Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021
Daria, Father Piero, Gianni, and the rest of the Gifted are fleeing. Daria's former dear friend and beloved mentor, Baron Vincenzo del Buco, has joined forces with the Gifteds' enemy Lord Abramo Amidei, who is a killer, thief, and disciple of the Sorcerer. Exhausted from their last battle, the Gifted make their way into France; to Avignon, the current seat of the Pope. Believing their next step is to meet with him, they are met by a band of knights who bear the coat of arms of the family Les Baux. Daria once knew Armand Les Baux, as a child, but since so many nobles of her acquaintance have bonded with Amidei, she doesn't know whom to trust. Yet Tessa of the Gifted, who bears the gift of discernment, assures them that there is no harm to be found with the knights. So, after many years, Daria meets her childhood friend, the future count of Les Baux again, thinking that perhaps they might have a short time of respite before they resume their journey.
Yet, God's call for the Gifted is often unexpected and surprising, and so it is again, here. A door is opened for Daria's gift of healing to be exercised, bringing incredible opportunities for preaching, reunion with old friends and connection with new...and also, accompanying those, Amidei and his followers, who continue to seek to bring death and destruction upon the Gifted.
The Gifteds' journey of obedience is far from over, however, despite the evil intentions of Amidei. Before Daria and her friends are even more chances for healing and ministry along with entrance into the Avignon papal palace. Intrigue, sown seeds of discord, and new allies of Amidei threaten not only the Gifted but others of the Church. Will Daria, Gianni, and their fellow believers be able to defeat the forces of the evil one before their own lives are taken? Is martyrdom their only possible future?
Once more, Lisa T. Bergren has crafted an incredible, never-predictable, and adventurous tale of God's people, and the forces of darkness who seek to thwart God's call and invitation for all who would follow Him. Great joy and the blessings of obedience await the Gifted. But the enemy of their souls is crafty and doing all that he can to destroy them. Will the Gifted prevail...or will those of darkness? The Blessed is a rich and highly readable finish to The Gifted Trilogy that began with The Begotten and continued with Betrayed. Not only is this a truly amazing literary series with unforgettable characters and story, but it's one that shows, in prose, the spiritual battle that believers face...and that, with God in them and fighting alongside them, that they can prevail in. So encouraging.
I received a digital copy of this book. All opinions are honest and my own.