A very inspirational story with a Biblical outlook, Grasping Destiny by Keegan Harkins, is a delightful fantasy story with plenty of adventure. The book starts us off with a king and queen whose marriage is annulled. We find the queen has a not so glamourous personality and decides to commit treason in order to place her son on the throne. However, in order to save the son she sends him out of the kingdom, but we soon find this isn’t the prosperous future she had in mind for him. Can his guard and friend save him from his fate? And more importantly what exactly is his fate as the illegitimate son from an annulled marriage anyway? We will find the answers through faith as we follow this both action and spirit filled story.
Down to the last ten pages of the book you won’t know where the plot is going to lead you and that is a magnificent thing! It was very easy to want to continue reading because of the anticipation and plot twists. The story is full of adventure and intrigue without feeling like there are a million plot twists. The only time this didn’t feel very natural was at the very end of the book but even that twist led the book to a very fulfilling ending. There are plenty of sword fights, underhanded plans, and relationship issues to keep the reader involved. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the author, though, is the characters he has introduced us to. They feel very three dimensional and real, even the ones we only get to briefly meet. The main character is Marcus, a young child who is the illegitimate son of the king and queen whose marriage has been annulled due to the queen’s hidden past. Marcus was the only son between them and the annulment will mean he loses his place in line to the throne. After the queen’s treason when Marcus is kidnapped from the castle, he decides he no longer wishes to have anything to do with the King and instead embarks on an adventure into the unknown with his new friends. Marcus is new to the Bible and God and he struggles between whether or not to trust God and to fuse his past as a rather spoiled son of a king with his present as a wanderer through several villages as he often is moved to escape his past. Another enjoyable aspect of the characters is watching the friendship between Jabir and Phineas develop as they both encourage each other through their belief in God. Jabir’s experience with love is also very hilarious and will make anyone smile as he navigates the missteps between him and his betrothed.
The inspirational part of this book, reminding us that God has a plan for our lives and will even take our most grievous mistakes and make good things come from them if we allow Him to, is well written and not forced. From the Bible stories we hear Marcus being told by his stepmother’s maid to both Jabir and Phineas reminding each other of Biblical promises in their hardest times, none of it feels fake or forced which makes it much easier for the reader to truly take to heart and listen to. So much of Christian fiction accounts seem to make their characters have moments that don’t feel read and where everything turns out to be rainbows and sunshine, but this book takes a real look at emotional upheaval and tragedy and how to trust God in those circumstances as well. It was delightful to read and learn through the three main characters and their lives. This is what more Christian fiction should aspire to do.
Readers will enjoy this book as the author leads us into a tale where we will see what it really means to trust God even in the lowest parts of our lives when there is real heartache and loss. The characters jump off the page to life and are easy to fall in love with which keep us flipping pages to the end to find out their fate. There is much to learn from this book that we can apply to our own lives, but it is more fun to discuss these topics through the three men who engage in fairytale lands with swordfights, love, and adventure.