Lisa Bergren developed the series concept after reading The Da Vinci Code, and thinking long and hard about the things she both loved (pacing, mystery, suspense) and hated (heresy that made her want to throw it against a wall). She also was heavily influenced by the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film—the grandeur of an epic story, with a cast of characters, deeper symbolism, adventure. So she started talking to her friends who know Scripture, and asked them about a good biblical mystery…two mentioned the “previous letters” mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians and she was off and running.
Considering that Paul talks a lot about spiritual gifts in his letters to the Corinthians, Lisa gave her characters all the unique and powerful spiritual gifts he mentioned in the Scriptures—healing, prophecy, wisdom, faith, miraculous powers—and placed them in perilous times, the 14th century, pre-Reformation, pre-Renaissance. The Gifted are hunted both by the Church, who seeks to control them, and forces of evil, who wish to kill them. All in all, Lisa hopes it makes for a classic Good vs. Evil read—with inspiration and application for us in the 21stcentury.
Eric and I have thoroughly enjoyed these books. He inhaled both, caught up in the richness of the story. I was captured by the idea from the prologue. What was contained in the Paul’s letters to the Corinthians that is referenced? What if that letter contained a prophecy that began to be fulfilled in 1339? What if the prophecy foretold a group of people who would walk in the gifts Paul outlined in First Corinthians? And what if that small group went head to head against incredible forces of darkness.
Lisa writes against a Medievial backdrop that is incredibly well-researched. I felt like I’d stepped back in time in the way the characters acted, what they ate, how they spoke, where they lived. The concerns of the time form a key backdrop for the story.
And the areas of the spiritual plot where people could disagree are handled very well. She weaves a story of what could be. And the display of how each of the gifts could be exercised and how they work together is masterfully woven.
If you like sweeping stories told against the backdrop of lore and legend, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this one, too. The Begotten and The Betrayed will be featured in Target stores September 4th on the Breakout Books display.
A final note: The Begotten was a finalist for this year’s Christy Award, one of three finalists for the Best Suspense of the Year award. Also, leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of the books!