Shadow in the Dark

Book cover: 'Shadow in the Dark'
Author(s): 
Antony Barone
Copyright: 
2005
Publisher: 
Capstone Fiction
Series: 
Chronicles of Xan
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
139 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

This is a nice little adventure story that centers on Xan, a peasant boy who loses his family and his memory when raiders attack and burn his village. Although the beginning is rather over-the-top, the story does hit its stride after the first few chapters and the remainder of the book is much smoother. Several thematic elements add to the interest, including the lived faith of the Benedictine monks who rescue the boy. The author has created an interesting plot with a clever twist or two so that the story works out positively without being too obvious. I liked the fact that the good characters are genuinely human and good, especially Xan, who is smart as well as virtuous. I especially appreciated Xan's respectful attitude and chivalrous (in the best sense) behavior toward Lucy, a student at the nearby convent.

Although it is set in the 12th century and offers some insights into life at that time, I would not consider it "historical fiction" as the details are somewhat random and sometimes inaccurate. It's a lot more like a Hardy Boys book, only with a 12th century setting.

A quick, fun read for ages 10+.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
2-21-2008
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