Official Review: The Soles of Cyrus Eblis by Mark Macedonia

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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kislany
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Latest Review: The Soles of Cyrus Eblis by Mark Macedonia

Official Review: The Soles of Cyrus Eblis by Mark Macedonia

Post by kislany » 14 May 2019, 03:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Soles of Cyrus Eblis" by Mark Macedonia.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Thirteen-year-old Ben is running an errand for his father when he meets Cyrus Eblis, a creepy old man who seems to know him well. To put some distance between them, Ben flees to Lynn, where he becomes an apprentice at a shoe manufacturer. Much to his horror, Cyrus is hot on his trail. When bad things start happening around him, Ben must rely on his faith, wits, and best friends to battle the powerful demon that is hell-bent on destroying everyone Ben has ever cared about.

I found the premise in The Soles of Cyrus Eblis by Mark Macedonia intriguing, and I knew I would be in for a wild ride. Soul-stealing demons in a historical Salem set in the 18th century, a young hero fighting an unspeakable evil, and wicked witches are the main ingredients in this fast-paced story. The author successfully combined historical fantasy with Christian fiction, and I was utterly engrossed in the 500-page novel until the satisfying last sentence.

I enjoyed the author’s descriptive language matching the vocabulary of the 18th century. From the first few pages, I was among the people in Salem, Massachusetts, watching them make ends meet with their trade, listening to pirate stories told by an old sailor, and basking in the bright autumn colors while walking on the narrow path in the woods. For a few moments, I was Benjamin Pratt, reliving those early decisive years. When the bell-man was going around the town announcing “Ten o’clock and all’s well,” I was in that old house without modern appliances, surrounded by the voice of a man comforting people to peacefully turn in for the night.

The story and descriptions were quite entertaining, but the characters made the strongest impact on me. From that timid and skeptic 13-year-old boy, Ben turned into a young man who slowly learned his real place in the world. He was surrounded by friends who strengthened his faith in God and helped him battle despicable creatures. Samantha, the young girl Ben fell for, Rachel, the disabled girl who helped him reconnect with God, and Caleb, his cousin, formed the major archetypes familiar to most readers. As a non-religious reader, I found the detailed Bible-reading segments with Ben and Rachel slightly uncomfortable. However, as I’ve never attended a Bible study session, those pages gave me a quick overview of what I could expect in such a setting.

In terms of editing, I only noticed a few mistakes in the book. A few missing hyphens, a wrong subject-verb agreement, and some missing commas formed the bulk of the errors. As such, I give The Soles of Cyrus Eblis 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers of historical supernatural fiction with a dash of religion where good and evil are in constant battle. Non-religious people and those of other faiths might shy away from the chapters featuring detailed religious discussions and Bible quotes.

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The Soles of Cyrus Eblis
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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 09:53

I appreciate an engaging good versus evil plot. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by kandscreeley » 15 May 2019, 14:23

I have only found a few modern authors who are able to combine (at least successfully) Christian fiction with fantasy. I'm glad that this is one of them. I'm always looking for books like this, and the setting sounds quite intriguing! Thanks for the review. It's going on my to be read list.
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Post by Bluebird03 » 15 May 2019, 15:02

This sounds like a superb read with a host of interesting characters- especially Ben and the creepy Cyrus Eblis. Your insights into this book certainly do it justice, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review!

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Post by kdstrack » 15 May 2019, 20:56

Your description of how the author was able to put you into each setting was amazing! The blend of historical fantasy with Christian fiction is an interesting mix. You have made this book sound intriguing and appealing. Thanks.

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Post by Raven009 » 15 May 2019, 21:59

When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it was going to be about a ballet dancer. I was pleasantly surprised. I always love reading historical fiction and stories of supernatural events, so this book is definitely going on my "want to read" list. Thanks!

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Post by Rachel Lea » 15 May 2019, 22:09

This book has a fascinating premise. And it sounds like the characters were developed well. Great review!
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 16 May 2019, 06:45

Any plot where a person continues showing up to cause harm, no matter what the character does to try to get away, is one I typically shy away from. However, your description of this book and the successful historical fiction and fantasy mash-up may have convinced me otherwise. I'll think about it. Thanks for a great review.

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Post by Ellylion » 16 May 2019, 08:06

Sounds like a solid paranormal read suitable for all the fans of the genre, me included! :) A well developed and interesting main character is a big plus. Thank you for a great review!
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Post by janinewesterweel » 16 May 2019, 09:39

This does sound intriguing and you've given yet another thorough and well-written review. I loved your description of how you felt so much a part of that 18th century setting - I was instantly thrown into it as well!
So, the "Soles of Cyrus Eblis" are actually souls...??
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