Saturday, December 23, 2006

LeAnne Hardy's Glastonbury Tor ~ Reviewed

Glastonbury Tor
by LeAnne Hardy
Kregel Publications 2006
ISBN # 0-8254-2789-4

His mother wanted him to be a monk. . . his father wanted him to be a man. . . a priest tempts him to pursue power. . . but Colin must find his own way.

After his mother's tragic death, seventeen-year-old Colin Hay is so consumed with anger that he tries to kill his cruel father. Running from these tormenting desires and his home, he seeks the protection and cleansing of the Glastonbury monastery, at a time when King Henry VIII is closing monasteries all over England.

But Colin's past has followed him to Glastonbury. As he now pursues forgiveness and salvation, Colin is conflicted by the doctrines he learns at the monastery and the grace he receives from a local family with a forbidden English Bible. And then there is a quick-tempered priest whose lust for power threatens to compromise Glastonbury Abbey, and to destroy the astonishing treasure it holds—the Holy Grail.

The character of Colin is purely fictional, but there are others who are historically accurate: Oliver Cromwell, Hugh Latimer and Robert Layton. These men helped bring about a very dark period in English Christianity when those who desired to seek God by reading His word were labeled heretics and killed for it. By the end of the book, Colin's heart changes to sympathize with these earnest believers.

Forgiveness is a theme running throughout the entire story. Colin learns to forgive his father. The Thatcher family forgives Colin. And Hardy roots this all in the forgiveness Christ gave to the world.

A big fan of the tales of King Arthur, I appreciated the tie-ins to Avalon and the Holy Grail. Hardy does a great job of describing mysterious events, alluding to conclusions without actually telling the reader what to think.

The beginning and the end of Glastonbury Tor are action packed. Personally, I thought the middle dragged a little but not enough to discredit this as a fine read. Masterfully written and liberally laced with historical tidbits, Glastonbury Tor is an entertaining excursion into Henry the Eighth's England.

Review by Michelle Griep

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