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Freedom’s Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the Book

Title: Freedom’s Song

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publisher: Waterbrook-Multnomah

Released: October 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Her voice made her a riverboat’s darling–and its prisoner. Now she’s singing her way to freedom in this powerful novel from the bestselling author of The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.

“[An] enjoyable faith-filled adventure . . . Sawyer’s episodic narrative and rich assortment of characters fighting for freedom provide the story with many twists and unexpected side-plots.”–Publishers Weekly

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. However, when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape–an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .

After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past–and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . .

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery. 

My Impressions

“Just ’cause somethin’ is legal don’t make it right.” Truer words were never spoken. In her new book, Freedom’s Song, Kim Vogel Sawyer has many such pearls of wisdom. This multiplies a book’s value to me.

Travel back to 1860 and land on a riverboat on the Mississippi River. Fanny Beck is a popular concert attraction on the River Peacock. Held against her will, she longs for freedom from Sloane, her unscrupulous manager.

I loved the plot and characters of this book. The novel flows smoothly, albeit with suspense and I found myself often holding my breath. The characters are very relatable, except for maybe Sloane. However, Sawyer paints even her antagonist as multi-dimensional, and I enjoyed seeing the fight between good and evil within a person.

It’s amazing to see how well some people can care for their own needs while callously ignoring those of others. This was true of people back then, and is, unfortunately, still true of people today.

I was disappointed to have to leave some of our new friends before we got a chance to know them well. Sawyer created them so well, I wanted them to remain throughout the novel. However, their leaving enables the next scenario, with more people that I began to love because of their great personalities. I fell in love with toddler Annaliese. And Walter is so much more valuable than he gives himself credit for.

If you like themes of redemption, finding true freedom, and friendship; set against a mid-1800’s America, you will love this novel of faith and suspense.

A Reader’s Guide is included at the conclusion. This follows an epilogue, one of those oh-so-satisfying ending touches.

A copy of this book was provided by Waterbrook-Multnomah. No positive review was required. All opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

Kim Vogel Sawyer has a gentle style that reminds me of Janette Oke.

About the Author

Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in the library. The little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer’s Return. Kim’s titles now exceed 1.5 million copies and are available in six different languages. A former elementary school teacher, she now enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Kim’s passion lies in writing stories that point the reader to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. When Kim isn’t writing, you’ll find her traveling with her retired military hubby, spoiling her granddarlings, petting the cats, quilting, or–as time allows–participating in community theater. You can learn more about Kim’s writing and speaking ministries at her website, KimVogelSawyer.com. 

Kim Vogel Sawyer > Series

Kim Vogel Sawyer
33,052 ratings (average 4.09)
71 works

Waiting for Summer's Return
Where the Heart Leads
A Promise for Spring
Fields of Grace
A Hopeful Heart
Courting Miss Amsel
A Whisper of Peace

Heart of the Prairie (10 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.05 avg rating — 13,147 ratings

My Heart Remembers
In Every Heartbeat

My Heart Remembers (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.01 avg rating — 5,025 ratings

Bygones
Beginnings
Blessings

Sommerfield Trilogy (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.11 avg rating — 2,354 ratings

When Mercy Rains
When Grace Sings
When Love Returns

The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.25 avg rating — 1,360 ratings

Bringing Maggie Home
Unveiling the Past

Bringing Maggie Home (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.29 avg rating — 1,244 ratings

What Once Was Lost

What Once Was Lost (1 book)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.16 avg rating — 892 ratings

Just As I Am
Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.14 avg rating — 805 ratings

Katy's New World
Katy's Debate
Katy's Homecoming
Katy's Decision

Katy Lambright (4 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 3.85 avg rating — 731 ratings

Sweet Sanctuary
My Soul Sings

Sweet Sanctuary (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.13 avg rating — 598 ratings

A Seeking Heart
A Heart Surrenders
When A Heart Cries

Mountain Lakes (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.24 avg rating — 299 ratings

Dear John
That Wilder Boy
Promising Angela

Favorite, Waterbrook-Multnomah

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

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About the Book

Title: The King’s Mercy

Author: Lori Benton

Publisher: Waterbrook-Multnomah

To be Released: June 4, 2019

For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th-century colonial south.

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will, Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

My Review:

Lori Benton is an unknown author to me before now. Now I know why she is a favorite of many, and her new book, The King’s Mercy, is so greatly anticipated. Scheduled for release on June 4, (2019), I obtained an ARC through Waterbrook-Multnomah, the publisher. 
Ah, Benton had me at the double entendre title. How I love these. Obviously, we are talking about the mercy of two very different kings. Captured at the Scottish battle of Culloden, Alex McKinnon is spared death three times before he receives the true “king’s mercy,” banishment to the colonies as an indentured slave. I was impressed by how scornfully the phrase “the king’s mercy” was uttered by those who were unfortunate enough to receive it. Just a day after I finished this wonderful book, I encountered this telling verse in Proverbs 12:10: “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” (ESV) 
So we have established there is a lot of emotion-anger. There is also love, confusion, subterfuge, greed, avarice, helplessness, and an intense longing for freedom. As I reminisce about this sweeping saga, I am tempted to divide people into two groups: slave and free. Interestingly enough, the groups are not iron-clad, and it might be surprising who could land in each category. Who is really enslaved, and who is truly free? 
So many characters to like, some to love, others to despise. 
My favorite character is Alex. He is sensitive, humble, and empathetic to the pain of others’, be it Joanna’s loss of a friendship years ago; Elijah’s inability to work the smithy following his accident; or Jemma’s inability to fit in where expected. He still had a few flaws, but wouldn’t we all like to hear this: 
“…I don’t think it right or true that you be defined by a single choice.” 
And the quotes. Benton speaks well to present-day. 
“Ye’ve always had that about ye, a need for a purpose beyond yourself. ‘Tis the Almighty knit ye so.” We are all made in God’s image, with a purpose beyond just living for ourselves. 
When all seemed bad enough to drive one to insanity: “So be the iron. Bend with the heat.” 
“Despite her best intentions, she was playing the part of Martha again when she longed to be Mary, sitting at the preacher’s feet.”  
“If ye draw lines between yourself and folk, the least ye can do is keep to your side of them.” 
“…it was her very life that vexed her, its burdens, its injustices. She wanted freedom as badly as he.” 

 

_Whatever we pour our treasure into will ultimately captivate our hearts. What captivates our hearts we worship. What we worship remakes us-into its image._ (1).png

 

 

 

 

“Whatever we pour our treasure into will ultimately captivate our hearts. What captivates our hearts we worship. What we worship remakes us— into its image.”  
One issue I had is that historicals that mention several real places should always have maps. How frustrating to have locations referred to repeatedly, but have no idea where they really are. I found Cape Fear on a map; other locations I could only wonder. 
Finally, I liked very much the author’s note of explanation concerning the fact the story is loosely based on Biblical characters. Where truth and fiction collided, I found the characters true to Scripture. Well-done, Lori Benton!! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

My Rating: 

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About the Author:

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Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th-century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.

Burning Sky, Lori’s debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.