Blog Tour ~ The Sword

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)

Bryan M. Litfin


Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.

On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.

This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).


This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE

My Notes: My reading time, particularly for fiction reading, has been severely curtailed of late, so I have not completed this book yet.  However, I must say that judging by what I have read so far, this is one of the best fiction books I've read all year.  The premise..."If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"...is fascinating, and the setting...the year 2045, but a 2045 that looks much more like the middle ages than present day...quite thought-provoking.  

I also have to say that I so appreciate the fact that this is truly *Christian* fiction.  A friend and I have been discussing of late that *so* much of what is labeled "Christian fiction" today is only nominally Christian.  No, it doesn't contain immoral behavior or profane language, but that's about the extent of its "Christianity".  While I appreciate a well-written novel with those qualities, I have become weary of seeing those books labeled "Christian".  Christian fiction doesn't have to "preach", but it should have a "message".  There are many Christian fiction authors who accomplish that and accomplish it well.   Bryan Litfin seems to be one of those authors.  

My favorite quote in the book is found on page 247, in a conversation between the hero of the book, Teo, and his mentor, Maurice, about Deu, the Chiveisi name for the One True God of the Bible they have uncovered.  Maurice says, "Teo, I think you have to let Deu be the god he is, not the god you want him to be."  

Good advice for all of us, in the present day real world, as well as citizens of 2045 Chiveis.

Thanks to Crossway Books for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my participation in this blog tour!


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