Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: May 24, 2014
Pages: 208 pages
About the Book:
Imagine living in a world where depression is not regarded as a disease, but as Satan trying to steal your soul. Imagine turning to your priest. He counsels you to take the Cross and travel thousands of miles to the Holy Land to kill people so you can be free of Satan forever. Imagine you believe this so fervently that none of the rational arguments offered by your parents, your friends or your beloved persuade you otherwise. The journey costs everything except the one thing you hoped to lose — your life. This is that story. Set in the world of the thirteenth century with its music, constant warfare and always-present God, fate takes Rudolf and his adventure-seeking brother, Conrad, from their home in the Albis Mountains near Zürich, to one of the final battles of the Crusades – the Battle of La Forbie.
When I started reading Savior, I expected a straightforward, action-filled story of the Crusades. And while this book is that, it is so much more. It’s also a journey of self-discovery, a story of spiritual awakening, and a tale of the power of love and family.
The book’s main character, Rudolf, struggles with depression. It had never occurred to me that depression existed back in the Middle Ages, but of course, it did. As with some churches today, mental illness was viewed as a sin. Having dealt with depression myself, it’s hard to imagine how difficult it would be to struggle with “the darkness”without any kind of support system like we have today.
After experiencing first hand the horrors of war, Rudolf meets a Maronite monk in the desert. The monk teaches him some powerful lessons such as where is God when we can’t find Him? What is truth and the perception of truth? Who is my neighbor? What if I think I know where I’m going and God changes the plan?
One of the most powerful lessons I learned from Youhanna, the monk in the story, was this:
If your heart beats in fear, look around to see if there is an enemy, if you see none, your body is telling you the enemy is inside. Heed it, and it will help you.
In the end, Rudolf discovers what is most important to him and becomes, in many ways, a different person, or at least a more mature one, than he was at the beginning of the story.
I highly recommend Savior for readers of historical fiction. In addition, those who appreciate a story of self-discovery with a Christian theme will enjoy this book immensely.