PATRICK: Son of Ireland

Stephen R. Lawhead, Author . Morrow $25.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-001281-6

Devotees of prolific historical novelist Lawton (The Iron Lance) will enjoy this picaresque, which follows the legendary eponymous Irish saint through the "lost years" between his escape from slavery and his missionary work in Ireland. Though Succat, the hero, does not receive his more familiar name until late in the story and doesn't encounter even a single snake, he blazes a thrilling—and meticulously researched—trail across the Holy Roman Empire. Succat, the son of a Christian family of well-to-do fifth-century Britons, is captured by Irish raiders and sent to Ireland as a slave. After years of brutal conditions, he manages to escape. Having lost his faith in the Christian God while a slave, Succat studies druid theology and lives in a home with other druids, who give him the name "Patrick," Celtic for nobleman. He eventually returns to Britain; serves for a while as an assistant to Bishop Cornelius, who helps him find his faith again; studies in Gaul; and goes on to Rome, where he becomes a city official, marries and has a daughter. Yet Patrick is haunted by his memories of Ireland and comes to believe that he has a special mission there: to convert the Irish people to Christianity. His triumphant return changes the history of Eire. Lawhead wisely keeps the fantasy and folklore to a minimum and never grants Succat superhuman qualities. Patrick is unfailingly sympathetic and believable, and his story of losing and finding faith will resonate with a wide spectrum of readers. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/27/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 592 pages - 978-0-06-114364-9
Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-06-174918-6
Open Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-06-114367-0
Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-06-134602-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 592 pages - 978-0-06-001282-3
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