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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
234 pages
Feb 2006
P & R Publishing

Hostage Lands

by Douglas Bond

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Review:

Officially listed as teen fiction, Hostage Lands has an appeal which reaches a larger audience, from approximately 10 years old through adult. Set in English farmlands near the remains of Hadrianís Wall, this historical adventure can be read for its entertainment value alone; but, the reader will also find out what it can cost to be a follower of our Lord, as well as gaining some fine Christian perspectives for living.

In contemporary England, eccentric, extremely laughable Miss Klitsaís Latin class alternates between soporific trance and wild hilarity at the teacherís expense. The protagonist of this story, Neil Perkins, gets to drive his ATV to school everyday, and it isnít only teenage readers who grow green with envy. He often leads in the hilarity aimed at the redoubtable Miss Klitsa. Then one fateful day, Neil and his ATV hair-raisingly gouge a ditch near Hadrianís Wall and he finds an ancient manuscript. The only one who can help him is Miss Klitsa.

As Neil translates the manuscript, the reader falls headlong into a spine-tingling Roman/Celtic adventure of sword-play, treachery, fearful undertakings, wild men vs. civilized people, undying friendship, and impossible decisions. Itís hard to put this book down and just as hard not to assimilate the lessons: true friendship; patriotism gone awry; willingness to die for another; various battle styles and the war equipment for each; uncivilized Christians vs. civilized pagans; some intriguing English archaeological lessons; accepting people as worthwhile even when you think them ridiculous; and a great deal more.

High school history and English teacher as well as author, Douglas Bond knows how to portray people of all ages. He is a rising star in the historical fiction genre for both older and younger people. Not satisfied with his own history background, Bond draws on the research of other historians. With a wide but understandable vocabulary, a talent for keeping the plot under control, a penchant for characterization, and a wonderful imagination, Bond presents a tale sure to engross any reader. A glossary of terms and a Roman timeline help keep the audience on track. As well as being a good read for the individual, Hostage Lands makes a fine read-aloud book. Ė Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com

Book Jacket:

Join Neil Perkins, Latin student at Haltwhistle Grammar School in England, as he uncovers a story of usurpation, treachery, and betrayal. After unearthing an ancient Roman manuscript, Neil dedicates himself to studying Latin and translates this exciting story from the third century . . . Disaffected centurion Rusticus serves Rome at Hadrianís Wall, an unruly frontier. He is saved from massacre by Cadwal, a Celt who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman Colosseum.

Readers will learn the differences between ancient paganism and the primal Christian faith practiced in third-century Britain by only a remnant. They, along with Neil, will begin a more thoughtful approach to life as they reckon with all they have learned.