Book review: 'Ammon,' by H.B. Moore brings vitality to Book of Mormon stories

By Sheryl C. S. Johnson

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 20 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

"AMMON," by H.B. Moore, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 275 pages (f)

Heather B. Moore’s "Ammon" is a delightful combination of vibrant characters and epic drama. Moore seamlessly clothes historical giants like Ammon and King Lamoni in flesh and blood, making the story leap from the page and captivate readers.

Carrying nothing but hunting weapons and the promises of God, Ammon secures a position as King Lamoni’s servant in the land of Ishmael. Miracles come to life as Ammon faces the challenges of being a Nephite prince in a Lamanite land. Moore provides insights into the spiritual and physical realities of Ammon’s plight and mission, emphasizing the magnitude of his sacrifice and service.

Elena’s fair-skinned family of Nephite heritage struggles when Ammon’s message threatens the foundations of Lamanite culture. Torn between her growing affection for Ammon and her father’s insistence she marry a wealthy Lamanite, Elena weighs the expectations of her people against the promptings of her heart.

Moore’s genius with character development paints a Lamanite people rich in traditions and passionate in beliefs. She depicts the brutality of the time period without garish scenes of violence. This fictional retelling of factual accounts is enthralling, intense and unforgettable. The page-turning, adventurous pace of the book doesn’t ebb but is balanced by moments of reflection and compelling plot.

"Ammon" is the latest in a series of Heather B. Moore’s historical novels based on the Book of Mormon. However, "Ammon" more than stands on its own as a complete story in itself. Other books in this series are "Abinadi," "Alma" and "Alma the Younger."

Sheryl C.S. Johnson blogs at www.sherylcsjohnson.blogspot.com.

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