Saturday, August 30, 2008

Servant to a King

The final book I read for the Summer Book Trek 2008 is Sariah S. Wilson's Servant to a King. The back cover gives the thread of the story:

When Isabel's father offers her hand to a Nephite, she's shocked and angry—and when the offer is refused, she's utterly furious. How dare this Ammon refuse to marry the beautiful eldest daughter of King Lamoni! There could only be one explanation for this unforgivable dishonor: Ammon must be a spy.

Isabel closely watches her enemy, expecting to find evidence of treachery, but instead she finds evidence of loyalty, bravery, and kindness. Afraid to admit her growing affection for Ammon, Isabel hides her true feelings behind a headstrong fa├žade. Yet when the vile Lamanite prince Mahlon threatens to take her as a bride and wrest the kingdom from Lamoni, Isabel must choose between her pride and her life. Meanwhile, the risks of love test Ammon's faith and courage as never before.

Will Ammon thwart the marriage of Isabel and Mahlon before it's too late? And could a Lamanite princess and a Nephite prince really live happily ever after?

Sariah Wilson wanted the title of this book to be The Nephite Who Loved Me, but her publisher chose Servant to a King. I think the author's preferred title is in line with the light-hearted and humanizing approach she took to the life of this Book of Mormon icon. That is certainly not to say that she demeaned his character or mission in any way. She simply brought Ammon to life for me in a way that I've never experienced before. For that, I am grateful to her.

Despite the author's preference in titles, there are no James Bond-esque immoral escapades in this book. Quite the contrary is true. This is about true love, hard work, and faith in God conquering fear and cultural differences. There are, however, adventures galore. Maybe I should say aplenty. Sariah kept to the true-life Book of Mormon account, skillfully weaving romance and emotion into the history, and ending in a satisfactory way.

Well done, Sariah!

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