Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Source: Free copy from Rebecca Hazell in exchange for a review.
Rating: 2 1/2 stars for okay to good.
My previous review of book One, The Grip of God.
Sofia was taken captive by Mongol invaders from her Rus' kingdom in book one. In book two, Sofia and her servant are able to escape to Iran. She has left one people group who held her captive and has become captive to another people group. The new group is of a different culture and religion from the Mongols, and they are both completely different from her eastern European homeland. Book one explored the Mongol culture, society, and religion. Book two explores the Islamic religion.
The first book in this series I loved and gave it five stars for excellent. But Solomon's Bride did not catch hold of my interest. The last quarter of the book I felt a small investment in Sofia's life. But the pages before felt more like a travel guide in story through the Muslim region and religion.
On a positive note, Sofia continues (in book two) to be an intelligent, bright, strong-willed, and precocious girl. When the second book begins she is age 15. I admire her tenacity and intelligence. I admire her desire to learn. I admire her faithfulness to the people she loves. At times, she wrestles with the culture and laws of the people she has come under control. She justifies and tries to make peace by studying the people group and finding common ground.
Other religions are explored in the book, for example: Buddhism, Nestorian, Manichaeism, Judaism, and Astrology.
At times, there is an alluding to all religions worship the same God. But on page 140, Sofia states, "Other than forms of worship, our deep difference lay in their not believing Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. That was difference enough, but all three religions teach love and justice and goodness." Sofia ponders the differences in religions, and the freedom to believe and think differently, she then decided "...not to dwell on such questions, as they only added to" her "bleak mood."
A person who is a Christian, which means a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, they understand the words and meanings of Messiah and Son of God. For a person who is not a believer in Jesus Christ, these attributes do not mean anything.
Solomon's Bride touches briefly on the name Jesus, but does not give the full meaning (elaborate) of who Jesus is. Jesus is God in the flesh, the Christ, Savior of mankind, King of Kings, Creator, and Righteous Redeemer. Solomon's Bride does not explain the word faith (not faith in an ikon but in Jesus Christ Himself.)
As a Christian (and I am aware Solomon's Bride is not a Christian book but it has a strong element of religion) I feel Solomon's Bride fell flat.
The Islamic religion is explained in-depth in Solomon's Bride, but the Christian religion/beliefs, were not fully explained.
Towards the end of the book the Catholic belief system is explored and compared to Orthodox views.
Since there is a book three in this series, it's possible further explanations of the Christian belief will be explained, or maybe another religion will be explored?