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Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Wanderer Scorned

May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'Book in The Wanderer Seri THE WANDERER Scorned NATASHA WOODCRAFT'
 The Wanderer Scorned by Natasha Woodcraft

Publisher's Description:

The Wanderer is a man shrouded in legend. Moving from place to place in the land of Nod, he is known primarily for the curse that hangs over his life. When that curse is invoked during the celebration of a murderous rampage, The Wanderer is summoned to tell his story.

Few know the truth of the tale encompassing life, death, love, hate, faith and doubt, for it has been obscured by centuries of rumour. Now, it will be told by the one who lived it—the man who became The Wanderer.

A story you know as you've never heard it before, The Wanderer Series presents the ancient tale of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4, reimagined in gripping new fiction.
My Review:
Honestly, when the author sent out a request for advanced readers for The Wanderer Scorned, I knew I had to read this one.  It has been quite a while since I have reviewed for a publisher or an author, but the story really intrigued me.  
Woodcraft covers the events from the Fall of Man to shortly after Cain killing Abel and connects it all to Lamech's bold statement that, "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold," after he killed a man.  This statement brings about the telling of Cain's (or Kayin as it is spelled in the book) story to those who are present.

I'll say upfront, I had a difficult time at the beginning of this book.  Woodcraft makes every effort to transliterate names from Hebrew to English, often choosing to use a phonetic spelling, which varies from spellings we are accustomed to: Chavah for Eve, Kayin for Cain, Havel for Abel etc.  I appreciate that she explains this at the end of the book, but at the beginning it takes a bit to become accustomed to it. 

It was also obvious that this is Woodcraft's first novel.  It doesn't immediately draw the reader in, BUT hang in there because it is well worth sticking it out.  She seems to find her writing "groove" a little later in the story, and when she does you will really begin to identify with Kayin.
As a work of Biblical fiction, this novel does a great job of filling in the blanks left by the sparse details of Kayin's life.  You see family drama unfold, you recognize how hurts and misunderstandings can damage relationships, and how those can lead to a moment that can never be undone. 

I love that we get a peek into the mind of Kayin throughout the book, and how relatable he is.  He asks questions that many of us have asked ourselves, such as:
"He (Havel) said he had followed Yahweh's voice.  What did he even mean by that?  Had he heard the voice alone, or had others heard it?  Had it een like the wind by the river or a voice inside his head? I longed to know what it felt like to hear the voice of Yahweh.  Perhaps if He just spoke to me, I would get the answers I needed." 
"Oh, I knew I could never have the same relationship with Yahweh that Havel had; I wasn't born with that easy connection to Him. Yet if I worked hard enough, kept my feelings in check - even prayed regularly- perhaps something might change."
If you have been a disciple of Christ for any length of time, one or the other ( or maybe even both!) of these thoughts have probably crossed your mind.  Who hasn't longed for a closer relationship?

I won't spoil the story by telling you what caused Kayin to take the life of his brother, but I will say that by the time you get there, you will be able to relate to him.
One of the great things about this book is that it gives life to people other than Kayin and Havel.  Woodcraft takes the time to create backstories and personalities for several siblings.  And by the conclusion you too are going to be anticipating the next installment in what looks to be a great series!

One final thing, Woodcraft is not just a Biblical Fiction author, but a songwriter as well, and that gift appears several times throughout the book.  Worship, including worship through song, is woven throughout the lives of the first family on Earth.  And the lyrics that are included in the novel are beautiful.  Don't believe me?  Check this out!
"On the twins’ first birthday, we were sitting together outside the hut. In a rare moment, Havel was not in my mother’s arms but was crawling on the floor with Avan. They had invented a new game, climbing over the top of each other and then giggling furiously when one of them tumbled. I shifted my weight to my hands and knees and crawled towards them. Havel looked at me wide-eyed, but Avan chortled and came crawling forward. I swept my arm under her belly and tickled her until she rolled over on to her back, legs in the air and holding her toes. 

Havel decided to join in. When he crawled forward, I tickled him in the same way. However, he resisted rolling over and continued towards me, grabbing hold of my arm. I swung him up and around onto my shoulder, where he grasped my ear and started chewing it. I laughed aloud as he’d found my single ticklish spot. Then, he fell into my arms and I blew on his stomach, reducing him to fits of giggles. When I looked up, Ima was watching us, her face radiant. 

Then Abba began to sing, his low voice rumbling through the valley:


Give to Elohim all praise,

He is our source; by His breath, we were made.

Formed from the dust to subdue the land,

Taken from my side, she was placed at my hand.


Then blessed to procreate, producing more 

Offspring to fill the earth and adore

Yahveh, for in His name is might,

All power and goodness are His right.


We fell, alas we listened

To the lying tongue that glistened,

In the light of the fading day.

Only darkness evermore would reign.


Or so we thought.


Yet Yahweh has blessed us again,

For we followed His command, when

We multiplied! And blessed we have been

With three to bring glory to Elohim.


Yahweh – my rock – forgive our iniquity;

Set us free, provide sanctuary.

Cleanse us, make us new once more. 

May we fulfil all you have designed us for.


We sat silently afterwards for many moments. Even the babies were still. Then a gentle wind whipped around us and caressed our hearts. "

Even better, Woodcraft created a video of the song as well!

All that to say, this book is well worth the read!  You can pre-order it on Amazon here.

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