Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Fire and Steel, Volume 1: A Generation Rising by Gerald N. Lund

Fire and Steel, Volume One: A Generation Rising, by Gerald N. Lund
2014, 304p, Historical Fiction
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?

As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.

Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.

I've read lots of books about WWII but not as many about WWI. I didn't realize that it was called the Great War until after World War II broke out. Since this is the first book in the series, there was a lot of set up, which I thought was interesting even though it slowed the story down somewhat.

Hans and Inga Eckhardt were finally blessed with a son who they named Hans Otto Eckhardt. They were grateful to have a son who would one day run their milk farm. However, Hans was spoiled and intelligent and his father set him on a different path by sending him to school when he was young. He eventually went away to school and made some decisions that saddened his parents. They always let him know they loved him and helped him understand the consequences of his choices.

While at school, Hans met the missionaries and introduced them to his family. He considered them friends and wasn't interested in them teaching him anything. This introduction did impact some members of his family, though, and it will be interesting to see what this will mean in the future.

I liked the chapter notes that explained more about what was happening during different times. The author explained what happened to the missionaries during that time. One scene was tough to read and brought the reality of their situation to life. I enjoyed all the characters and am looking forward to getting to know them better as the series progresses.

This story started out kind of slow and moved much faster during the second half. Gerald Lund has written many books and, just like his others, this book is well written and well researched. At the end, there was a major twist and I'm excited to read more! 

Gerald N. Lund is a prolific author and speaker. His novels include The Work and the Glory series, The Kingdom and the Crown trilogy, Fire of the Covenant, The Undaunted, and his newest,The Guardian. He has also written several books on gospel topics, including a doctrinal trilogy exploring our relationship with Heavenly Father and how he expresses his love to his children.

During his thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, Gerald N. Lund served as seminary teacher, institute teacher and director, curriculum writer, director of college curriculum, and zone administrator. He also served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2002 to 2008.

He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from BYU. He also did extensive graduate work in New Testament studies at Pepperdine University, and studied Hebrew at the University of Judaism.


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