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Sacred Armor Trilogy #1

Armor of Aletheia

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The death of the king sets in motion a chain of events that change Karina’s life forever. Thrust out of the royal city, she must leave her world behind to seek out the Armor of Elohim in order to save the very people who now hunt her.

Meanwhile, the opportunistic warlock waiting to unleash hell knows Elohim has already chosen his warrior, so he sends his own bounty hunter to retrieve her. After the bounty hunter abducts her, he witnesses her gentle nature and strong independence, and he finds he can’t turn her in.

Together, they set out to retrieve the armor and defeat the hordes of creatures sent to destroy them. But is Tristan's heart secure as he faces certain death for defending the princess? And will Karina be able to rise above her circumstances to become all Elohim intends her to be? Failure for either of them will condemn the world to eternal darkness.

268 pages, Paperback

Published August 29, 2018

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About the author

Ralene Burke

9 books184 followers
Whether she's wielding a fantasy writer's pen, a freelance editor's sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer's world. She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND.

When her head's not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
477 reviews94 followers
November 4, 2018
Such an enjoyable book! It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve read a really classic-feeling Epic Fantasy quest novel, so this one hit the spot nicely! I love how it felt classic, but also had some new twists that I didn’t see coming. I particularly loved the world in this one! There are elves and dragons and shapeshifters and a griffin and a talking (ish) horse, and scary wolf-like things called lupens. I also loved the wintry feel and the different places, both gorgeous and scary, that the characters visited.

Karina, our heroine, could be a little frustrating at times, but on the whole she was great—and I loved Dom the horse! ;) I also loved a certain shapeshifter elf (so feisty and cool!), and a guard captain who was awesome. But my favorite—eventually—was Tristan! At first I wasn’t sure about this bounty hunter, but as I suspected, he quickly became pretty awesome. ;) I won’t give anything away but I’m all here for the character-arcs is all I’m saying. The banter between Tristan and Karina is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. :D I love them so much. ^_^ Tristan particularly is rather quotable, and I always love that. (Also, how cool are their names!)

Sometimes it seemed a little rushed or confusing (to me), some of the wording felt a little odd (maybe just me?), and it could maybe have used an extra edit (though I did read an Advance Reader Copy, so I don’t know if it was the final version). But those things didn’t detract from the story too much. :) It took me a little while to get really into it, but by about a quarter through I was loving it. :D

It was neat reading about this world of three kingdoms (including Aletheia) and following Karina’s quest! Like I said, there were some twists, and even though it had a classic fantasy quest feel, it still felt fresh—and suspenseful! Also, the parts where the Creator guided them and where Karina met basically an angel were cool, and the element from the title—the armor of the Creator, including the belt of Truth and the shield of Faith—is a really neat concept to explore in a fantasy world, and I’m looking forward to where it goes.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I’m so glad I picked it up! Perfect for fans of Christian fantasy. I’m already looking forward very much to the sequel and seeing where Karina and Tristan and their companions end up next! :)

I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review, and all opinions are my own.

Review originally posted here: https://thepagedreamer.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Laura Grace.
Author 13 books205 followers
August 8, 2020
VIDEO REVIEW HERE: https://youtu.be/TzKM3gNfAX0

So many things to say about this phenomenal story!

It reminded me why I love Christian fiction so much and how long it's been since I read a story that impacted me in this way. The obvious and I feel blatant truths woven through this story is exactly what I needed. Not only that, but Karina's struggles with fear and worth hit me right in the heart. There were numerous places I highlighted because it's like she had taken the words right out of my mouth!

Because of this, the open reminders of how much God loves and hears our prayers made me emotional. After a week of struggling with intense fear, I *really* needed to see and hear another's journey of faith and overcoming, even if it was fictional characters.

I also loved the overall feel and sense of adventure in this book! It really reminded me of Lord of the Rings in some places and absolutely loved that. Plus, some of the fantasy unique creatures the author creates had me leaning back from the book in fear and then sometimes leaning forward to learn more.

Overall, I'm so very grateful I read this story. It has so much heart and think it can massively encourage any fantasy reader as well as share a great adventure. I nervously anticipate book two!

*(Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing me an ARC. I was not required to write a review or positive one. All thoughts expressed are my own.)*
Profile Image for Rachael.
38 reviews4 followers
July 20, 2019
Where do I start? I need to read the rest of the trilogy now!

I don’t read very much fantasy, but this is excellent! I like where it is heading so far and the allegory involved. The incorporation of the armor of God was a great addition to this story. While it isn’t completely related to the Bible, I think that is a good thing to keep the reader in suspense.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and will be watching for the nex one to come out.

I received a complimentary copy from the author. This gift did not sway my review at all.
Profile Image for Ejayen.
497 reviews7 followers
September 11, 2019
Apparently this book is re releasing and so I got an ARC.
Is this one of the most Cliche books I've read this year. Yes. Does that make it any less fun? No. I personally don't mind suddenly finding myself in a cliche fest, but I know some people prefer a warning.
Follow a Princess who isn't sure about being a leader and knows she isn't a warrior as she becomes queen and goes a dangerous quest. Here's hoping they can finally get rid of Brusho.
I did struggle at first to get into this book because it's main character is a Princess who will soon be queen, but I loved how the author dealt with that.
Profile Image for Heidi Kelsch.
90 reviews
September 23, 2018
Such a great read! From dragons and elves, magic, kingdoms, and the Creator's quest, this book will feed your imagination and keep you turning the pages til the end! So many hidden Christian truths intertwined in the story as well about God's forgiveness, following Him at all costs, and trusting Him. The characters are well put together and from the start the reader feels connected to Karina as the story from her past collide with her present and future. Her faith is put to the test many times, she makes wrong choices, and faces many trials, but admid the chaos she learns to always go to her knees for guidance as she searches for and learns to use the armor of Aletheia.
Profile Image for Stephanie -BooksLessTravelled.
525 reviews113 followers
October 28, 2019
*I received a copy of this book from the author. This does not affect my review.*

I struggled a bit to start this one, I had hoped to read it quickly, but it took a few good tries before I was finally pulled in, but as soon as the story picked up, and things started being explained a bit, I couldn't get enough! I really enjoyed the characters and setting, the feel of an old classic, with some new surprises and twists to add to the story, fun magical races, and plenty of colorful character personalities, sure to please! I has a feeling Tristan would be my favorite, but I was surprises by how many other characters also demanded my attention and jumped to life as I read! It's always a good book when you struggle to put it down, but it's exceptionally well done when the characters follow you, carrying on their stories even while you go about daily life! Those are always my favorites, not only are they unforgettable, but these characters remain close friends for life!
Profile Image for J.L. Mbewe.
Author 9 books261 followers
July 26, 2019
Dragons, griffons, and shapeshifters. Oh my!

Armor of Aletheia is a lovely read, which kept me on my toes and had me rooting for the characters. Karina would much rather become a royal healer than take on the responsibility that has been thrust upon her. When the king dies and her world is thrust into chaos, she sets out to find the armor that will help save her people.

It’s a clean, fantasy adventure story that I’m sure tweens and teens and those young at heart would enjoy. I look forward to see what will happen next.

**I received a review copy through Prism Book Tours.**
Profile Image for Anna Tan.
Author 26 books162 followers
September 18, 2018
In a classic coming-of-age style fantasy, Karina inherits the throne at the same time as a mysterious angelic-like being sends her on a quest to retrieve the "Armor of the Creator. Six sacred relics divided among the three kingdoms." Dogged by death and murder, Karina is thrust on the quest--where she's kidnapped by a bleeding heart mercenary, meets an evil warlock, and discovers a hidden gift.

Filled with lupens, elves, dragons, goblins, and other exotic creatures, Armor of Alethia is packed with action and magic. That comes with a downside too--the novel felt a little too dense at points. Where a few devastating setbacks often move a story forward and keep you tense, AoA reached a point where I started to get numb from all the setbacks and twists Karina faced in her bid to retrieve the armour.

At its core, AoA is a battle of good vs evil with a very Christian viewpoint, where redemption is offered to each and every participant. Karina and Tristan must learn not to trust themselves, but listen instead for the Creator's voice. Exploring the theme of the armour of God in Ephesians 6, Burke covers Faith and Truth in this one, leaving Righteousness, Peace, Salvation and the Word/Spirit. I'm intrigued to know how she'll deal with those in the next two books!

Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the author as part of a blog tour. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.
Profile Image for J.F..
Author 10 books92 followers
November 6, 2018
I loved Armor of Aletheia! It's rare that I find a story that I don't want to put down and keep going back to. Karina is a ward of the King who is accused of his murder and thrown into a quest for the Creator. Tristan and everything else under the sun attempt to thwart her plans. But, Tristan has a story of his own and the Creator is in control of all.

But-there was one major issue with this story. The dreaded, "to be continued." In a way, it's actually a compliment. The more I despise seeing those words, the more I enjoyed the story.

Armor of Aletheia is a well-written page turner. If you like a clean tale with continuous action, likable and realistic characters, and a seemingly impossible quest, this book is for you.
Profile Image for Christopher Schmitz.
Author 89 books217 followers
October 24, 2018
Ralene Burke’s Armor of Alethia is a great example of faith-based high fantasy. Burke’s primary protagonist, Karina, is relatable in many ways and the storytelling and pacing are on point. As Karina begins to discover more and more about who she is, her fixation on the nearby mountain and her high calling/destiny become more focused.
One of the bright spots of Burke’s writing is the way she interweaves familiar, Christian tropes with those concepts that any fantasy reader is acquainted with. If I have a major complaint against “Christian fantasy” as a genre, it’s that the faith aspects are seldom melded seamlessly into the narrative; not so with Burke’s storytelling. It comes across smoothly and believably.
While I’m not terribly impressed with the cover, the tightness of her prose certainly kept me turning the pages and seeing how Karina embarks on her journey of her discovery and how the mystery of the high calling revealed to her by the Creator unfolds. I recommend this book to any readers YA on up!
I received a free copy of the book in order to write a review for Inside the Inkwell blog.

Profile Image for Jessica.
324 reviews
September 18, 2018
Karina is a ward of the King of Aletheia and the royal healer's apprentice. Upon the king's death, Karina must leave the city and collect the pieces of the Armor of Elohim to save the realm from the approaching darkness. However, the source of this darkness knows who she is and sends out a bounty hunter to stop her. Instead, the bounty hunter decides to help Karina instead of turning her in, after all he knows all too well the evilness at work.

I greatly enjoyed the first novel in the Armor of Aletheia trilogy. Karina is a flawed but sympathetic character as is Tristan, the bounty hunter. It was great to see them grow and change just in this first novel. The world seems real and full and an epic quest is well underway. The secondary characters are interesting. The plot does have some surprises. One portion of the story is closed at the end of the novel and you'll definitely want to read the next one.

If you love trilogies in magical new worlds, I think you'll enjoy this one.
Profile Image for Don W Hunter.
Author 2 books3 followers
August 30, 2018
This was such a cool story! Giant wolves, elves, shape-shifters, and DRAGONS among other things! Engaging characters and I loved the storyline. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a great fantasy story!
Profile Image for Alisa Wagner.
Author 42 books129 followers
March 22, 2019
My faith has been encouraged! Ralene Burke has created a fantasy world breathed through the heart of the Creator! Karina, the protagonist princess, is secure in her small, safe surroundings. However, Karina’s simple life diminishes when evil vs. good thrusts her into a destiny of hardship, faith and spiritual growth! Ralene’s own faith shines so brightly within the pages of this supernatural adventure and through the life of Karina and her secondary characters. I highlighted so many beautiful gems of Ralene’s words that truly touched my soul. There is an array of astounding literary and spiritual goodness about this book that I want to explore, but I must not spoil the story! I will discuss 5 spiritual truths that specifically encouraged my walk of faith and inspired my calling of destiny.

First, we all have a purpose beyond our current capacity.

Karina is called into a position that she is not currently ready to assume. However, the Creator allows hardships in her life that not only to mature her, but bring her in complete trust to Him. By the end of the story, Karina is the warrior queen she was created to be! Our destiny will not be easy, but with God on our side, whom shall we fear? We must trust God’s calling on our lives and overcome the obstacles along our path.

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8.31 NLT).

Second, God still does the supernatural.

As Karina overcomes fear and obeys the Creator, she finds herself in circumstances where defeat is inevitable. However, the Creator intervenes supernaturally with miracles and healings. God is more powerful than our natural circumstances. God is more than capable to shift the natural world with His supernatural power and authority. Everything must obey Him, and we activate that power by faith!

“If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles” (Job 5.8-9 NLT).

Third, forgiveness creates change.

Tristan, Karina’s nemesis at the beginning of her journey, has done many wrongs–even murder. Yet, the Creator calls out to him for relationship. Tristan takes up the Shield of Faith and leaves his old lifestyle behind! The Bible says that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. No matter how good we are, we all need grace through Jesus Christ (Romans 3.23-24). But God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for all our sins, so we can be saved!

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5.8 NLT).

Fourth, people need to see our bold faith.

Karina had to believe in the Creator’s amazing opinion of her, so she could confidently lead her people. She changed the hearts of those around her merely by her confidence in the Creator’s design and plan for her life. People need to see that confidence in us, as well. They want to believe in a God that is loving and powerful, but they must see our confidence in that truth first. When we walk boldly in our destiny, the people around us will rise up.

“So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold” (2 Corinthians 3.11-12 NLT).

Fifth, God is strong in our weakness.

Karina has a love for others, but she lacks discernment and is easily trusting. But when she finally captures the Belt of Truth, she begins to embrace her design and destiny. Moreover, her discernment of others becomes more clear. She is able to call out the good and evil in others. We are each designed uniquely, and our strengths are tether to our weaknesses. However, God will be strong in our weaknesses when we rely on Him!

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me'” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NLT).

Final Words for Armor of Aletheia

It’s hard to be bold if we have not seen it demonstrated. We must first be able to envision our victorious destiny in order to overcome the obstacles along the way. Ralene Burke’s novel, Armor of Aletheia, offers us an inside view of spiritual growth and ceaseless determination. Her story invites readers to experience bold faith within their imagination, so they too can have the courage to walk in their highest calling!

Profile Image for Jessica Belmont.
1,483 reviews46 followers
September 2, 2019
Armor of Aletheia is a beautiful, epic Christian Fantasy that I am absolutely in love with. Ralene Burke has penned a novel that I am still thinking about after I put it down. I had a feeling this would be a good novel, however, it was an amazing novel. Everything I wanted this to be and more.

Karina is a fantastic main character. Her growth and strength is captivating to watch. Her faith is woven into the story, which is wonderful to read. The Creator and God are very parallel, and I love when this happens. One of my favorite genres is Christian fantasy, because it is clean and more often than not, even more epic than other fantasy novels. This is the case with Armor of Aletheia!

I’m having trouble putting into words how much this novel moved me and how excited I am to read the next book. I am eagerly awaiting to read more of Karina’s story. I highly recommend checking this one out!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Prism Book Tours. All opinions are my own*

Find this review and more on my blog: https://www.jessicabelmont.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Chad Pettit.
Author 8 books22 followers
July 5, 2019
High fantasy is at its best when the story is filled with characters we can believe in, a difficult but noble path for the protagonist to take, and enough dragons and swords to keep us turning the page. Ralene Burke has accomplished that goal in this novel that begins the saga of Katrina's fantastical journey of faith.
The Christian world view was evident and the messages of faith, redemption, truth, and hope were unashamedly on display but not didactic or preachy. This is no easy feat, so I'm happy to report that it was done well in this book.
I fully recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, fantasy, and anyone who wants to escape into a fresh, new fantasy world.
Profile Image for Kara.
756 reviews
September 24, 2019
**ANOTHER five stars for this treasure of a book!! My fave scene is in the maze when Karina can communicate with the predators, but LOVED the whole book**

A princess healer, a family intrigue, a tragic death, and an unexpected quest...yeah, this book has all of that and MORE! From the first chapter, I was really into the reading and the more I turned the kindle pages, the more I HAD to know what happened next. There are also elves, a griffin, dragons, some nasty dwarves (or was it goblins), and one bounty hunter that is more than he seems. This incredible book felt MUCH like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, just as epic except the good guys in THIS one are chosen from the Creator which made me love it more.

With every hero comes a worthy villain, I was impressed with the villains here too!

My favorite character was Dom the horse :)

One of my fave scenes, an angel saves the princess and loved her reaction to the message he gives her!

"No use dwelling on things she couldn't change. Instead, she gripped his withered hands and offered him the Blessing of Three kisses-one on each cheek for joy and love and one on the forehead for wisdom. 'May the Creator go with you.'"

There are fight scenes, one battle and even situations where demons must be conquered by truth, but I truly LOVED everything about this book and was very satisfied it didn't end on a cliffhanger. One of my best reads for 2018 and can't wait for Book 2!!

I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Hallie (Hallie Reads).
1,538 reviews107 followers
Shelved as 'reviewed'
October 30, 2019

Beginning the Sacred Armor Trilogy, Armor of Aletheia sets Karina on a journey to find the Armor of the Creator in order to save her people. Then, in the second book, Sword of Soter, that journey continues—with a generous dose of adventure and danger, helpful friends and hurtful foes. The series proves to be quite the epic fantasy.

Though somewhat unremarkable as far as fantasy goes, Armor of Aletheia and Sword of Soter kept me entertained nonetheless. I enjoyed getting to know Karina and the characters that surround her on her quest, as well as the challenges they face and overcome. An uplifting spiritual thread, too, can be found throughout the two stories. All in all, these books left me ready for the next one.

This review is also posted on Hallie Reads.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Sydney.
967 reviews107 followers
September 16, 2019
What an adventurous young adult fantasy story author Ralene Burke has crafted in her novel, Armor of Aletheia. Readers will be pulled into this fun and exciting first book in the series. This novel is full of enjoyable characters and a wonderful adventure. It’s about a bounty hunter, a princess, friendship, and love. It’s about a trek and a challenge that can change everything, or cause everything to be lost. Young adult fantasy readers will be sure to enjoy this exciting new story!

Series: Sacred Armor Trilogy
Genre: Christian, fantasy, young adult
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing Inc.
Publication date: August 29, 2018
Number of pages: 268

A review copy of this book was provided by Prism Book Tours, as well as a copy borrowed from Amazon Kindle Unlimited. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Profile Image for Gretchen.
Author 9 books25 followers
February 13, 2019
Epic Fantasy without Having to Give Up a Year of Your Life

There’s so much to love about Armor of Aketheia, but the best part is the well-paced plot. No lengthy battle scenes or rabbit trails. Every scene moves forward making it hard to put down. I don’t read a lot of fantasy, and the 4-digit page counts of many epic fantasies are one of the reasons. Burke proves a great fantasy can be tightly written.
Tristan and Karina are strong characters as well as Faramos as a villain plus supporting characters and creatures.
I loved the faith elements and creative interpretation of the armor of God (called Creator).
I’m looking forward to book 2.
Profile Image for Ian.
Author 3 books39 followers
October 13, 2019
Set in a future fantasy world, the Armor of Alethia is a thoroughly enjoyable tale, clearly set up for a second story as a young lady discovers her courage against some extremely difficult odds.

Karina, is the ‘adopted’ daughter of the much loved King Pistis, who rules over the kingdom of Alethia. He is married to a troubled and ambitious wife, Lady Anaya. Karina, is the King’s niece, her father having been branded a traitor and on being discovered is killed along with her mother. The King adopts Karina as a result of her capabilities as a healer.

Karina is the anointed successor to the throne and on the King tragically dying in her care, she is banished by evil Anaya claiming she murdered her uncle. However, the Creator has given her a mission: to travel to the three temples and collect the ‘armor’ of Alethia. She sets off only to be accosted by a bounty hunter, Tristan Lemur, who has taken the contract out on her head to be delivered to evil Faramos.

As they journey to the Shadowed Forest to meet Faramos, they are joined along the way by a variety of mythical creatures: elves, goblins, lupens, griffins and shapeshifters. These creatures help bring the story alive as well as Karina’s special prophetic powers, one of which, enables her to communicate with animals. What a blessed gift that would be!

Karina possesses the empathy of a healer and even though she is being taken captive, likely to die at the hands of Faramos, her kindness soon changes Tristan’s heart. They continually meet opposition in the shape of lupens and goblins but unfortunately there was an insufficient building of tension in these scenes such that they come and go so quickly that we’re never fearful for Karina. However, I expect through the rest of the series we’ll see Burke develop this skill so we’re left on the edge of our seats at climactic moments. Even in the tussle to gain the first piece of ‘armor’ I was never really concerned for her welfare.

The story builds as the two kingdoms go head to head in a battle for supremacy. Karina, returns to her adopted homeland and is met with opposition. Will she claim the crown that is hers by adoption or has her evil stepmother usurped her?

The story ends, the climactic moment in this first part being Karina’s struggle for her crown. It ends a little flat as the battle between Alethia and Faramos’ army ensues, all the while, Karina departs in search for the second piece of armor.

This is a worthy addition to the fantasy genre with its series of conquests, romance and magnificent mythical creatures and magical powers but what is perhaps most challenging about this story is the role faith and prayer play. We see Karina, in particular, learn to trust in the power of prayer and to her credit Burke provides some tremendous examples of answered prayer.

I look forward to Book 2 and hope it’s not too far away.
Profile Image for Jane.
894 reviews18 followers
September 8, 2019
This Young Adult Christian Fantasy novel is fantastic. I could not put it down. Think epic fantasy along the lines of The Lord of the Rings but a little “softer.” It also reminds me a lot of The Chronicle of Narnia. Ralene Burke sprinkles paraphrased Scripture throughout the text without being preachy. The emotions and growth of the main character Karina are very real and make her a character readers will care about.
As far as the elements of fantasy, Burke did a good job of including them. Magic is there both in evil and good characters. There is so much Adventure in the book, you won’t be able to put it down and a quest is at the root of the plot. The Struggle for Mastery is most evident in the life of Karina but also in Tristan’s life; Karina as she grows to accept her new role and Tristan as he puts his past behind him. Fantasy of Place/Setting - Aletheia and the other kingdoms are countries created by the author - and there is a consistency within each kingdom. The story also includes mythical creatures: goblins, elves, griffins, shapeshifters, and more. If you enjoy epic fantasy, I highly recommend this title.
Armor of Aletheia is book one in the Sacred Armor Trilogy and covers the first of the three quests Karina must go on for the Creator. I can’t wait to read the others in this series.
I would not hesitate to add Armor of Aletheia to my K-12 Christian School library, and most likely will.
I want to thank Prism Book Tours for the e-copy of Armor of Aletheia. This is my honest review of the book.
Profile Image for Kelly.
214 reviews11 followers
October 1, 2019
“Armor of Aletheia” by Ralene Burke is a new release by this Fantasy writer. It is the story of Karina, an orphan raised in a castle. But when the king dies, his wife wants Karina dead.

The Creator sends Karina on a quest, where she meets many new and interesting friends. Before her quest can be completed, however, she must return to the castle and seek help for the Temple of Aletheia, but is thrown into the dungeon.

Karina faces many obstacles and must lead in a war. The story is filled with action, adventure, and a bit of romance.

This is the first book I have read by Ms. Burke, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was well written and captured my attention at the start and held it until the very end. Her characters were well developed and I became invested in them from the start as well–wanting those that I liked to succeed and those that I did not like to fail.

Ms. Burke included one unexpected twist I had not anticipated as well, which added tension and conflict to the story.

This is obviously the first book of a series, as it ends with the words “To Be Continued”, but the ending holds enough resolution and ends wrapped up to satisfy the reader until the next book is released.

If you are a Fantasy reader, you will enjoy “Armor of Aletheia”. I believe this story is suitable for middle grade readers through adults. There is violence due to war, but it is not overly graphic. There is no inappropriate language or explicit intimate scenes.
Profile Image for Michelle Levigne.
Author 184 books86 followers
January 27, 2023
Goal for this year: Clear off at least ONE shelf in my to-be-read bookshelf (currently 2-1/2 shelves). This book was in a basket I won in a raffle at the Realm Makers conference. If all the books by the group of authors who put the basket together are this enjoyable ... I'm going to get a lot less writing done this year than I planned!

Karina, our heroine, has plans for a life of service as a healer. She doesn't enjoy court life, especially since the queen, her guardian, doesn't seem to like her. What did she ever do to her? The king, however, knows some secrets that Karina thought she had kept hidden from everyone.

Those secrets, and her painful past and family shame send Karina hurtling across the country on a quest when the king dies unexpectedly. And with soldiers and bounty hunters and soon monsters hunting her, either because the queen has accused her of murdering the king, or to stop Karina from fulfilling prophecy. First step in the plan for her to save the kingdom: find pieces of the sacred armor. That becomes a little difficult when she is kidnapped from the soldiers protecting her and handed over to the enemy of her kingdom. She learns painful lessons along the way. The question is if she will learn and grow quickly enough to be the hero the kingdom of Alethia desperately needs.
Profile Image for M. B. Aznoe.
Author 4 books12 followers
November 26, 2018
A great read with underlying truths. I enjoyed the characters and the world Ralene Burke brought to life. I would highly recommend it for pre-teen to teenage girls and any woman who wants a lighter book to read.
Profile Image for Kandi J Wyatt.
Author 34 books275 followers
September 5, 2021
Fun beginning

I love the characters in this book. The action keeps you turning pages, and you can't wait to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Lauren.
99 reviews1 follower
August 5, 2019
Book summary:
Karina is not a warrior, and not even really a princess. She is just a healer-in-training who was taken by the king as his ward. King Pistis is the closest thing to a parent Karina has, but Queen Anaya's bitterness over her inability to have her own children has bled into her relationship with her husband's ward. When the king names Karina as the heir to the throne just before his unexpected death, Karina is forced to flee from the queen's sudden wrath.

However, the Creator had a plan in motion for Karina. Almost immediately after the king's death, the Creator's servant appears and anoints Karina as a prophetess. She is entrusted with a quest that will save the Three Kingdoms from the growing evil that has already consumed the kingdom of Tzedek. The quest: to retrieve the six pieces of the Armor of Aletheia, which are hidden among the Three Kingdoms. Therefore, as she flees for her life, Karina heads for the Temple of Alethia in the Shadowed Forest.

As they travel, Karina and her guards are waylaid by a bounty hunter who kidnaps Karina and takes her to the very place she does not want to go: the capital of Tzedek. However, Karina comes to believe there is more to this bounty hunter than it appears. As they start to earn each other's trust, their journey returns to the Creator's quest; and they find that this quest will require the both of them in order to succeed.

My review:
The Armor of Aletheia was an enjoyable book. The beginning of the story felt rather choppy to me, and it took me awhile to connect and empathize with the characters. However, as the book continued, it seemed to smooth out and flow better. I believe it also helped when I began reading it more like an allegory instead of a fantasy. Yes, it is fantasy, but the true Armor of Aletheia is the Armor of God straight from Ephesians 6:13-18. In addition, many of the characters seemed to have a defining attribute, much like Pilgrim’s Progress. Once I realized this, the story began to make more sense.

More character development or backstory for Tristan and Karina would have been appreciated. It seemed like Tristan became a completely different person without much transition. I also wasn’t sure how Karina would fall in love so quickly with someone who had treated her so badly. (Perhaps it’s just because she was almost entirely dependent on him, so she was forced to trust him.)

The story did not seem to allow me to connect with the characters on more than a surface level, but this book had a good message, and for that I enjoyed it.

I received a free Kindle book from Prism Book Tours in return for writing an honest review.
Profile Image for Matt Starr.
Author 1 book13 followers
January 27, 2021
I appreciate having a secondary character named Sam. Every great fantasy series has a Sam.
The world was well established. I have a clear vision of the three kingdoms and very specific ideas of what they are like. Not very much development of Soter, but I assume that will come in book 2.
The main characters were moderately well developed. Though each of their personalities were very unique, their development over the course of the book was unsatisfying to me. Tristian’s development is spoon fed to the audience at every step thanks to Karina’s inner dialogues. Karina becomes suddenly authoritative when she returns to become queen despite the fact that she is lead through the book by the elves and Tristian.
My biggest problem with the story, and I know it’s because of the need to “set the stage” for the latter books, is the many deus ex machina scenes wherein Karina and Tristian are trapped, but they are saved by an elf or they are saved when Karina learns she has a new ability, like talking to animals. There are no scenes in which Karina overcomes opposition of her own volition with the exception of passing the test for the belt of truth.
That being said, I would be interested in seeing the development between Tristian and Faramos. I think Tristian would make a better main character in subsequent books only because he is far more active than Karina.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bria Burton.
Author 40 books12 followers
December 17, 2018
This well-written story was action-packed and full of interesting characters. The protagonist was likeable and had her fair share of obstacles to overcome. The love interest starts as a rogue but changes into a follower of the Creator, and his arc is believable. Their romance is sweet.

The quest for the armor was probably the strongest portion of the story for me. I really enjoyed how the author took the armor of God from Ephesians and made it into actual items that the protagonist needed to obtain on her quest.

There are a few fantasy tropes and a few places where it seemed to lag a little, but overall this is a unique and creative story.

I received a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Chad Pettit.
Author 8 books22 followers
June 1, 2019
A journey of faith worth taking!

High fantasy is at its best when the story is filled with characters we can believe in, a difficult but noble path for the protagonist to take, and enough dragons and swords to keep us turning the page. Ralene Burke has accomplished that goal in this novel that begins the saga of Katrina's fantastical journey of faith.
The Christian world view was evident and the messages of faith, redemption, truth, and hope were unashamedly on display but not didactic or preachy. This is no easy feat, so I'm happy to report that it was done well in this book.
I fully recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, fantasy, and anyone who wants to escape into a fresh, new fantasy world.
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