Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette (Cities of Refuge 4)

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette is the fourth and final book in the Cities of Refuge series. We follow both Tirzah (whom we’ve seen grow up in the previous books) and Liyam, a new character. Liyam is a widower who just lost his little daughter, and has sworn vengeance on the man who killed her by driving recklessly. If you’ve read the previous books, you know that Tirzah’s family has a history with blood avengers which might cause some friction… 

Tirzah is a very spirited woman, with many skills. She’s recently become widowed due to the Aramean’s oppression. She doesn’t want to sit around and let others do the work of freeing Israel, she wants to help. After an opportunity arises, she is reluctantly trained as a spy by her brother (sooo impressive!), and placed in an enemy household as a cook to overhear the conversations. It is already a tricky place where death comes too swift even if you’re not a spy, and the stakes are high. When they become too high, Liyam is send to take her home, but instead she convinces him to stay in his position as “hired mercenary” to unfold more secrets. And that is only the beginning really… 

I’m so much in love with the main plot of a woman spy! And Tirzah is such a wonderful versatile character, she’s perfect for the job (though ok, sometimes a little reckless). I love how she trained with her brothers and became very good at it. This book kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how things would unfold – and it unfolded a bit different than I expected which is awesome! There were many twists and turns, and wow it was amazing. Liyam is a very interesting character, he is torn between his duty to Israel and his personal vengeance, and his story was very moving. 

There were also so many spiritual lessons… Tirzah makes some amazing speeches that hit home, not only with the Levite priests (which is quite a feat, being “only” a woman), but also with me. What struck me most, is that a spiritual revival, a return to God, was actually more important and victorious than actual battles, even with all the spying being done. That is such an important message! If you have faith, it is a flame what will burn brightly in the night. The people regained faith, and that was followed by action, a desire to do the right thing and rise up. It left me in awe. 

The characters were very well developed and likable and the plot just kept turning in amazing directions with the right pacing to keep it interesting! I liked headstrong Tirzah best as you may have noticed, but Liyam is very amazing too, rough on the outside but kind on the inside, and he actually relies on Tirzah and taking her seriously, and his inner struggles and his way back to Adonai. There is a side plot of found family, which I loved, and as always the characters from the other books are present (it’s become more a clan than a family by now lol), which feels like a warm embrace and it’s amazing to see what their lives are like now. I loved every minute, and I didn’t think any book could top Until the Mountains Fall, but this one honestly did. It’s my favorite of this series and I just couldn’t stop reading! This will be one of my favorite books of 2020 and yes I know that’s early but sometimes you just know it’s a gem when you find it. 

I can recommend this to anyone who likes Christian historical fiction! I do think it would be wise to read the earlier books in this series, otherwise it might be a bit confusing with a lot of names and throwbacks to earlier stories. It can be read independently if you really want to, but I wouldn’t advise it. 

I received a free e-copy, but my opinions are my own. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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