Gerald N. Lund is pretty well known as a Christian historical fiction writer, following the spiritual journeys of Jesus Christ (Kingdom and the Crown series), pioneers moving West (Work and the Glory series), and South (San Juan Saints series), and now the struggles of Germans during the World Wars (Fire and Steel series).
“The Storm Descends” is book 2 of the Fire and Steel series, and actually I like it more than book 1. At parts, it reads like an apocalyptic novel, going into the ugliness and unfairness of war and governmental collapse. It’s crazy because it’s based on real events in Germany between WWI and WWII.
That’s another thing I like much more about this book; the first one largely used Wikipedia as its main source. Seriously? Thankfully, for the second book, Lund used more primary sources, like “German Revolution,” “Mein Kampf,” and “Mormonism and Germany.” Lund adds notes at the end of each historical chapter to clarify his sources and research, and even though I am NOT a history-buff, I enjoy reading his notes almost as much as the story.
This book is also more enjoyable as the main character is smartening up from his stupidity of the first book. It’s an interesting process to follow (like reading about Edmund after his ordeal with the white witch of Narnia). There are a few parts that are a bit unrealistic though, as the fictional character is put in extreme and coincidental situations just to follow the historical events.
However, there’s a fun plug-in for readers of the San Juan Saints series, as we follow the Westlund family from “Only the Brave.” I haven’t read that “stand-alone-sequel” yet, but now I want to.
Overall rating: ****4**** stars. It’s educational even in its apocalyptic story telling, and even though it’s 600+ pages, it still feels like a light read. I can’t say it’s one of my personal favorites, but I can imagine the majority of historical fiction readers thinking otherwise.