ANGELS AT THE GATE : T. K. Thorne
Take a trip back in time when young women were denied many freedoms and some had to live within the confines of their father’s rule. Adira learned at an early age that in order to remain with her father after her mother died she would have to be raised as a male child. Called Adir, Adira learned to adjust to the life of a young boy taught many basic skills, being part of her father’s caravan, learning how to deal with trade negotiations, able to speak many languages and understand her plight in life. Learning to cope with the loss of a parent is difficult and having to deal with the caravan’s cook would instruct her in the true meaning of hard work, loss and trying to fit in. With no brothers or sisters and only a father to guide her she learns many important lessons but the most valuable is What are the right questions to ask? This would guide her in many ways. As the story unfolds we learn much about her relationship with her father, his place in the caravan, her friendships which are few, dealing with the cook’s son, fighting for her rights, and earning her punishments and rewards. Learning that boys have more freedoms she does not really balk at having to pretend to be a male. Girls and females will not have the same opportunities afforded to her but things will eventually change, her appearance might give away that she’s a girl and her hormones might take over which would cause alarm. Meeting two strangers who have difficulty speaking, warned they are not be trusted, she enters into a bargain hoping to be rewarded with a goat for teaching them words and her language in order to avenge the death of her dog Nami’s puppies.
The two strangers almost hypnotize Adira as they seem to be messengers of god but when raiders come in and take one of them away, steal their horses, weapons and her dog, Adira professes revenge as one more sadness comes her way. As Mika the brother of the angel is angered by his loss, Adira returns to find her father fatally injured as he dies in her arms but not before promising him something she is not sure she can deliver. The live she lived was filled with love, her father’s guidance and learning what questions to ask. But, when her father’s life is taken, her dog is gone and one of the messenger of god taken away, Adira is determined to find the killer, rescue the angel and avenge her father’s death. Knowing that her promise was to obey Adram and Sarai and live in Lot’s house in Sodom. Young and definitely having her own mind Adira losing her mother at childbirth has only her father until fate takes him away. Adira finds herself living a life that her father chose for her but as she grows and meets the two mysterious stranger, who are Northmen, her inner women seems to come out and her life as she knows it might change. Are these men Angels of El or God? Losing her father, her freedom and everything that matters and the Angels too, will she keep her word to her father and return to the tribe and live the life of a woman or will she seek revenge, retribution and find her kidnapped angel? Promising to become the daughter to her uncle and aunt, can she live the life of a female with the restrictions placed on them that she never had to endure before?
As Adira comes to Lot’s tent and realizes that it has been ransacked and pilfered she and Nami plus Mika head off into the desert to find Raph, her father’s killer and maybe even her real self. As Raph was taken and his brother Mika pleaded with his captors to go in his place, he and Nami are no longer with her and she needs to find a way to save them both. Within her journey Mika becomes ill, Nami finds his way back to her and Adira uses every ounce of her father’s training to make sure that Mika survives. Are Raph and Mika really angels and what are they here? Are they on a secret mission hoping to find Abram and who are they really and why is Adira so determined to find Raph? How do her feelings as a woman come through? Assimilating within another tribe, hoping to be accepted something happens that alerts the members that she is not what she professes to be. What happens when they realize she is a girl? How does Mika cover for her and will the women accept her at all? Adira has many conflicting emotions as the author takes us on many journeys across the deserts and next into Babylonia where she hopes to find more answers but not before she confronts her father’s killer, has to make a decision about what to do about the caravan cook and look deep within herself to find the real Adira. A world filled with standards, a caste system and a pecking order you might say of how women, men and children are viewed Angels of the Gate gives readers much pause for thought and to reflect on your own lives. When her father is killed she is supposed to remain with Abram and Sarai but does not. Why live within the restrictions imposed by others? But, before she can decide on her life she must find Raph, decide where she belongs and remember what her father taught her: to ask the right questions! Why does Adira find it in her heart to go after Raph? Why does she risk it all to help save Mika? Nami is her hunting dog and seems to have a special power or control over Adira.
Things spiral out of control when Adira finds herself in front of the king of Babylonia and the high priestess. Mika is with her and Raph is found but the promises and allegiances made would cause changes within her life that she might regret. Mika is forced to remain in the charge of the King in order to help foretell the future while the rest are given certain rewards and their freedom. But, no one realizes that the guards sent with him or her to protect their journey to Sodom have other plans in mind. With Ishmael and Eliezer along for the first part of the journey with Raph and Chiram, little did they realize the danger they were in. When Raph decides to leave them and take the special stone back to his people, the guards use that as the impetus to take control. Adira is critically wounded and will never bare any children and one side of her face is destroyed. Hate, deceptions, disloyalties and much more come to light, as Adira has to fight her way back.
Marrying Lot was because her family arranged the marriage yet Lot never really wanted her to sleep beside him. More like a marriage of convenience with his two daughters close by and often finding himself wandering at night into their rooms. With the city of Sodom angry with Lot, water supply low and the threat of Mot’s tongue coming up again to cause the city to burn fear is consumed in the hearts of the people and many attempts on the lives of Lot’s family and Lot are made. But, when Nami goes missing and cannot be found Adira’s whole world collapses. Trying to cope with what is left of her life, Adira realizes changes need to be made but how? Lila her handmaid is now her slave and their friendship is closer than two sisters. With her childhood friend Danel, Mika, Raph and Shem, maybe she has a chance at a new life. But, Adira stands strong and will not falter when asked to leave Sodom, as she is Lot’s wife. Throughout the novel the author quotes from the Book of Genesis helping readers understand what is about to come within the chapter that follows explaining what the characters might do and the actions that the Bible relates.
Strong minded, headstrong, loyal, smart, cunning and persistent Adira will never give up on her quest to honor her father’s wishes or protect the ones she loves. Will she give up everything for the Angels? Why did they come back? How does she deal with her final fate? What does she decide to do when the question us not: Would I dishonor my father by disobeying him? The question is: Why did he have her swear to Sarai? Without any safety net or happiness being married to Lot what would you do if you were Adira? The research is extensive the story is heartbreaking yet hopeful as Adira is definitely someone to admire. When reading this novel you can picture the desert scenes, see the cracked lips of the characters when water is scarce, feel the pain as Adira is beaten and the sharp edge of her knife when it pierces her enemy. The blazing sun burns their skin, the stench in Sodom and the small quarters she lives in as prejudice, injustice, cruelties as author T.K. Thorne takes readers deep inside the heart, thoughts and mind of Adira as she relates the events in her own words as you take the journey back in time. Sodom is about to disintegrate; El is angry with the people and provides an ending that is dramatic, explosive and heartfelt. Angels at the Gate: Love, Hate, resentment, revenge, sadness, love, loyalty and hope. Survival comes at a high price for so many. This is one novel that will cause readers to have much pause for thought. Reading this novel took time in order to appreciate the research, hear the voices of all of the characters, and understand Adira’s rationale and thinking in many situations and hoping that in the end she would prevail. Great novel. Extensive research and FIVE GOLDEN ANGELS
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews