A Portrait of Loyalty
Series: The Codebreakers #3
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date September 8, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: England, France World War I Era - 1914 - 1918
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera--and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share. When her photographs reveal that someone has been following Zivon, his loyalties are called into question--and his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he'd feared.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: The Number of Love, On Wings of Devotion
Some books are great because of the story they tell. Some are great because of the characters. Some are great because of the colorful language used to paint the picture of the story. And some, like A Portrait of Loyalty, are great for all of the above reasons.
I have enjoyed every one of the books in The Codebreakers series! The characters in each have their own quirky form of genius, which Roseanna White has an amazing way of capturing. Zivon has the ability to see patterns that allow him to predict. And everything is a pattern. When his portion of the story is told, there is a cadence to the words. A rhythm beating to the drumming of his thoughts.
Lily is a photographer. I loved seeing the world through her eyes, the interplay of light and darkness. I could see the beauty of the world as she captured it. But what made her even more fascinating was her job at the OB (Old Building – the home of Room 40 where the codebreaking was done during World War I) forging photographs and helping to identify forgeries. Without Photoshop! Honestly, I’m not so great at doctoring photos using the tools available to me, so imagining her doing this with scissors, a darkroom, and her artistic talents was so much fun!
I loved the way the author showed not only the British perspective on the Russian Revolution but also showed it through the eyes of the Bolsheviks, giving insight into the circumstances that drove them to the bloody takeover of the government.
There is a strong spiritual message as well. Zivon, as he struggled with seeing God’s hand in the events that caused him to lose all he loved in this world, continued to hear a still small voice “be still and know that I am God”. His journey to trust God and to put aside his anger and desire for revenge was beautiful. And when tragedy touched Lily’s life, she had to learn to turn to God for help.
Combining faith, history, romance, and intrigue, A Portrait of Loyalty is a wonderful story that I highly recommend.