This work of historical fiction brings to life the stories of the great monasteries of Ireland and their evangelization of Europe (in the 6th Century), which had fallen away from the true faith after the Barbarian invasions. The story focuses on Fingal, a poor, fatherless boy, who becomes a student at Bangor Monastery in Ireland and becomes a stowaway in order to follow his beloved teacher Columban to Gaul. His lengthy quest to find Columban has some interesting parallels to growth in the spiritual life. Younger children will enjoy the story on a simple level for it's own sake (and it's quite a good story without going any further) while older children will discover some profound truths as they dig deeper. One recurring theme which is quite nicely handled involves the differences between human love and divine love and how they can either help or hinder us in our quest for God.
The book is originally from the Clarion series, which also includes: If All the Swords in England, Beorn the Proud, Son of Charlemagne and Augustine Came to Kent.