This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Confessions of a Janissary by Nicholas Downing is an absorbing, compelling work of Christian historical fiction. This engrossing story is set in the early Ottoman Empire, in the latter part of the 14th century. Christian boys are taken from their families by the Sultan and used as slave soldiers, converted to Islam against their will, and their future is serving in the military for the Empire for the rest of their lives. This sprawling tale centers on one boy named Mirko who grows to manhood--one of the slaves destined to be a hero. He's a celibate looking for his one true love and a stray sheep needing guidance. Besides the faith aspect, you have many different themes streaming through the narrative, from friendship to adventure to epic battles and more. With a plot like this, you never know what will happen next, and the story is told in fine detail and thorough description, which holds you in the long-ago time and place. If you're looking to get lost in a unique, heart-quickening story, this one has it all.
Downing respects his audience by providing plenty of researched information that adds so much believability to the narrative. You'll learn about history, culture, customs, and faiths. Couple that with a strong plot and convincing characters and situations and you have a hit novel on your hands. You can enjoy this book even if you aren't of a certain faith. The author doesn't tell you how to believe, he just presents his fascinating story. The first thing I noticed about the book is the authoritative voice of the author. He confidently explains what is going on all the way through. It's books like Downing's that bring history to life. I like the emotionality of the plot points and characters, but the author balances the darkness and hard times with hope and light. They say adversity can strengthen a person. Well, it does in Mirko's case. He is a strong character with traits that readers will connect with, admire, and root for. He's looking to discover who he really is, but it doesn't come easily. Maps are included in the text and some definitions. If you are looking for a work of Christian historical fiction that will captivate you until the end, Confessions of a Janissary by Nicholas Downing should be on your reading list this year.