Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk


Whit's wiping down the counter, Connie's mopping the floor, and the kids are sipping on their milkshakes. If you want to talk about Adventures in Odyssey the radio drama, this is the spot to do just that!

Please rate the book, Annison's Risk.

5 Stars = Excellent
4 Stars = Good to Great
3 Stars = Okay
2 Stars = Below Average
No votes
1 Star = Wouldn't want to read again
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Total votes : 8

Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby Laura Ingalls » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:49 am

I don't know why this thread has not been made yet, but here it is at last! \:D/

The third in the Passages series, Annison's Risk follows the journey of Maddy Nicholaivitch as she finds herself in the land of Marus. This parallels the Biblical story of Esther, as Annison prepares to marry the Palatian King Willem.

The prologue and epilogue make things even more mysterious and leave you wondering what in the world is going on. And then finding out at the end who Maddy is makes it even better. :yes: Seeing how she grows through the book - starting with an idealistic, fairytale viewpoint, and becoming a strong, courageous young girl in the real world situations she was going through - was one of my favorite parts of the story. And of course, once again, the re-telling of a familiar Bible story makes it come alive and helps you to see it with fresh eyes. \:D/

Parallels I noticed:

Annison = Esther
King Willem = Ahasuerus
Lord Hector = Haman
Simet = Mordecai
Terrence and Stephen = Teresh and Bigthan

Terrence and Stephen attempting to assassinate King Willem with poison in his cup = Teresh and Bigthan seeking to "lay hands on the king."
Signing an oath of allegiance = Bowing down and giving homage to Haman
Honoring Simet with a medal, manor house, and lands = honoring Mordecai with royal robe, crown, and horse and proclaiming his praise in the streets
Followers of the Old Faith = Jews
The banquets that both Esther and Annison had for the king.

Also, is Simet's name taken from "Semite" maybe? :-k

What do you like about the book, and what are some parallels you noticed?
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Re: Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby Danielle Abigail Maxwell » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:34 pm

I read the book only a few weeks ago, and now I can only think of what you wrote Laura... blah.

I did like how Maddy grew up in the book. Most of the book she was a child feeling like a fairytale. Then she found out it was not going to be that way. She grew up and became less childish (even though having an imagination was never a bad thing!) (I still like fairytales...)

There was the parallel, though hardly talked about, of the fairest maidens or such going to the palace and the King picked out the most beautiful one (AKA: Esther, Annison). At least they touched on that briefly it seems.

I wonder what the inspiration behind Annison was. I love that name! But I didn't realize it was girls until I started reading! :(

My most fav character was no doubt Simet... oh wow... I can't even start to explain why... I'm weird, I know.
I liked Annison. She had wisdom, and understanding. She thought clearlier and quickly. And could always get into things and come out unscathed. She was definitely a "modern" Esther.
The maid was nosy. I hated her. Ugh...

Though, Paul McCusker can't get very original, can he? (I'm morbid). Cause, Lord Hector set up gallows. *rolls eyes* honestly, can't someone other than ME get more creative? Yes, that's one part that BUGGED me to no end.

Other than that... I liked the book. 2nd best out of all the books I've had a chance to buy and read. :)
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Re: Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby Catspaw » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:57 pm

Great reviews, Laura and DAM. :D Simet is a great character - I definitely understand why he was your favourite, Danielle! :) He's so dedicated and reliable, and stands up for what he believes in, no matter what. What's not to love? \:D/ Slight disagreement about Paul McCusker not being very creative - using a gallows didn't ruin anything for me, anyway. He changed other things with great imagination and to great purpose - leaving a few little things the same can help ground the story, instead of take away from it. :) I guess everybody is different!

Laura, good thought on Simet's name! I hadn't thought of that. With the names, sometimes I try to find meanings and do, and other times I'm not sure if there's actually anything deeper to find. Like Annison - it's a nice name and all, but I can't think of an Esther connection. I might just be missing it, though.

For some reason, the only part of this book that I remembered strongly as I prepared to re-read it was the scene where Maddy is singing with the children's choir and keeps singing when everybody else starts humming. Out of all the great scenes and moments, that's the only one I remembered in any detail from my previous reading. Odd, I know. ;)

The fairy tale element intrigued me in this book. Simet says to Maddy, "You've been brought to us as a helper, but not to help as a child helps in a fairy tale, with dreamy fantasies of romance, handsome princes, and true love. You're here to help in the raw reality of faith - with sweat and muscle and pain." (Page 52 in my version, which is the older one, not the one Laura posted a picture of - not sure if that changes the page numbers.) I like fairy tales, and consider Disney's animated Cinderella to be one of my favourite movies, so obviously I like the "nice" version of fairy tales. ;) But the story of Esther (and Annison) is a good example of how things often don't work that way. God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways are above our ways. Maddy had a nice, neatly wrapped package of thoughts about why she was sent to Marus and what her role would be in helping Annison. She quickly found that her true role was nothing like what she expected, and she definitely got the sweat and pain, but with great rewards! She played a role in helping so many people. Esther's story is one that we can romanticize and gloss over the hard parts for a Sunday School lesson, but the more I think about what she did, the harder and more foolhardy it sounds. It's a good thing that God knows the bigger picture and uses his people to help fulfilll his purposes, because we would all be so lost if left to our own devices.

I noticed that correlation between historical events and the storyline in this story, similar to "Arin's Judgement," with it's WWII references, except this time, it was Russia during the Russian Revolution. Maddy had something to relate back to, and it helps the reader both become more interested in the history, and also provides a somewhat familiar frame of reference to work within. We go from, "Whoa, we're back in this strange world!" to "Oh, right, that sounds familiar...I've seen pictures of what Maddy is comparing her surroundings to." It isn't too familiar, but it isn't too foreign, either.

This book reminded me of the different timelines between Marus and our world - David comes after Noah, and Kyle and Anna go after Wade, so the basic timeline is the same. Here, Esther clearly comes after Noah, but the year is earlier in our time than either of the previous two books.

Like Laura, I really liked the reveal of Maddy's identity in the epilogue. Very nice!
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Re: Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby Mrs Jason Whittaker » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:25 pm

As Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, I enjoyed Annison's risk. I agree with other posters that the name is nice. I like the name Esther, because it means star and Hadassah because it means Myrtle. In fact, I recently preached on the story of Esther and titled the sermon "The Reluctant Star" as a play on her name and her role in the story. So, yeah, I like that Annison is an unusual name.

As far as the story, as has been mentioned, it was nice to see Maddy mature in the story. There is no limit to imagination, but parameters to using the imagination properly. There comes a point when it is neccessary to set aside fantasy and accept reality with all that it entails. Maddy learned the proper place for that. It is good for us to see that doing the right thing and following Christ is not always easy.

Danielle Abigail Maxwell wrote:Though, Paul McCusker can't get very original, can he? (I'm morbid). Cause, Lord Hector set up gallows. *rolls eyes* honestly, can't someone other than ME get more creative? Yes, that's one part that BUGGED me to no end.

Danielle, I agree. That is one thing that bugged me about this book and Darien's Rise. It's not just the gallows: Willem is a king, Annison is a queen, Simet works at the palace, Lord Hector quite obviously wants to take the king's place. A few times, I felt like the only thing that changed was the names. This might be something that's more appealing to the age group the books are intended for and it annoyed me because I'm older.
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Re: Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby LizzieG » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:26 pm

I finished reading Annison's Risk on a plane today, and subsequently wrote out my thoughts and observations. They're more fragmented than flowing, so I will share them as such:

  • At least up until this point, when only one child goes to Marus, they return with a physical sign that they were actually there, that it hadn't been a dream. For Maddy, it was the golf ball; for Wade, it was his missing papers. Kyle and Anna, on the other hand, didn't need such assurances - they had each other's memories, and that was enough.
  • I again enjoyed the details of Marutian history that this book provided. Instead of the Marutians being taken as captives to Palatia (as per the biblical account), the Palatians had come there and conquered.
  • What I remembered from my first read were the hidden passageways, and Maddy's meeting Lord Hector there!
  • Several things I particularly liked about this story: that Hector was involved in the assassination attempt; Annison giving the king her written story about Simet, and that being enough to open his eyes to Hector's deviousness; the fact that the honoring of Simet took place after the purge had been averted - in fact, that Annison's story caused both, rather than her having to plead for her life and the life of her people. However, to me, Annison's risk doesn't seem as great as Esther's risk; rather than directly defying protocol, she dances around it without too much danger, and there's never much of a sense of "if I perish, I perish" when she's strolling in the garden hoping to bump into the king.
  • Rather than nationality being Esther and Simet's big secret, it's solely their faith, especially understandable as the story is set in Marus, not abroad.
  • The Palatians have switched from representing the Philistines to representing the Babylonians.
  • Cars seem to have disappeared from this world, with carriages and horses becoming the primary modes of transportation, and signaling a world that seems decidedly of the colonial era, with the 18th-century era costumes and hairstyles. I don't even think guns made an appearance. References to golf and bowling, however, may belie this. Then again, this world of Passages delights in painting settings that would be anachronistic were they taking place in our world. I'm not sure if these haphazardly unexplained shifts in technology and setting are purposeful, or are just to fit the demands of each story. So far, there hasn't been much of a logical progression.
  • Maddy enters Marus while playing hide-and-seek, similar to the Lucy's finding Narnia in the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • I enjoyed Maddy's (I keep wanting to call her Anna) maturation and progression from fairy tales to true faith - Simet: "You're here to help in the raw reality of faith - with sweat and muscle and pain." - though it was nice that there was still some romance by the end, with a king and queen who really did love each other.
  • Old Faith secret meetings reminded me of the persecution of Christians in Roman times and through the ages.
  • When reading the prologue for Arin's Judgment, I remembered who Maddy was. So much for reliving that surprise here. ;)
  • I liked how this story wasn't marked by great miracles or gifted messengers/voices of the Unseen One. Rather, it was demonstrative of a faith that persevered despite the lack of flashy signs, and even when most were abandoning the faith. They were normal people with faith and boldness.
  • Annison and Simet are never identified as actual relatives, unlike the cousin relationship that Esther and Mordecai had.
  • A thoroughly engaging story that didn't disappoint. In fact, knowing in advance which biblical parallels these are and looking for value in those connections and truths (rather than expecting shocking twists) has made these stories a much richer reading experience than they were five, six, ten years ago.
  • I'm curious to find out how Mrs. Walston got the manuscript about Maddy, why she was so reticent to give it to Whit and Jack, and what her connection to James Curtis is.
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Re: Manuscript 3: Annison's Risk

Postby NateMaxwell » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:55 pm

I guess because Im not a girl the story Esther just doesnt intrest me.
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