Monday, April 21, 2008
CSFF Tour proudly presents: The Begotten, by Lisa T. Bergren
Check out and buy this great book here
Visit the author's website
Medieval Italy--home of Roman Catholicism, burning of heretics, fierce arguments concerning icons and illuminations--the setting for one of the most creative fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time.
The author’s premise is this: What if the lost, uncanonized letters of St. Paul to the Corinthian church were found and kept secret for centuries until the appointed time? What if, in those letters, there was divinely inspired prophecy about a group of people with spiritual gifts that would amass and become a force to be reckoned with?
Father Piero, a Franciscan monk, has been entrusted by his teacher with a portion of these letters. His documents contain illuminations that picture some of The Gifted. He knows that he is one of these gifted because his likeness appears in the pictures. Somehow he must find the others depicted and gather them together for the cause of Christ. Other than that he knows little and must rely totally on faith for the rest.
Lady Daria D’Angelo, Gianni, Father Piero, and an odd band of friends follow God’s leading as events that they never could have imagined unfold. Shadow and deception threaten to take the town of Siena in their grasp unless right can overcome.
I have not studied in depth this period of history as it relates to Christianity and Catholicism, but the author obviously builds upon mindsets and power struggles existing during this time period. She sets the stage plainly for a good-and-evil battle of immense proportions. The most poignant point she makes is that “the Church” may not be on God’s side after all, but on the side of darkness. Scary stuff, but so goes the way of religion in history--it’s not all piety and charity.
I found this novel engrossing and very well-conceptualized. The danger was palpable and the reader is put through a wide range of emotions. The author delivered her story through expert character formation, plot, dialogue and conflict to create a thoroughly enjoyable tale. I highly recommend it and have already ordered the next book in the series, The Betrayed.
And finally, check out the other blogs on this tour for more goodies:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
John W. Otte