Bryan M. Liftin's The Gift tells of temptation, courage, love, and faith in a future where global nuclear war has all but destroyed the evidence of Christianity. Anastasia and Teofil are two of the blessed few who have rediscovered portions of the forgotten belief in Deu, their name for God. Their openness about Deu garners hatred from the lost and the malicious, leaving Teo and Ana with nothing but their faith and each other.
Even though the chapters range from 20 to 30 pages, Liftin divides them into shorter segments by switching between narrators. This keeps readers attentive throughout the long chapters. Liftin also creates French and Latin translations of Scripture throughout the story, particularly stressing Jeremiah 29:11-14. The relationship between Ana and Teo realistically portrays a close friendship, while letting the reader wonder if this bond will develop into something more romantic. Teo and Ana's reunions throughout the book were my favorite scenes.
Teo and Ana travel toward a city of the Ancients, Roma, in search of the missing New Testament and the truth it holds about the mysterious Pierced One. Their journey is hindered by a powerful cult called the Exterminati, forcing the two friends to choose between denying Deu and holding fast to their faith.
Ana's femininity and naiveté reveal her dependence on Teo, as well as show how much she relies on Deu's strength to guide her. Teo is heroic and talented, almost to the point at which he seems slightly unreal, but that does not diminish his significance as Ana's rescuer and protector. By interacting with various characters, Teo and Ana learn much about themselves and their importance in the restoration of Christianity.
Whereas The Gift has its own story arc, the ending teases the reader about the sequel. Liftin's descriptions are a healthy balance between general overviews and minute details, giving the reader just enough information mentally to picture the scenes. Some may find the rapid swaps between narrators hard to follow, but I didn't mind. I really enjoyed this book; it contains romance, fantasy, action, and a little mystery, making it a great choice for a broad range of readers. – Angela Griffin, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The Chiveis Trilogy takes readers hundreds of years into the future. War and disease have destroyed civilization as we know it. Much technology has been discarded and history is largely forgotten. Slowly, the few survivors have begun to build new communities, and kingdoms now prosper in a kind of feudal order. But the Word of God has been lost for centuries.
After the finding of an Old Testament in book one of the trilogy, The Gift picks up the story of Teo and Ana. Exiled from their homeland and trying to survive in unknown and dangerous lands, they search for any record of the missing Testament. Their journeys lead them into the region we know as Italy. An elite society welcomes Ana, who finds she must choose between her new life and her dream of returning to Chiveis. Will Teo and Ana’s relationship withstand the circumstances and new enemies pulling them apart? And can Teo keep ahead of a powerful and mysterious force opposing his search for the New Testament?
Litfin’s imagination and fast-paced narrative style will capture the hearts and minds of all fiction readers.