Our rating: ****

Aidan is a monk in Ireland during the last years of Ancient Rome. Chosen to go on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Byzantium, Aidan is overjoyed to be chosen, until a dream foretells his death in the city. Captured on the way by Sea Wolves, Aidan becomes the slave of Gunnar. The Sea Wolves set off, taking Aidan with them, to a rich city of gold, where even the slaves lounge about in idleness. The city turns out to be Byzantium, and there Aidan decides that God has forsaken him, because he does not die. Through a series of evil events surrounding a plot of extent that no one imagines, Aidan is led deeper into the belief that he has been abandoned by God. Convinced that he must shape his own future, Aidan sets out to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

I thoroughly enjoyed Byzantium, but must say that it is not to be read by the faint of heart. There are some very depressing portions, and evil is displayed as evil and acts very…well…evil. (Did you expect any different?) Certain battles are a bit graphic at points, but very well described. The evildoers use some language, and there are some references to worldly pleasures. That being said, I would highly recommend Byzantium to anybody who could handle it. Lawhead writes in a way that you will feel that you are actually following Aidan on his journey. 870 very rewarding pages of mystery, excitement, daring deeds, evil plots and a story about finding true peace.

3 Responses to “Byzantium”

  1. I have not read this particular book, and I’m not sure whether I will or not. But about some of Lawhead’s other books: I started the Pendragon cycle (by Lawhead), and I was very disappointed in the way they talked about some inappropriate things. I would say from the ones I’ve read (only a few) that they are for readers ages 15 and up, and even then you have to be careful. The writing style on them is excellent. Very interesting books.

  2. The only book by Lawhead that I have noticed this on is Taliesin and then you have to take into account that the characters have not become the God-fearing people that they are in later books in the series. Still, as Rebekah says, these should be read with caution.

  3. 870 PAGES?!? (suspicious look) Is this a telephone book?

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