Harvest House Publishers
Captives and Kings, written by husband/wife team Craig and Janet Parshall, is a spellbinding tale about a 17th century world in which political and religious unrest is rampant. Caught in the tangled vines of this chaos is a young man, Peter Mackenzie, who is forced to flee England to the New World because of his father Philip’s unsavory associations and wild living. In doing so, Peter leaves behind his career, his home, his estranged family, and, most cruelly of all, his love interest, Rose Heatherton, whose family is grieving from a recent death and on the verge of poverty and despair. While in the New World, Peter grows spiritually and as a gentleman, seeking refuge from the pain of leaving behind his beloved Rose through befriending men like Reverend Hunt and a blacksmith, Mr. Reed.
The book is written in a style uncommon to this day and age, with chapters constantly moving back and forth between the characters and their situations. This style helps keep readers profoundly interested in the storylines by giving them these small respites of sorts. They’re never with one character or in one scene for an extended period of time, and that makes this story fast-paced and intriguing. There are a few issues in the print itself, errors, but they are minor and don’t really take away from the impact and meat of the story too much, if one isn’t seriously critical. The characters are all very realistic, and their relationships with each other are, too, from brotherly rivalry to the passionate fires of love. (The most unforgettable experience cannot be told for the sake of not only the story, but your enjoyment as a potential reader.)
Overall, each of the characters, no matter their standing in the story, is forced into uncomfortable positions by the outside forces that act upon them. Each of them responds differently. Some decide to flee, whereas others refrain from drawing too much attention to themselves.
The main character, Peter, is a very religious young man, inspired by the Word of God. He is faithful and shows a concern for his father and the family’s dealings. Peter also has a kind of poetic side to him, and the readers are able to see this in one of his conversations with Rose. The fact that he manages to grow as he faces crisis after crisis shows that he is very adaptable and has a good, strong will.
Overall, Captives and Kings is an amazing work of literature bound to bring intrigue to readers of all ages. The characters are quite human and realistic, and there is a powerful emphasis on religion and faith. Even those who are not of a religious background can enjoy this tale of treachery, pain, loyalty, and love. It is thought- provoking, and presents incidents that pull at the readers’ emotions. Best of all, the book relates to its title. Excellent work, Parshall, excellent work. – Joshua Wagner, Christian Book Previews.com
Andrew Mackenzie, an ambitious aide to King James, has little but contempt for his wayward and adventuring brother, Philip...who in turn resents Andrew's high-handedness and superior attitude. The rift is deep, and it seems it will be permanent after Andrew learns of Philip's unwitting involvement in a plot to kill the king--and insists that he and his son, Peter, flee England.
After sailing to the New World with his son -- whose heart was left behind with the lovely Rose Heatherton -- Philip struggles for survival amid the dangers of Jamestown, Virginia. Back in London, Andrew is the target of a spiritual conflict surrounding the King James Bible translation, and of palace intrigues involving yet another plot against the Crown.
Separated by oceans and bitter resentment, will the two brothers survive their own battles to meet on the common ground of forgiveness?