Sunday, June 16, 2013

Byzantium

Byzantium
If you are looking to soak in good words this summer, consider reading Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead. I loved Lawhead's retelling of the Rhi Bran y Hud  (Robin Hood) so much that Feeche gave me Byzantium for Christmas a couple of years back. But the text was small and every time I started it, I just couldn't overcome the eye strain. Drama camp found me book free for the week and a few pages into it and I didn't notice the font size.

A delightful romp through Medieval history as only Lawhead can dish it. The readers follows the life of a Brother Aidan as he makes pilgrimage to, of all places, Byzantium, to deliver the beautiful book of Kells to the emporer. Along the way, he and his little band of brothers have one grand adventure after another, culminating in a crisis of faith and purpose for the good Bro. He is confronted with intrigue, betrayal and faith masquerading as politics; Sheiks, torture, Sea Wolves and more.

What made this such a good read? Lawhead is not only a imitable historian, but a master of description and characterization. There were no simplistic people or places in this book. The author covers a lot of territory but does justice to time and places in a way that helps the reader to understand the complexity of life in 900 A.D. This is a book about journey; journey to a place in time, but also a journey of faith, and what owning a faith of meaning costs and ultimately means. A beautiful book (and at over 800 pages, my chunkster for the year)- highly recommended. 

1 comment:

Kym Thorpe said...

I loved this book too, as I do everything by Lawhead. I've read some of his books four or five times over and still enjoy them.