The Restorer’s Journey by Sharon Hinck is the third book in the Sword of Lyric series. In the first book, The Restorer, Mom Susan finds herself pulled through and unexpected portal into another world where she finds herself in an unsought for and unwanted leadership position that she feels totally unqualified for, and she finds God’s grace is sufficient even for all of that. In Book 2, The Restorer’s Son, just as Susan and her husband, Mark, get back to their own world, they discover their son Jake has accidentally gone through the portal, so they have to go back for him and get caught up once again in Lyric’s destiny, it’s enemy, Hazor, and their friend, the reluctant new Restorer, Kieran.
The Restorer’s Journey opens with two problems: Cameron, the evil, self-seeking Council leader, and Medea, a Rhusican whose race specializes in controlling people’s minds and using them against them, have come through the portal back to Susan’s world and disappeared after trashing her house, and she and Mark have no idea where they are and what they want. Secondly, Jake is now showing the signs of the Restorer. The family isn’t sure what that will mean and when and if he should return to Lyric.
After many days Cameron and Medea return with bags of equipment and force Mark and Susan to tell them how to get back to their own world, then they suddenly pull Susan back with them as they go through. Mark and Jake gather the supplies they will need and try to follow, but Mark can’t get through. Jake finds a very different Lyric, tries to find people he knows and determine what is going on and what to do.
The point of view shifts back and forth between Susan and Jake as they are separated through most of the story. Susan finds herself enduring a cruel captivity with the Rhusicans but has to find the grace not to just endure but to pray for her captors. Jake faces a people who feel deserted by the One due to Cameron’s lies and almost gives up to go home, but once he is sure of his calling, he finally earns their trust, but then faces a stunning betrayal.
I loved the spiritual parallels in this book as in the others and the fact that the struggles and lessons are real and true even though couched in a fantasy world.. Cameron had failed to ascend previously while people turned to the Verses, so he undermines the Verses by adding to them. Truth is undermined by a different tactic for Susan as her captors twist the truth, just as those in captivity for their faith in other places have had to deal with the propaganda and psychological torture. It seems that for us to grow, God often calls us beyond what we can do in our own strength, and Susan learns to rest in Him even when mentally beaten and defeated and to go beyond natural instincts to be concerned for and pray for her enemies.
Jake knows what he is called to as the Restorer and thinks he will go in like the cavalry with guns blazing to save the day. It doesn’t quite work that way, and he has to learn to follow and to trust God to lead when he can’t see what to do or what steps to take.
Though the signs of the Restorer are the same for each, each has his or her own different gifts and inclinations. Jake finds he can’t heal others like Kieran did, but songs of praise come to him.
Susan’s story in the first book had parallels to Old Testament Deborah while Kieran in the second book had similarities to Jonah, Jacob, and Gideon. Jake reminds me a lot of a David with his youth, warrior status, and propensity for song.
I had thought this book was the last in the series, but the ending leaves the door open for future stories. I loved each of these books and wouldn’t mind at all another trip through the portal.