Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Age Range: 15 and up
Char Fisher is just about done with her annoyingly beautiful and popular little sister, Kayla, that everyone likes better, even her mother. All of the boys seem to follow Kayla around, and every time the phone rings, it's never for Char but Kayla. Char and Kayla couldn't be any farther apart when they take a family trip to Cleveland that changes everything they thought they knew about their mother, each other, and themselves. Seventeen-year-old Tia Esperanza was happy with her life in Texas even though it wasn't perfect. Sure Tia didn't have a dad, but she had an amazing Grandmother and a lovely Church that she went to, but then Tia's Grandma died, and she was forced to move to Cleveland with her mother and special needs little brother. Tia spends her days going to school, going to work, and taking care of her brother while their mother works at night and sleeps during the day. When Char and Kayla get lost in the middle of a storm in Cleveland, they meet Tia, and together they find shelter at a monastery. The moment they walked into the majestic doors of the holy place of worship was the moment their lives changed forever in a way they never thought possible.
Thank you so much, Julie Ash, for sending me a complimentary copy of In the Palace of the Great King! I was happy to read and receive this book. My review is entirely my own. I was astounded by how well-written and enthralling this book was, and it is now one of my favorites. There is so much to discuss with this book, but I will start with the faith and Catholicism. By reading In the Palace of the Great King, I was a bit surprised to find out that the need for new sisters and priests is tremendous and that many of them left after Vatican 2. This leads me to the next thing I loved about this book, the fact that it talked about Vatican 2 at all and acknowledged that there had been a significant change in the church since then. I am a TLM goer (Traditional Latin Mass), so I also liked it when they talked about the Latin mass. In the book, the person who was speaking changed a bit from, for example, the sister at the Monastery to Tia to the pro-life protester, so we could know what they were thinking. I like this writing style because it lets the reader understand what many characters are feeling.
Now to the characters! I feel like Julie Ash perfectly set up the characters to act and feel like their age and their situation in life. If I were Char or Tia, I would be thinking the same things that they were at the time of the book, and I am proud of them for making the right choices in some challenging situations. My favorite character is Mother Mary Bonaventure, a side character who lives at the Monastery. I loved and admired her faith and strength in God and immediately wanted to be more like her. In the Palace of the Great King talks about a few complex subjects that I think were well handled! There is some talk about following what God calls you to do no matter what other people say and some stuff on pro-life and abortion. The only thing that I think could have been better is the topic of being physically intimate with a person before marriage. Both Tia's mother and another main character in the book had a baby before marriage, and why that is wrong was not talked about at all in the book, and I think it should have. When I reached the last chapter of the book, I was surprised and interested in what happened, but I don't want to say anymore and ruin the fantastic story for you (but I think you will all like it)! In the Palace of the Great King was a remarkable Catholic novel for older teens that is a must-read and is now one of my favorite books!
Things to Mention: Tia's mother and one of the main characters both had a baby outside of marriage, but the book only talks about it after it already happened, so there are no details. Char's boyfriend wants to be physically intimate with her, but she says no. There is some talk about abortion and pro-life. There is one 'shut up.' Tia gets slapped across the face, and there is some smoking and drinking, and some people get drunk.
*The ebook will soon be available for free on all booksellers except from amazon (Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.) on Sept. 14-16th only. This book was so amazing that I hope you are jump at this opportunity to read In the Palace of the Great King for free! Please leave a review in exchange for this freebie! For this amazing opportunity to read a great book click HERE!
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If you have read In the Palace of the Great King, let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a book you want to be reviewed? Let me know, and I'll add it to my list! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're here.