The Book of Light Trilogy, written by Sarah Joy Green-Hart, is an adult, speculative fiction series with dystopian tang and a spicy supernatural twist.
Book #1: Tree of Life
A religio-political civil war destroyed democracy, and the fanatical usurpers closed the nation’s borders and instituted a theocratic oligarchy.
Two centuries later, a quiet rebellion brews.
Born hidden in the shadow of the forest, an herbalist is abducted and swallowed by a toxic society that values her only for the pleasure she can provide.
Two brothers, raised in a privileged military family, struggle to turn a blind eye to the violence and injustice perpetrated by the powerful leaders they serve and are destined to become.
The survivor of a government massacre, a young man lives as a fugitive. A supernatural experience leads him into the arms of conspiracy theorists aiming for a religious coup.
Life’s twisted road of suffering brings them together. Cultures clash, enemies become friends, faith and unbelief are challenged, and a body of leaders with the power to kill and withhold the afterlife leads the way to the light of an angry deity no one truly knows . . . but everyone hopes is on their side.
And if you’re on goodreads, you can add Tree of Life to your To-Be-Read pile there. ;o)
What readers are saying about Tree of Life.
“A colorful cast of characters and strong emotional journey! I’m not much one to write these things but this book definitely deserves to be an exception to my lameness. The characters are wonderfully written and I found I was able to sympathize with all of them, even the one I hated (on a moral level). The themes the story tackles were also extremely thought provoking, especially in the current debate of God vs. Man playing out in the world today. It is a wonderful look at what could happen if EITHER side goes too far. Overall, it was a fantastic read and I would happily relive the wonder, heartache, sorrow, and elation I felt the first time through.” -Zachary, Amazon Reviewer
“Tree of Life by Sarah Joy Green-Hart is a gorgeously written story. I could tell you about the characters (flawed and lovable) and the setting (dystopian and somehow both supernatural and deeply natural). And yes, Tree of Life is on solid footing with its characters and setting.
But that’s not what really sets this book apart. Green-Hart molds words, phrases, and sentences in a way a master potter molds clay. Her descriptions are sensuous, earthy, and often surprisingly funny. You’ll be captivated by language such as “…listening to the record scratch out the delightful sound of rebellion with the dulcet tone of brass” and “Vincent was not a cold person, he was a burning one that left scars with his warmth.”
This is a book to throw yourself into, a book to read while you’re drinking strong tea and listening to the wind in the trees, a book that will make you root for the heroes, despite (or perhaps because of) all their imperfections.
Sarah Joy Green-Hart is an immensely talented new author, and I wholeheartedly recommend Tree of Life.” -Carol Beth Anderson, Author of the Sun-Blessed Trilogy
“Beautiful prose and setting. My first impression of the dystopian novel Tree of Life was one of awe. The interpersonal relationships and a setting that took me away led me into a reading frenzy. I had to finish this book. As I continued, the book continued to surprise me. The author doesn’t provide us with a predictable plot, but rather, it weaves into complex layers that are comfortable and yet mysterious. After reading the book, just looking at it gives me a sense of wonder from the first moments with characters–to a desire to read the next book in the trilogy. Sarah Joy Green-Hart’s characterization and setting, not to mention her flair for beautiful language, made this book easy to love. Since I’m an avid reader, I’m rarely surprised by novel characters, but the Tree of Life’s characters don’t fit in a box or behave like you expect or want them to do–just like real people. I got the impression as I read that the characters are evolving and will continue to amaze us. In the book’s conclusion, Green-Hart wrote a wonderful segue into the next book, which doesn’t leave you feeling disappointed while waiting for the sequel, while teasing your mind that you must read the next book as soon as it’s published. This book would be great to read in secondary English classrooms, since it presents controversial topics that could foster a dozen debates.” -Christina, Amazon Reviewer
“This is a wonderful book. It’s a beautiful, hopeful story in a dystopian world, which I think we need more of right now. There are dark themes sometimes but in the end it’s about finding strength in hope and love. I thought it might be similar to a “Handmaid’s Tale” and there are similarities (there’s a theocratic, misogynistic society and the central character is a woman forced to live in that world) but it’s so much more than that. Everything about the world seems real and possible which I didn’t always get from HT and the characters are complex and nuanced. There are no good guys and bad guys, even the villains are just people trying to do their best according to their own consciences and morals. The central conflict is between religion and atheism but both sides are presented with sympathy and criticism in a way that leaves me with no idea which side the author is on, except maybe she’s on the side of making your own mind up and not taking sides. The author’s insight and intelligence are evident in the story but they don’t clutter her writing: it’s an easy read which still manages to be thought provoking. Also evident is her passion for the world and the word, her love for nature and humanity and her ability to describe both in ways that bring vivid life to them, painting every scene in three dimensions and five senses. I’m looking forward to the rest of the trilogy and more of Sarah Joy’s unique voice.” -AJ777, United Kingdom Amazon Reviewer
“The Tree of Life earns its five stars over time. Greenhart has crafted a complex world with multiple competing belief systems, each with its own weaknesses and its own strengths. More than once I was perplexed by a seeming anomaly, only to forget it in the sweep of the narrative and then find it perfectly interwoven later. At first I was unimpressed by what seemed a pleasant-enough but naive and passive protagonist, but Hesper emerges as an entirely atypical but powerful character in a manner completely her own. Philosophically challenging, emotionally nimble, sexually open, satisfyingly adventurous, and delightfully exciting at the climax, The Tree of Life is strongly recommended for readers of fantasy, dystopia, and romance.” -Cassondra, Amazon Reviewer
Book #2: Root of Bitterness is in the works!
Book #3: Seed of Enmity is in the works!