Title: Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2)
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Published By: Bethany House Publishers (2018)
The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.
Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.
As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love? (Taken from Goodreads)
As the author herself said, pirates in Biblical fiction? What? Who’d have thought? But IT WORKED. I loved this book SO MUCH. I mean, it also ripped my heart out. But it’s fine.
Sofea. Sofea’s story (not that it’s a happy story—it’s just told SO WELL.) Sofea and Prezi…talk about inspiring.
Seriously, though: the intricate way this tied to the previous book, while retaining its own identity. The gentle character arcs of each individual and the way they intertwined together. The detailed Biblical setting and the creative ways the author chose to portray it, making it come alive. It was a great length—honestly, though, I could have kept reading this for much, much longer.
The only thing I kind of hated is towards the end when Prezi is missing, but after they’ve found Sofea. Prezi’s still out there—Prezi, who Sofea has put her life on the line for multiple times; Prezi, who’s her sister at heart and who she’d do anything for; precious Prezi, but while Prezi is in captivity and they’re waiting around, Sofea and Eitan have a super sweet romantic moment and kiss. I did not like this at all—it was insulting to Prezi, and it felt completely contradictory to Sofea’s character.
The tale is told skillfully, and beautifully. I did feel like Eitan was introduced too soon—compared to Sofea’s story, his felt dull, even though in reality it really wasn’t. Sofea and Prezi’s relationship was gorgeous and had me in sweet tears. The arc of the characters along with the story is phenomenal, showing us themes of love, loyalty, forgiveness, and acceptance. It was easy to keep the characters straight and enjoyable to follow them around; specifically, being able to see the same story unfold from both Sofea and Eitan’s points of view was so cool and so creative. I inhaled this story; it held me fast to its pages and left me with an emotional pull to these carefully constructed characters. Cossette gets better with each book she writes, and I can hardly wait for the third book to be released!
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Recommended to: 14 & up