Today I am reviewing the final book in Roseanna M. White’s Codebreaker series, Portrait of Loyalty. Out of all of the books in the series, THIS one gave me the most goosebumps because of how relevant it is to today’s world. Read my review below, and keep reading till the end for information on how you can enter a fun giveaway!
He sees patterns in what she deems chaos.
She sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed.
Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.
I cannot tell you the number of times this book caused me goosebumps. The way the author presented the themes of loyalty, truth, and forgiveness was so poignantly relevant to today’s world. As you read this story, you may find yourself asking critical questions like, “What does loyalty to one’s country truly mean?”, “What is the purpose of art, and when does it become propaganda?”, and “Can propaganda be used for a good purpose?”
Lily’s mother was one of my favorite supporting characters. Though she disapproves of the use of propaganda, and by extension, Lily’s role in the war office, she is a loving mother, not just to Lily and her sister, but she is welcoming to all who enter her house. I respected her convictions that art should reflect the truth and not be used to promote lies, as well as her ability to put aside her judgments and allow other people to make their own decisions (eventually).
Zivon and Lily were perfect compliments to each other. The way she took the time to capture single moments, and the way Zivon recognized patterns in his surroundings and people’s behavior made me want to pay better attention to the world around me. Zivon’s decision to leave his country, demonstrating what he saw as true loyalty to the Russia he had known and loved brought up some thought-provoking questions of what true loyalty really means.
The camaraderie between Lily and her sister made me want to give my own sister a call.
Evgenie and Nadya’s story was great! I loved watching their relationship develop. It was interesting to see the differences in their approach to the communist party and how their beliefs were challenged at various points in the story.
If you have ever found yourself a part of a group (or in the character’s case, his case country) whose values you no longer recognize, and had to make the difficult decision to leave that group, this book has something for you. If you have questioned God’s participation and care over the events in your life, and whether or not prayer does any good, this book has something for you.
If you have struggled with how to use your talents to make a difference in this world, this book has something for you. And if you’ve ever found yourself in a particular season where propaganda runs rampant on Facebook…this book might have something for you. 😉
I received an early copy of this book for the purposes of reviewing. I was not required to submit a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
“[God] is still God. And when He leads us through the valley of shadows, we can know it is so that we are made into sons and daughters of light, capable of redeeming these evil days for Him.”
“A reminder that He had been Lord long before she entered the world, and He would be Lord long after. That history would always march on, humanity living and dying, loving and losing, praising and cursing, but that He was unchanging.”
“Black and white could lie. She knew that better than anyone. It was no great thing at all to take what was there, cut it out, and put it somewhere else instead, where it meant something entirely different.”
“The world may still look dark, but if photography had taught her anything, it was that there was always more light to be found. Sometimes you just needed to change your lens. And sometimes you need a flash. Neither ever changed what was really there… but it showed it in a new way. She’d always thought of that as art. But it wasn’t. That was life. And art was just the imitator.”
“Poison gas destroys only a man’s body. But Propaganda, Lily … it tells them a story, invites them to believe in something it cannot back up. It lures our men into supposedly glorious battle and then crushes their spirits – their very faith in God and country – when it instead delivers an inglorious hell on earth.”
Author Bio and Links
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Purchase a signed copy of A Portrait of Loyalty HERE.
To celebrate the release of A Portrait of Loyalty, the author is giving away a book-themed prize pack to one lucky winner! The prize pack includes the following:
- One (1) Gift Certificate to Shutterfly of $25
- One (1) Eiffel Tower Framed Print (photo taken by my daughter)
- One (1) “Capture Life” Bracelet
- One (1) A Portrait of Loyalty T-Shirt
- Complete Print set of The Codebreakers, signed. Includes one (1) copy of The Number of Love, one (1) copy of On Wings of Devotion, and one (1) copy of A Portrait of Loyalty.