Debbi's Reviews > Byzantium

Byzantium by Stephen R. Lawhead
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's review
May 05, 08

bookshelves: faith, history, fiction
Recommended to Debbi by: My dear friend Crystal
Read in January, 1999

Byzantium is about a group of Irish monks who are given the task of taking The Book of Kells to Byzantium to offer as a gift to the Emperor. On the way they are kidnapped by Vikings, taken as slaves, travel to Kiev (IIRC), make it to Byzantium, end up in the silver mines as slaves again, and still make it back. The book is filled with action, many interesting characters, and great historical detail. Its obvious Lawhead did his homework for this book.

This is the only Lawhead book I've read that I liked. Being a mix of Church history and fiction it was an enjoyable read, but at times I was frustrated with this book. I disliked the whole "monk who loses his faith and finds a girl and then finds his faith again just before the end of the book" thread. That really took away from the story and made it seem contrived (and lost it a star, IMHO). I really, really liked the descriptions of the times and Constantinople itself. Lawhead has the gift of making you feel like you are there along with the characters.

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