Refiner’s Fire by Sylvia Bambola {book review}


Refiner’s Fire by Sylvia Bambola {book review}

Summary:  A thriller steeped in European culture like The Salzburg Connection, Refiner’s Fire serves up serious suspense to avid fiction readers.

This book’s “secret underground society” is not Nazi war criminals, however-it’s the persecuted Christian church.

Yuri and Alexander Deyneko, separated as teens in postwar times, are reunited thirty-five years later in 1980s Bucharest.

Now on separate sides of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Iron Curtain, the secret life of one brother, a top army official and clandestine Christian, and the ambition of the other- now the American Ambassador to Romania-puts them on a collision course with each other.

Fates hang on an issue of conscience. Great writing propels readers through the plot toward a gripping climax.  

My Reaction:  

This book is not new. It was published in 2000. It is written timelessly. It is beautiful! A beautiful book. Can’t tell you the last time a book drew me away from reality as this did.

The characters are so clear, so real, whether lovable or not. The writing is strong. The use of the senses to put the reader in another time and place, the use of multiple points of view, tons of conversation, and even some pondering by main pov characters is helpful to the reader.

I love the setting. I love the title. I love the characters. I love the ending. There is so much hope and love in this story, despite the fact that it is set in a dark place during hopeless times. The strong element of faith under persecution is a reminder to the reader that eternity is far more important than today.

I urge you to read the book synopsis. Historical fiction set in Romania, under the iron rule of Ceausescu in 1980s Bucharest, the Underground Church, long lost brothers and their wives. Great insight into the meaning of the Gospel and the thought processes of both regenerate and unregenerate minds.

I highly recommend this book. I will be reading more of this author’s books.

Goodreads Review:  Refiner’s Fire by Sylvia Bambola
My rating: 4 stars

About the Author:   Sylvia Bambola was born in Romania but lived her early years in Germany, a Germany still reeling from the devastation of World War II. At age seven she relocated with her adopted military family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in Germany lingered and was the inspiration behind her novel, Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist.

Life as an “army brat” gave her the opportunity to live in several states, including Hawaii. Then came nursing school in New York after which she married and began a family. Raising two children and being the wife of a business executive made for a busy life. So did working in marketing for a telecommunications company, then a medical software company.

Her first novel, A Vessel of Honor, written under the pen name of Margaret Miller, garnered a Small Press Editor’s Choice Award and was seriously considered for production as a television movie.

Bambola is the author of six published novels, lives in sunny Florida and has two grown children. She’s been a guest speaker at Women’s Aglow and various church functions, is a Bible study teacher at her church, and is learning to play the guitar.

To read more about Sylvia Bambola and her books check out her website and her Goodreads page.

View all my Goodreads reviews

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