Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!



A new genre for me, the military thriller, opens realms of delight. Ronie Kendig’s Firethorn keeps action pouring over each page. The Discarded Heroes series encompasses four books in all. While I’m sure they all share many of the same characters, Firethorn stands alone as its own story.

I admit, I was a little concerned reading book #4 when I hadn’t read any of the others. I shouldn’t have worried. Ms. Kendig makes sure to cover all of the pertinent information about the characters, giving little bite-sized pieces at just the right times.
Shifting between two main story lines and at least 3 other sub-plots, movements are handled expertly. I never felt confused. Never had to turn back to recheck where I’d been. In fact, the stories weave together flawlessly. The varying points of view give insight to the characters, allowing easy understanding what the different people think, and why they take

The characters, men from a black ops team called Nightshade along with their wives, share emotions on a variety of levels. Stress and despair intersperse with determination and confidence along with other reactions. Bringing to light the challenges of our military, Firethorn hints at difficulties that real soldiers and their families go through.

I confess, my experience with thrillers is limited. Those I’ve read, while best-sellers, are from decades ago, so I don’t remember them very well. Firethorn riveted me with the way the chapters open with a simple situation, a conversation or thought-process. Then BAM. Something unexpected shifts or scuttles the plans. Maybe that’s the way they all are? I don’t know, but I like it!

I give Firethorn my coveted five-kiss ranking! The book grabbed me at the first page. The only complaint I had was the length. Not that it was too long, especially for this type of novel. My problem was that it kept me on the edge of my seat, but I couldn’t finish it in one sitting. Bummer! Halfway through I remarked on my Goodreads page:

“Total awe. You can bet I’ll be reading Ronie Kendig again if the ending of this book is anywhere near as good as the beginning and where I am now!”

And fifty pages shy of the end, I noted:

“Eyelids rebelling. Darn. Gonna have to finish tomorrow. Sleep is highly overrated when I’m enjoying a great book!”

For the record, the ending easily matches the middle of the book. In fact, the strings tie up nicely. A very satisfying finish. I laughed. I cried. No, I’m not proud of that, but great fiction affects me!

I received an Advanced Reviewers Copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review, and I’m so glad I did! I might not have chosen this genre on my own. (Although I will now!) But not only did I love Firethorn, I’m convinced that my college-age son, who can’t get enough of XBox battle games, will love the Discarded Heroes series. (He inhales books!) Christmas gift! Yea!

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

5 thoughts on “A PERFECT Gift!

  1. Pingback: Choosing Characters | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  2. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing it with us!Jackie


  3. Looking forward to chewing through the others! My boy is going to LOVE them!


  4. Good review, Marji – and on a good book too. Yay to you and Ronie.


  5. The book sounds good. Thanks for sharing.