Word Alive Press 2010 Canadian Christian Writing Awards, The Word Guild, Finalist
A penniless slave with little to no memory of his former life defies the gods of those around him to proclaim none of them worthy enough to follow. He will follow “the god who hands the stars in the heavens and give wings to Mercury, makes the moon wane and wax . . . to that god I will pledge allegiance if I ever can find him.” A bold statement to make when standing in the very ashes of those sacrificed to Woden. Told in the first person this work of fiction is nevertheless very informative and a pleasure to read. Set in Britain in the closing years of the 9th century we follow Theodoric in his search for identity and a god to follow. Although historical data about this time period is scarce, Austin has taken what little there is and woven it into an intriguing tale with varying degrees of love, hate, brutality and kindness. The descriptive language brings the story to life. My one concern with the book is that some of the things that happen to Theodoric are beyond belief. How can one person survive all of this? In spite of that little annoyance, I enjoyed the book.