The Lion and the Cross
Joan Lesley Hamilton
Open Road Media
January 26, 2016
The man who would become Ireland’s beloved patron saint confronts his destiny during the tumultuous Dark Ages in this vibrant, enthralling novel In 410 CE, arrogant sixteen-year-old Magonus Sucatus Patricius denounces Christianity as a religion for cowards when the Roman legions withdraw, leaving Britain vulnerable to raiders from the west. Determined to wield a sword despite being the grandson of a priest, the affluent young man is taken captive by barbarians and sold into slavery to a cruel Irish king. On a mountaintop in Eire, a shepherd strips him of his grand Roman name and calls him Padraic, marking him a man of no consequence. Set against the magnificent backdrop of ancient Ireland and based on available historical facts, Saint Patrick’s Confession, and Celtic myth, this gripping novel follows Patrick as he finds his faith while fighting to escape bondage in Eire. Friendship with a king, love for a queen, and enmity with the druids who fear his God will embroil him in a civil war in a land from which he will struggle to flee—only to be called to return.
I really enjoyed this one. It’s not at all what you’d call a ‘quick read’, but not because it’s boring, rather it’s because this is such an epic journey.
Patrick’s story of young man, turned slave, turned priest is a fascinating tale and Hamilton tells it well. This is historical fiction, as not much is truly known of the real Patrick, but Hamilton weaves the facts into her fictional storytelling beautifully.
I highly recommend this for historical fiction lovers, especially if you love religious history.
**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**