Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Gift

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Gift
Crossway Books (April 30, 2011)
Bryan Litfin


Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.


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?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Gift, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

The Gift Trailer from Crossway on Vimeo.

The Gift by Bryan Litfin is the second book in the Chiveis Trilogy. A dystopian society, hundreds of years in Earth's future after a nuclear war has put the few remaining inhabitants into a pseudo-medieval style of life. Teofil was a professor in Chiveis before discovering a ancient sacred text that introduced him to the god Deu. He and friend Anastasia have fled their homeland where the authorities wanted to put them to death for their faith in the mysterious Creator God. The Gift picks up with their exile away from Chiveis where they travel to Umbartia. Ana is quickly embraced into the lavish aristocratic society while Teofil is forced away from her, despite his growing feelings for her. Teofil continues his search for the second half of the Sacred Text, the missing New Testament, while Ana loses herself in a hedonistic society with new friend Vanita who encourages her to forget her home and friends and embrace this new life. Ana and Teo are pulled apart and together again in surprising and tragic ways. I absolutely loved The Sword, the first book in this series. I love how Litfin has made the so well-known Bible by allowing readers to see it through the eyes of people who have no idea what Christianity means or its relevance in the world. Teo and Ana run into images of a man crucified on a cross and try to make sense of Iesus Christe without the New Testament. That is still a fascinating part of the book, as well as learning how the faith has survived in this new, dark world. Litfin finaly gives readers a few clues as to where the books are taking place, and some famous names from history make a surprising appearance here. For me, this didn't quite live up to The Sword, although it's still a terrific novel. I was disappointed in Ana's defection, and Litfin manipulates the reader deceptively a couple of times. The Gift still offers a fascinating story with lots of action, suspense, faith, and a bit of romance. I can't wait to read the last book in this trilogy and see how Litfin brings this huge story to an end (and part of me hopes he'll keep it going for more than just one more book yet!).