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Day of War (Lion of War #1)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  803 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Day of War is the gritty, intense, and stylistic portrayal of the adventures of King David and his Mighty Men, found in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11.
ebook, 283 pages
Published June 11th 2011 by Zondervan (first published 2009)
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I snagged this novel from one of the Barnes & Nobel free Friday offerings for Nook owners. A Christian fiction, with heavy emphasis on Bronze Age/Early Iron age military tactics, retelling or 'filling in the blanks' of David and his warriors (and Jonathan and his army).

In his Note to the Reader, Cliff Graham references 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11 as inspiration for his retelling of David and his 'Dirty Dozen.' He warns the reader about the battle violence and after-battle pillaging and
Great concept. Well developed.

What's not to like? The story telling was pitiful. It needed proofreading. And there were egregious groaners, like "chain mail resembling fish scales" or "bamboo bow" or "infection" (you and I may know what infection is but not a point of view character in the tenth century BC) or "Nile delta flush with spring flooding" (the annual flooding starts afterthe summer solstice) or "[his] heart was pounding blood through his veins so hard . . .". Numerous modern word choi
Bill Tillman
998 B.C.

I felt pleased and blessed when Zondervan sent me a copy of "Day of War," by Cliff Graham. Cliff has signed note read: Psalms 140:7 “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.” Battle rage and battle weariness are continuous themes throughout the novel. Understanding how warriors actually fell under those conditions and what they depend on is one of the great achievements of this book. To know God’s covering, praying for it during time o
Awesome story about one of Ethan's favorite guys - Benaiah. You know, the one who jumped in a pit with a lion on a snowy day? Yes, that one. After reading it, I read through 2nd Samuel and 1st Kings. Not many books will spur you back to the Bible, but this one did. Great read, especially for guys.
Kerry Nietz
I’ve had “Day of War” on my eReader for quite some time, but just never found the right mood or opportunity to read it. (It came highly recommended.) Then we started studying the life of David in our home group, and it seemed like the perfect time. This novel did help give me a new perspective of the portion of David’s life that it covered. I especially appreciate the fact that it was written by a former soldier, who clearly did his research prior to writing. Gave the whole narrative an extra to ...more
Heath Sommer
With a final burst, he released one of the ropes, sending the stone whistling through the air, and as it flew towards the black form of the warrior, he whispered in his spirit: Cover me in the day of war.” (p.10, day of War)

Review: Sometimes an action book is just an action book--the fighting, the intensity, the imagery, the hype of the plot and the fans all clamoring really just about the entertainment of the story—a story without substance. A story without meaning. A story that will be fashio
So, I'm not a fan of war stories. Not movies, not novels, not even the news. I know war happens. I know in a general way what goes on, but I don't like to hear more about it than I need to. I read this novel because I know and respect the author. It would be most flattering to him to say that this novel completely changed my mind about war stories, but that's not the case (sorry Cliff).

I was, however, very impressed with the novel as an example of historical fiction. In every chapter you could
Kimberly Bower (gladeslibrarian)
In Day of War Cliff Graham takes the Biblical account found in 2 Samuel 23 and I Chronicles 11 of the life of David and the soldiers committed to protect him from King Saul. He flawlessly brings the reader into their day-to-day battles of war and survival. References to David’s destiny to the throne of Israel are told through campfire tales from seasoned soldiers to the soldiers new to David’s company. Day of War carries the reader from the time of David’s exile until the death of King Saul. Thi ...more
Kimberly Bower (gladeslibrarian)
In Day of War Cliff Graham takes the Biblical account found in 2 Samuel 23 and I Chronicles 11 of the life of David and the soldiers committed to protect him from King Saul. He flawlessly brings the reader into their day-to-day battles of war and survival. References to David's destiny to the throne of Israel are told through campfire tales from seasoned soldiers to the soldiers new to David's company. Day of War carries the reader from the time of David's exile until the death of King Saul. Thi ...more
Austin Storm
This novel is the first book in a 5-book series 'produced' by a media company who is also has a comic-book version of the series, a documentary that takes you behind the story, and an in-process full-length feature version.

And it reads like a book designed for 'transmedia', where aspiring media types hope that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts. "Creating virtually" the production company website proclaims without a hint of irony.

It's hard not to be cynical about the premise of
This is a pretty impressive book. No romance, no sweetness, a definite man’s book. War told from the point of view of a soldier and it was written so well that I loved it. I really enjoy a historical fiction that can teach me – creating a story around real-life events. I have heard, briefly, the story of David and when this book came up as a free nook purchase, I jumped at the chance to learn more. Because the book was told from someone else’s viewpoint, I really didn’t get to know David too muc ...more
Steven Bliss
I was really excited when a friend from church recommended a book about David. I jumped into reading Day of War with a hopeful frenzy. That soon turned south with the opening lion hunt scene. Maybe its just me, but I tend to like dialogue in books I read. This barely had any verbal interaction between the characters at the start of the book - and really throughout the whole book.

The plot was done well enough. We follow Benaiah through his lion hunt and learn about his wife and dead daughters (h
Lisa Godfrees
WOW!!! I wasn't sure what to think of the book when I started reading it, but I certainly knew what to think about it by the time it ended. The story is told from several different points of view which adds complexity to the plot (even though you know where the story is going and mostly how it will get there if you've read the Bible). I love his depiction of the covering but the best part of the novel is his character development. The author makes you really know and like David's mighty men. I c ...more
This story is interesting in that it does, in fact, follow the biblical account (1 Samuel 27-31)very closely, but it is redundantly bloody and provides the reader with no helpful insight into how God's overall plan has remained consistent throughout human history. Almost identical accounts of hand-to-hand combat are repeated over and over. This entire subject is one that troubles many readers of the Bible who have not yet understood the big picture of God's plan to reconcile fallen mankind to Hi ...more
Debra Hancock
"Day of War, author Cliff Graham's first novel, has earned him a film option for the entire book series---Lion of War---from director David L. Cunningham (Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man films).In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a man named Benaiah is searching for a fresh start in life. He has joined a band of soldiers led by a warlord named David, seeking to bury the past that refuses to leave him. Their ragged army is disgruntled and full of ...more
David Dalton
I have had this book on my Kindle for almost 3 years. Now, I wished I had read it sooner. I really enjoyed this look into the life of David & his Mighty Men. One point that Cliff stressed a lot was the use of "Iron" weapons over "Bronze" (other nations had the technology to forge, Israel did not for a while). Cliff describes day to day life at that time in a very knowledgeable manner. This book focuses on Benaiah, who is one tough fighter (early on he took on a lion). He has been given the t ...more
Dustin Sullivan
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was really interesting to see Old Testament events unfold in a fleshed out story form. I appreciated that the author didn't ignore the violence of the day in his storytelling, yet it wasn't glorified violence.

My only complaint would be that sometimes the point of view shifts without it being clear whose story we are following. One time it seemed like the shift occurred in the middle of a paragraph.
This book really surprised me. Christian fiction is usually heavy handed and poorly written but Day of War is the exact opposite. The battles are exciting and the accuracy of the tactics as well as the historicity of the account really set a firm foundation for the anchor book in this five tome series.
Rita Chauke
Being a "non fan" of war and its brutality, I was a bit sceptical about the book at first and felt a bit put off by the description of war scenery.after a while I did warm up to the writer's style and to the realities of war and what courage it takes to go into it.I love how the writer portrayed David...made him seem as human as any other man in that army.Jonathan's loyalty to his father Saul...a rare thing to find these days and so admirable. did Jonathan really not have a desire to be king aft ...more
I purchased this book because I happened upon the soundtrack that was released to be a companion to it. Now, I'm very glad I took a chance on a very masculine-sounding book written by an author I had never heard of. The subject matter is rather violent - but so is the biblical account if you understand the story behind the polite language. The author prefaces his storytelling with a reminder that this is fiction based upon his research, experience and prayer. The vivid descriptions of spiritual ...more
Thomas Umstattd
Violent, thrilling and fast paced. More blood than cleaning a deer. This book gives you a great feel for the times of David and his mighty men. I can't wait for the movie to come out.
This was definitely worth the read for anyone interested in seeing a Christian story with real-life grits and intense emotion in every sentence.
Jared Leonard
This was a really fun and interesting book. I've always thought some of the stories in the Old Testament would make for really good tie-in or "filler" fiction, either in books or film. Cliff Graham has proved me right with this opening of a series about the adventures of David after his slaying of Goliath. The characters are brought to life while staying faithful to the source material. Mr. Graham has done a great service in offering us a glimpse into what life was probably like for the man who ...more
T.E. George
Day of War is the story of a restless mercenary and the warlord rumored to one day be king to whom he pledges his allegiance. Benaniah’s troubled spirit has not been satisfied with skirmishes with Amalekites, Philistines or even one-on-one contests with man eating lions. But in the mysterious warlord David, he senses something of destiny. Something worth living and dying for.

By way of disclaimer I must admit Biblical novels are not my favorite. Too often writers, in an effort to spin a good stor
For a long time, I've felt that some of the stories from the Old Testament, especially the Kings and the Chronicles, would make great movies. "Day of War" is, of course, not a movie, but Cliff Graham has done in novel form what I've longed for on the big screen: a dramatized presentation of the great stories of the Faith. This book follows the story of Benaiah, one of David's men, from the famous lion in a snowy pit through the battle between Israel and the Philistines, with some Amalekite raidi ...more
Rick Schworer
Rarely do you read a book that has so much raw courage and yet is clean. There wasn't a single cuss word in the entire book and no sex (though there are references to it).

If you're looking for your typical Christian historical fiction... sunsets, bonnets, covered wagons and white picket fences then this isn't for you.

Let me put it this way: there wasn't a boatload of violence, there was an entire Pacific fleetload! If you can't stand violence then you don't want to read this. But if you want it
Abbie Riddle
The first in the Lion of War Series this one will have you hooked from the first page. New hero's are born from an old story. For the first time in epic proportions the story of David and his mighty men is brought to life in such a fashion that one can not help but to desire to be as heroic as these men.

I can't wait for my sons to be old enough to delve into this gripping story of war and honor, of struggle and victory. David's Mighty men are brought to life and their story is highlighted withi
Patrick Felks
I have been reading the book "Day of War" by Cliff Graham. The book was published post 9/11 in the late 2001. Cliff Graham wrote this book in order to show readers to end all wars after 9/11 because of the catastrophic event. This book would fall into the "action" category because there is a lot of fighting, blood and gore. The theme of this book to me is to be a hero and end all wars.

This is the first book in the series "Lion of War." There are a total of three which I have only read the first
Ms. Mielke's Class
As the men of Israel and the surrounding countries are entering the campaign season, many of the tribes are divided. As David and his Mighty Men are in the south, the remnants of Saul's army is going to battle against the hated Sea People. If the Philistines win the battle, they will control much land in Israel. If the small army lead by Saul's son, Johnathon, win the battle, they are going to need more men that can fight. What will David and the rest of God's chosen nation do?HHG
Bernard Boulton
Day of War was a splendid tale. I loved how Cliff Graham weaved together this story of heroism and conflict. David is one of my favorite heroes and this story that illustrates his life in league with the mighty men of Israel is one of the best on this topic.
This story amplified my love of David's life recorded in the Scriptures. I purchased both Day of War and Covenant of War and I'm reading Covenant now.
Great Job Cliff.
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“That night was the first time I understood the covering. The covering is the fire. It is the strength, courage, and power Yahweh equips us with. It girds a man's loins when he needs it and lets a man know that Yahweh forgives him when he fails. It snaps our legs when we need it. It speaks Yahweh's wise counsel... It comes only from Yahweh, who alone is the shepherd that we need.” 1 likes
“I see no priestly garments on you. There is no ephod on your belt. You presume to speak for Yahweh? You speak his name aloud so lightly?” 1 likes
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