Friday, December 10, 2010
In The Shadow of Lions
Author: Ginger Garrett
"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world. The stories are forgotten here, and the Day draws close. I will tell you one of my stories. You will record it."
So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book . a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation.
The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible—Scriptures the common people could read for themselves. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the same book, persecuting anyone who dares read it.
Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals ... and the sacred book that will inspire you anew.
I read a lot of historical fiction and I think this is the first time I saw the perspective that Anne Boleyn might have been a strong believer and trying hard to please God. It was a really unique look at most of those central figures. I've read about some of them before but I found most of it really interesting - and sometimes heart breaking. I wish the book would have not wasted any time in the present because those scenes didn't connect with me nearly as much and sometimes just left me scratching my head.
I really enjoyed the historical sections though. It wasn't just the new take on Anne Boleyn either. There was something really touching about Rose. She felt so worthless and downtrodden in the beginning and to watch her transform first through the love of others and then to see her as she begins to discover the Bible for herself and then accept Christ... It was amazing to see how that changed her and the way she dealt with the circumstances around her.
I think this is a fascinating period of history and this book brings it out through focusing on how it played out in the lives of these people. You read about each of them and how they either manipulated people and events or truly thought they were doing the right thing according to God to protect their families, the community and the kingdom ~ and the consequences of those choices.
There are times it will make you smile, times it will give you goosebumps and times where you will not be able to read fast enough in order to find out what happens. I think it was a fascinating book and I will be adding the next one to my list.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 2:26 AM