After the finding of an Old Testament in book one of the trilogy, The Gift picks up the story of Teo and Ana. Exiled from their homeland and trying to survive in unknown and dangerous lands, they search for any record of the missing Testament. Their journeys lead them into the region we know as Italy. An elite society welcomes Ana, who finds she must choose between her new life and her dream of returning to Chiveis. Will Teo and Ana's relationship withstand the circumstances and new enemies pulling them apart? And can Teo keep ahead of a powerful and mysterious force opposing his search for the New Testament?
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Customer Reviews for The Gift, Chiveis Trilogy Series #2
This second book in the The Chiveis Trilogy Series moved the story along very well, kept me intrigued and turning the pages. I'm usually weary about middle books, because they can easily become fillers without adding much to to story line, but this was not the case. We got to know more about the characters, their struggles with the journey as well as with each other and God. Good read and I can't wait until the last book comes out.
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Review 2 for The Gift, Chiveis Trilogy Series #2
An enthralling read!
Date:January 1, 2012
The Book Blogger
Loved, loved, loved this book!!! Not only is the cover awesome (I love the colours, not to mention the exciting/scary scene) but the entire book was enthralling from start to finish. I found that the author wrote much more smoothly than in the prequel, and the dialogue was less stilted. The fast-paced move of the book was suitable for the storyline, which is really brilliant. I love the idea of reverting to a medieval world because of a massive nuclear war(the details of which are outlined in The Gift).
I liked how it was divided into 3 parts:Solidarity, Extravagancy and Victory. They all symbolised certain aspects which occurred in the story. Ana and Teo's character develops further, and both good and bad desicions are made. What I really liked was the theme of sacrificial love which was repeatedly displayed; a love which was willing to lay down reputation, and even its life, for the sake of another. Teo and Ana are faced with even more danger than they were in the last book. They face a new foe in their new life, one which is even more dangerous than the high priestess. Their peril intensifies as they seek the NewTestament, which the dark forces are determined to destroy. There is both action and adventure, love and war. There were stark contrasts in this book: between the elite society ana is pressured into, against the lowly status Teo is forced to maintain. There was also a group called the Exterminati which, loyal to their name, literally exterminated people who were considered inferior or 'unwhole' in some way. This aspect of the story was pretty freaky, and seemed like a dark echo of the WW2 Nazi concentration camp-type thing.
This book is more emotional and portrays more suffering than its prequel. The characters uncover more about the Christ figure who is Deu's son. There is a greater cast of characters introduced, and even the least adds an important aspect to the story. I think Bryan Litfin has a winner in this series!
In part two of the Chiveis trilogy (begun with The Sword) Bryan Litfin leads readers in Ana and Teo’s continuing journey in The Gift – out of their beloved Chiveis and into a post-apocalyptic Italy where beauty and sensuality reign supreme. Here they encounter yet further persecution and realize that not only is Deu’s religion prohibited in their homeland, but has also been targeted by powerful leaders in other lands.
As the pair strive to rediscover the missing portion of Deu’s Word (the New Testament) and unravel the secrets surrounding the Pierced One, their character continues to be refined and tested by many trials. Thankfully Litfin has done much to improve the depth of his characters, giving them more realistic flaws while drawing them closer to their Creator.
No longer is Ana a seemingly sinless young woman as she comes face to face with her own previously hidden weaknesses and failings. The tender – if confused – feelings between Teo and Ana also continue to build on a firm, if still somewhat platonic bond of affection.
It is exciting to see that Litfin has clearly been working on improving his craft, and as such, I am looking forward to reading the continuing adventures of Ana and Teo which are bound to be as exciting as those contained within this installment.
Disclosure: I received a physical copy of this title for review.
Last year I read a book that took me quite by surprise. I did not expect to like it. I actually expected to dislike it. But, I found that I loved it! It was The Sword by Brian Litfin. It fits into a genre of fiction known as speculative fiction. Essentially, the world goes into a future dark age when a virus wipes out most of the world's population. This is deftly described in a very concise few pages at the beginning of The Sword. God's Word has been lost and so has faith in Him. It has been replaced by Idolatry and the worship of many Gods. The Sword is the story of Teo and Ana and their discovery of part of God's Word. I knew when I began reading The Sword that it was to be the beginning of a new trilogy and that I would have to wait a year for the second installment.
The Gift was published in April of this year. I have looked forward to reading it and I finally got a chance to read it this week.
I'm not sure quite where to begin. So, I'll begin with the cover. I was surprised by how the cover affected me. It reminded me of a Harlequin type fantasy romance novel. It set me ill at ease and didn't appeal to me. But, I opened up the book and began reading. The story picks up where the first one left off. There is a 2 page prologue that is brief but complete to set the stage for this second book in the trilogy. This book can be read independently as an engaging story, but I would recommend beginning with the first one simply because it is a really good story.
The Plot: I enjoyed the plot immensely. The plot, with all its twists and turns, is engaging and interesting. Some of the twists are predictable, but many are not. In this book, Teo and Ana set out to find more of the sacred writing of Deu. They found a portion of the Old Testament, but know that there is a second part of the book that is missing. This book tells the story of their continuing quest.
The Writing: I did not find this book to be as well written as the first. It is difficult for me to say exactly why. The language and grammar seemed too casual--too much like how we talk today. Every culture seems to have its own colloquialisms and I didn't notice any in this futuristic culture. At one point in the story, I couldn't picture Teo and Anna saying "Yeah, sure." when it was included in the story. It didn't fit with their characters for me. I was pleased, however, with how easily Mr. Litfin was able to convey when the characters were speaking in different languages while keeping the story fluid.
I think perhaps my misgiving about the cover is linked foretold of the amount of romance that would infuse the story. I'm not sure that it was vital to the plot to include as much description of the women's clothing and their body movements as there was. It made me somewhat uncomfortable at times. The descriptions were a bit more like modern romance novels than Jane Austen's novels. My discomfort reminded that this is an adult fantasy fiction book, not one for middle or high school students.
I enjoyed this story and am glad to have read it, in light of my one misgiving. I do look forward to the third installment of the trilogy next year. I would not, however, recommend this series to teenagers. I know that young adult fiction now reads like adult fiction, but I am still of the opinion that teenagers shouldn't have to be adults yet and their books should be appropriate for their levels of maturity.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway Publishing for review.
Step forward several hundred years into a post-nuclear apocalypse future. Earth has lost most of her technology and a new feudal age is in full swing. In this world, the Christiani are hunted down and nearly exterminated, and even the very message of the New Testament has been lost and nearly forgotten.
This is the story that Bryan M. Litfin crafts for us in his Chiveis Trilogy. "The Gift: A Novel", the second book in the series, follows Captain Teofil and Anastasia as they journey through new lands in search of the lost New Testament. Along the way, their adventures are many as they narrowly escape imprisonment, torture and death at every turn. The physical dangers aren’t the only obstacles in their quest, they battle temptation to fit in to the spirit of the world they inhabit, too.
The book comes off feeling a bit like a fantasy work, yet there are no fantastic characters. It’s actually more similar to a tale from a long lost medieval age, with the twist of people trying to search out the true meaning of Christianity. The character development is excellent even if the plot at times seems too good to be true. The quest to find the true nature of Christianity and to uncover the lost New Testament makes for a great story line, however. And the book moves along at a quick pace.
Without having read the first book, I was still able to enter the story easily: enough of the backstory was retold that I didn’t feel lost. This book also comes with 15 study questions in the back which would allow it to serve as a class assignment for a study of literature, or equally well as a discussion guide for talking over the story and the moral dilemmas which faced its characters with your teen-age children.
This story was both unique and well-written. And what is vital for a fictional tale, it was ultimately satisfying. Yet the book offered even more, it was a work about our Christian faith and the struggle to live it out faithfully in whatever age we find ourselves in. I recommend the book highly. It would make for great summer reading. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the conclusion of Litfin’s Chiveis Trilogy, too.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Crossway Books for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but this second book is even better! Years in the future and after a global epidemic that practically wiped out all mankind, society has reverted to an almost midevil state. Christianity has been eradicated - or has it? This book takes us on a journey to Roma in search of a copy of the New Testament (in Book 1 Teo and Ana found a copy of the Old Testament). Along the way Ana and Teo are separated and both of them make the ultimate sacrifice for each other. I can not wait until the next book comes out - alas, I think it will be awhile, but worth the wait!
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Review 7 for The Gift, Chiveis Trilogy Series #2
Brilliant and Imaginative Novel
Date:May 4, 2011
The second book in the Chiveis Trilogy, The Gift delivers another powerful and imaginative story. We see pure evil as well as sacrificial love and the truth that God has gifted his chosen children and will use the weak to serve the strong.
Ana and Teo have chosen to leave their home and families rather than deny Deu - the Creator God whom they have come to know and love. They also have a common goal - to find the lost Scriptures of the New Testament. For years the Exterminati have fought to extinguish Christianity, while they have been quite successful, there remains a small following of the Creator God, and once again we see the the eternality of God's Word.
Positives: A captivating storyline, this novel provides a graphic portrayal of grace, forgiveness, redemption and a desire to know the truth at any cost. The character development was excellent and added so much to the story, but there were also so many surprises along the way that kept me reading til late into the night!
Negatives: None. The sexual references are more limited in this novel.
Talking Points: Point out to your kids how the Scriptures work together as whole. Even though the Christians didn't have the New Testament, as they studied the Old Testament they began to understand who Jesus is. Although there knowledge was fragmented, they had some understanding. II Tim. 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed, teach your children that each and every word of the Bible is important to God, and therefore important to us. Talk about the sacrificial love that Teo and Ana display and how this is a reflection of Christ's love for us (I John 4:19, John 15:13, John 3:16).
Age Level: 16 years old and up
I received a free copy of this book from Crossway Publishers for this review.
The Gift by Bryan Litfin is the second book in the Chiveis Trilogy. A dystopian society, hundreds of years in Earth's future after a nuclear war has put the few remaining inhabitants into a pseudo-medieval style of life. Teofil was a professor in Chiveis before discovering a ancient sacred text that introduced him to the god Deu. He and friend Anastasia have fled their homeland where the authorities wanted to put them to death for their faith in the mysterious Creator God. The Gift picks up with their exile away from Chiveis where they travel to Umbartia. Ana is quickly embraced into the lavish aristocratic society while Teofil is forced away from her, despite his growing feelings for her. Teofil continues his search for the second half of the Sacred Text, the missing New Testament, while Ana loses herself in a hedonistic society with new friend Vanita who encourages her to forget her home and friends and embrace this new life. Ana and Teo are pulled apart and together again in surprising and tragic ways. I absolutely loved The Sword, the first book in this series. I love how Litfin has made the so well-known Bible by allowing readers to see it through the eyes of people who have no idea what Christianity means or its relevance in the world. Teo and Ana run into images of a man crucified on a cross and try to make sense of Iesus Christe without the New Testament. That is still a fascinating part of the book, as well as learning how the faith has survived in this new, dark world. Litfin finaly gives readers a few clues as to where the books are taking place, and some famous names from history make a surprising appearance here. For me, this didn't quite live up to The Sword, although it's still a terrific novel. I was disappointed in Ana's defection, and Litfin manipulates the reader deceptively a couple of times. The Gift still offers a fascinating story with lots of action, suspense, faith, and a bit of romance. I can't wait to read the last book in this trilogy and see how Litfin brings this huge story to an end (and part of me hopes he'll keep it going for more than just one more book yet!).
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Review 9 for The Gift, Chiveis Trilogy Series #2
Date:May 4, 2011
This is a great book, even better than the first one (The Sword). I had a hard time putting it down.
My only problem with it is that I have to wait over a year to read the third book.
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Review 10 for The Gift, Chiveis Trilogy Series #2
Fantastic story & even better than the first book!
I had the honor of reading this book for endorsement purposes, which is the reason my review is posted already and the book hasn't been released yet.
The Gift is a powerfully written story about forgiveness and a desire to know the truth, no matter the cost. The author has a gift for making situations impossible and seemingly hopeless, then finding hope in every situation. I lost track of the number of times I held my breath expecting the worst, which often happened. As the story progressed I saw how even the worst circumstances were used by God for a greater purpose. There were so many spiritual truths and lessons in this novel. I couldn't imagine living in a world knowing most of the truth, but then missing the greatest portion of that truth, the person of Jesus Christ, who ties the Old Testament to the New. This story moved me to tears on numerous occasions and gave me an even greater appreciation for the scriptures. It also contained a powerful romance that was compelling because it showed the power of true love and the beauty of committing to loving one person for life, the person God intended for you. Teo and Ana exemplified sacrificial love, which always draws the unsaved to faith in Jesus Christ, Who is the model for us all. It's impossible to read The Gift and not be moved in some way. I cannot wait to read the next book in this incredible series.