural beings, large raptors with webbed wings and outthrust necks, and long fanged mouths. They succeed in defeating these, then the desert splits open and dark horns emerge from the sand, seven heads on long scaly necks, dragons black as the night. Just when they realise they cannot fight these ones, they are rescued by the fighting of the angels, fiery balls of white flame that engulfed the dragons and reduce them to their bones. 

This white flame engulfs The Five and heals their wounds from the previous battles. This prepares them for yet more onslaughts: beasts, huge crocodiles, dark angels that were defeated by Hawk and Skaytha bursting into flames and devouring them. Insects with stings like scorpions, the desert floor cracking open, the sky raining blood and ashes and streaks of fire and one last onslaught by an army but this defeated again by angelic forces. 

After all this, they reach Jerusalem, four years after they had left Skyrl. While the others do not know what to expect next, Hawk states to his troupe, 
One thing will lead to another. In the morning we go through the Daascus Gate and make our way to the Chruch of the Holy Sepulcher. That is where our Lord's body was laid. That is where he rose from the dead. The site of his sacrifice is not far away. Somewhere by the church or the site of his crucifixion I expect to be touched or spoken to by God or an angel. Or one of us will. 
While in Jerusalem, they try their best to remain inconspicuous but four mounted knights sight them and Hawk recognises their armour from a dream he had previously. One of them had noticed the type of horse they had which obviously is rare in that part of the world and asks Hawk about them. This situation goes pear shaped when one of the knights throws Fia on the ground and when Hawk challenges the head knight about this they fight both discover they both believe in the Christ, but does this stop them from fighting? They both disbelieve who each other is and where they came from, calling each other's heritage a myth. It is only when and Angel intervenes that they cease their foray and find out their true heritage.

All through this, and what followed, I found interesting dialogue, and I chuckled, as these two, now united, still bickered and verbally jousted with one another, still trying to outsmart and outdo each other while now obeying what the angel instructed them to do, even while facing the onslaught of attack from yet another dragon, this one with seven heads! 


This one ends in a cliffhanger and prepares the way for the final volume in this series, The Cross. If this next volume is anything like this one, it is going to be an even better ending that I hope for! 

Highly Recommended. 

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