Monday, August 23, 2010

The CSFF Greatests Hits - Number 3

Hearken back to May of 2006. Do you remember what was happening back then? Do you even remember what you had for breakfast yesterday?

Anyway, I recall (thanks to the power of the web) that it was the first time I participated in the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy tour! Amazing how time flies. There have been a lot of good books that we've covered, and for this special August 2010 edition of the CSFF Tour, I give you Spoiled for the Ordinary's best of:

Coming in at number...
is The Gifted series by Lisa T. Bergren, from April 2009. The CSFF Tour featured the first book of the series, The Begotten for this tour. The story continues in The Betrayed and The Blessed.

This series was set in Italy of the 1300's, a dynamic time with rival popes competing for leadership of the Church and the continued mixing of cultures across the Mediterranean Sea. The premise rests on the Lost Corinthian Correspondence of St. Paul, letters lost at the compilation of the Bible.

Fragments of the letters are being hunted by Father Pietro and Lady Daria, as it foretells the gathering of a group called The Gifted that will walk in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to bring light and healing to a dark time. The group is pursued by a lord willing to walk in very evil ways in order to bring the Gifted to ruin.

This series was considered borderline "speculative" as it is set in a historical period and wasn't fully science fiction or fantasy. Still, the premise and supernatural aspect of the story brought it to the attention of the CSFF Tour, and it became one of my favorite series we have featured. Bergren did a lot of research and brought this intriguing pre-Renaissance period to life. The characters were rich and the suspense thick. I had two books in mind for this tour, and needing a third to feature. After skimming through all of my CSFF posts, I had almost forgotten about The Gifted. I'm tempted to pull them out and re-read them after refreshing my mind - if you missed this series and enjoy a historical tale, make sure to check this out. 

Read my review and other thoughts on The Begotten at these links. Check back Tuesday and Wednesday for my 2nd and 1st favorite tour books.

In the meantime, I'm sure these folks will have some interesting posts as well - my fellow CSFF tourmates!
Brandon Barr
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Jeff Chapman
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
George Duncan
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Mike Lynch
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Jason Waguespac
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


  1. Nice post. It's fun to go back and see how far we've come. I also like the use of pictures in your post. As someone who processes things visually, I always appreciate an interesting picture to look at, especially if it involves the Three Stooges.


  2. That sounds like an interesting series, Jason. I think somebody else this Tour mentioned that alternate history or historical fiction with a speculative element is a subgenre that is largely unexplored within Christian spec-fic.

  3. Wow, Jason, I'm honored! Thanks for pulling my books out of the stacks (and from distant memory). That series remains my favorite; and now all three are in paperback: The Begotten, The Betrayed, and The Blessed (we renamed that one at some point--prob confused you).

    I'm back into medieval Italy w/ a new YA series called the River of Time. Two girls time travel back to 1342 Tuscany...WATERFALL releases in Feb. I'm LOVING writing for teens, but man, The Gifted will always have a firm place in my heart!

    You made my week.

  4. Mike - I first thought of the Amigos, but how could I not include the Stooges?

    Fred- You're right! Get to writing then! I want to see what you come up with ;)

    Lisa - Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I really enjoyed the series, and I think your YA series will probably be just as good - considering how well you detailed the time period. I fixed the title, and will be digging them out shortly for my own re-read.