Jack Cavanaugh, Author . Zondervan $10.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-31

The award-winning author of more than a dozen historical novels excels in this latest inspirational offering depicting the bloodshed and violence in 16th-century England over attempts to translate and distribute scripture in the English language to ordinary men and women. A dedicated Christian "heretic hunter," Pernell Foxe has a near brush with death in his zeal to eradicate the spread of William Tyndale's English New Testament. His attractive wife, Meg, befriends the doomed queen, Anne Boleyn, unhappily married to King Henry VIII. Meg finds herself drawn into subterfuge and marital deception when she comes across a forbidden copy of the English New Testament and discovers the power of its verses. Cavanaugh brings his historical story to life with rich details, descriptive settings and believable dialogue. His writing includes fresh and sometimes humorous turns of phrase ("To call the man a weasel would be discourteous to egg-sucking carnivores everywhere"). The lucid prose is coupled with an intricate plot offering surprising twists and turns. Characters are multifaceted, and the author admirably shows how sincere believers can be sincerely mistaken—which should give readers much to chew on. The faith content of the novel is beautifully presented and never succumbs to preachiness. General readers interested in the plight of "banned books," as well as CBA market readers investigating the origins of the Bible, will find through this delightful book that faith-based historical fiction can be a pleasure to read. (Feb.)