Voice of the Ancient (The King’s Men)

Written by Connilyn Cossette
Review by J. Lynn Else

The newly appointed King Saul has called the men of Yaakov to battle. Four cousins answer the call, despite only one of them being of age. Worse, Avidan must hide that he’s a Levite and thus exempt from enrolling in the army. When the youngest cousin goes missing, Avidan is the only one who will search while his other cousins follow the army instead. Along the way, Avidan meets up with Keziah. Disguised as a boy, Keziah is fleeing from a cruel man whose intent in marrying her is to take her father’s land. While her disguise doesn’t fool Avidan, her horse would help him cover more ground, so he plays along. United by necessity, Avidan and Keziah find comfort together amidst the losses weighing their hearts. But can they admit their secrets and their growing feelings before going their separate ways?

Able to be read as a standalone, Cossette’s new series The King’s Men includes characters from her Covenant House duology. Cossette’s novels always raise up the voices of women and their influence on biblical-era society. Grounded in sublime research, the character mindsets feel authentic while also finding strength in ancient times and the limitations therein. This story focuses on stories and how disconnected the tribes of Yaakov are from their history. Avidan recounts the tales that teach those around him, including Keziah, about God’s love; Keziah has only learned stories of God’s wrath. It’s almost as if the author is placing herself in her own story as the character of Avidan with his charming narratives, immersive settings, exciting battles, and entrancing characters. Another beautifully written story by Connilyn Cossette.