Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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The Hand That Bears the Sword

by George Bryan Polivka

Reviewed by April Gardner

"If The Trophy Chase Trilogy were put on film, it would give Pirates of the Caribbean a run for its money."

Newlyweds Packer and Panna Throme are once again thrust into high adventure. Pirate Scat Wilkins returns with evil intentions for Packer as the Trophy Chase sets sail for deep waters once again. A new and surprising Hezzan in the Kingdom of Drammun has diabolical designs on not just Packer but on the entire Kingdom of Nearing Vast. And, at home, Panna must await Packer’s hopeful return while imprisoned by the lecherous Prince Mather.

Will Packer and Panna escape their separate dangers and find happiness in the Kingdom of Nearing Vast....or will the invading Drammune army steal away their future and that of all the people of Packer and Panna’s homeland?

~ back cover of “The Hand the Bears the Sword”


If The Trophy Chase Trilogy were put on film, it would give Pirates of the Caribbean a run for its money. Polivka’s novels have all the pirate adventures, sword zinging action, and terrifying sea creatures of the block-buster movie trilogy, but with a moral lesson and a focus on God that’s unbeatable. Book three would have to be very bad indeed for this series not to stay at the top of my “all time favorite Christian novels” list.

Because the characters and setting have already been introduced, The Hand that Bears the Sword is easier to initially “get into” than The Legend of the Firefish, the first in the series. The Hand picks up a couple of months from where The Firefish left off.

Packer thought he’d righted the world of his impulsive mistakes, but he’s wrong. The long fuse on the consequences of his actions has just begun to burn. He scrambles to smother the fuse, but fails. The Vast armada is destroyed, war has been ignited, his homeland is being invaded and there is nothing he or the mighty Trophy Chase can do to stop it. He isn’t even sure the Trophy Chase will make it through the next sea battle, much less be able to return to port and beef up the country’s defenses. It’s one seemingly hopeless situation after another for Packer and the Vast people, but God hasn’t had His say-so.

Under the thumb of a smitten, greedy prince, Panna is in a similar dismal situation. She’s determined to stand firm to her faith, her morals, and her husband, but must she sacrifice one of her greatest treasures in the process?

There are quite a few surprises for the reader in this second installment of the Trophy Chase Trilogy. Here’s a morsel to whet your appetite…the firefish is no longer the enemy. In fact, the sea beast just might be…well, you’ll have to read to find out, which I suggest you do first chance you get.

Although The Hand the Bears the Sword could be read independently from the first in the series, I do not recommend it.

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.