I absolutely adore this book. "The Brothers: A Prologue' by Chris Stewart is an amazing novel, and to get started, this is the snippet from Goodreads.
"Before the Great War, before so many sons of God turned away from their Father and walked knowingly into the dark, there was a choosing, a sifting, a contest of ideas and a battle for souls. Brother fought brother. Families were torn apart. Some fought to protect their homes, their freedom and peace. Others fought to destroy everything they had once held so dear. And as the battle between good and evil came into each home, all God's children had to chose which side they were on, which principles would they fight for, and what price would they pay.
In this contest before the Great War, each of us learned the first lessons of life. The great ones may fall. The wicked can change. The weak and the foolish can be made the strongest of all. And when the contest was over, we also had learned the greatest secret of all: the children of God can defeat their adversary, for they have fought him before."
The reason I liked this book so much is mainly because it came at a time in my life where I was really struggling, and how it puts a new perspective or look on the Plan of Salvation for each one of us individually. As I continued reading it, I had these moments where I'd read a line that just hit me so hard emotionally and even spiritually. I remember one of the things that really struck me was how Chris Stewart wrote how he imagined Satan (Or Lucifer, if you want. Or even Adversary) talking and whispering to his followers. The way he described him, with his dark and grotesque features when no one was looking but having the ability to look handsome, charming, even desirable when he was in the presence of others. He was able to flatter people, to persuade them according to the things they wanted to hear, but he also whispered into the ears of the followers of Jesus Christ by making them doubt, making them feel inadequate and making them second guess everything. It was a big explosion in my mind of how much I connected to the characters when they were being tempted, and whispered to, and how I hear the exact same things when I'm going through dark times in my life.
I also absolutely adored all the characters in the family. I connected to each one of them differently, and they were beautifully flawed. None of them were outrageously courageous, but they were brave when they needed to be. They had weaknesses, which were acted upon and used as a weapon against them and they reacted like anyone of else would. Their stories made me question and reflect on my own story and journey, and the entirety of the book made me slowly realise my part in the Plan of Salvation and the choices I made personally not only in this life, but the one previous. It put a lot of things into perspective for me, such as what was really and truly important to me and what things were good but not the greatest.
I absolutely adored this book, I still do and I often think about reading it every 6 months just to refresh and find new things that I wouldn't have last time being younger. I always recommend this book to my church friends, as it would change how they think as it did for me :)
The only thing I would say is that it's not a book for everyone. I believe personally that Atheists or those who don't believe in a 'higher power' would probably laugh at the first page and stop reading it, and maybe even some other Christians would think it's completely fictionally demented...but I found this book amazing, inspirational, and a different perspective that most of us are used to looking at.
And of course - one of my favourite quotes from this book.
“God can't force his children to become like him. It's something they have to want, a blessing they have to fight for and be willing to sacrifice to attain.”