A plague and nuclear exchanges in the wake of it have nearly wiped human beings off the planet. Hundreds of years later, human beings live in scattered locales. We find the main characters in a mountain-encircled place called Chiveis. The government is a combination of monarchy and pagan religion. The pagan gods must not be angered. Would-be noble kings are weakened by the sexual temptation of the pagan priestess. Christianity, has been forgotten by all except a few who have vowed never to allow it to be known to the people. This is the setting for Bryan Litfin’s The Sword.
Despite this ugly arrangement of paganistic theocracy, there are citizens of Chiveis and surrounding areas who are looking for more. They wonder if there is a good God to be discovered and worshipped. The action is propelled dramatically forward when two characters venture out from the lands they know into unknown territory. They discover a Bible, but the last 1/3 of the book, the New Testament, has rotted away.
So far, I’ve told little more than readers can find in interviews and other material on the web. The Sword is the first book in a trilogy. I enjoyed the book and found myself looking for opportunities to read it. I would consider recommending it as a young adult book, but the treatment of sexuality (well done and edifying) is serious enough that I would encourage parents to read it first.
(Full disclosure: Crossway published this book and is the publisher of my book. They sent me this book at my request for my review. However, I would not give a favorable review of the book if I did not think it merited such treatment.)