Broadman & Holman
Mike Yorkey’s and Rick Myatt’s novel By the Sword is set in a time of severe unrest in the Middle East. Journalist Amber Robbins is caught in the action while covering Jerusalem itself, and thrust into a desperate search for truth when a fanatical Muslim group slaughters the inhabitants of an entire hotel in the name of Islam. This act of terrorism, however, is only the beginning. For the cause of their Holy Prophet, Muslim police in Iran begin putting to death all Christians who refuse to convert. In the face of such horrible bloodshed, Amber tries to find the motivation behind these appalling acts of terror.
Things are about to get worse, however. In Iran, an intelligence officer with secret doubts about the Islamic faith, Mohammed Faheedi, begins to uncover something deeper and darker behind the killings. As he continues to dig, to the point of relying on the agents of his country’s greatest enemy, Mohammed finds information that links the slaughtering of Christians to something even higher—something that traces all the way back to the very core of the Iranian government itself. With lives hanging in the balance, it is now a race against time for Amber and Mohammed, with all the forces of a hostile religion arrayed against them.
The elements for solid story are all there. The characters are unique and interesting, and the plot is excellent, forming what has the possibility of being an intense, page-turning Middle East thriller. And yet, it does have some weaknesses. The interesting characters start to become watered down, the dialogue is weak, and they pull their punches in delivering a satisfactory plotline.
However, that said, Yorkey and Myatt throw in some excellent twists and turns that at times will leave the reader breathless. Even if By the Sword never reaches its full potential, buried beneath the flat dialogue and occasionally plodding storyline is a dramatically sobering story of cultural and religious intrigue that pushes the reader beyond comfortable Western thinking and into a world where Christians can, and do, die for what they believe. – Matthew Mills, Christian Book Previews.com
In this modern thriller, underground Islamic extremists force religious conversions to create a region free of Christian and Jewish influence. Those who won't convert to Allah and follow Mohammed are dying in terrorist acts or mysteriously disappearing. Amber Robbins, a top U.S. reporter in the Middle East, feels no one is safe until she can expose the radical intolerants.