David C. Cook
In Ginger Garrett’s historical novel In the Shadow of Lions, a tale is spun about two women, one driven to seek God and the other to champion the translation of a book that could change the world and set the Reformation on fire. This story weaves fantasy, history, and romance into elements of intrigue and adventure.
The novel offers stories of three different characters: Anne Boleyn, Rose, and the Scribe. Rose and Anne discover through their own dilemmas and personalities the importance of a personal God.
The time period is the beginning of the Reformation, the setting is England, and with the help of the Scribe, the curtains are drawn and the narrative begins. Rose is a broken young woman who is saved after trying to commit suicide. She is pulled toward God by her admiration of Thomas More, the man who rescued her. Thomas, however, seeks to destroy the one book that would change the perspective of Christianity forever. Anne Boleyn only wants to live a life that is pure in God’s eyes, but she inadvertently catches the wandering eye of the king. She uses her influence over the king to become an important supporter of a book that could cause a rippling effect over the world: an English translation of the Bible. Anne and her helpers have to choose between what the world deems as right and what they think is right in God’s eyes. They want people to be able to read the Bible, not hear about it secondhand. As it says in the Book of Job, “I admit, Lord, I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand...I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor” (The Message).
Rose begins as a hardened women, broken by her past. She slowly heals and with that healing comes a desire to learn more about God. When Anne first steps across the pages of the book, she is innocent, but as she gains power she begins to tarnish, as if becoming corrupted by power. The two women portray different sides of the Reformation.
This book offers an insightful and compelling story that leaves the reader with a greater understanding of the impact the Reformation period had on history. Also, it brings with it a reminder: history often tells just the facts, leaving the reasons behind people's actions forgotten. In the Shadow of Lions will enthrall women from the mid-teen years on up. Personally, I recommend this book, as it is a delightfully different take on the life of Anne Boleyn. -- Marissa Willems, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world. The stories are forgotten here, and the Day draws close. I will tell you one of my stories. You will record it."
So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book . a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation.
The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible—Scriptures the common people could read for themselves. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the same book, persecuting anyone who dares read it.
Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals ... and the sacred book that will inspire you anew.