It was with great anticipation that I received Christine Rogers’ latest book, The Lost Saint. Her previous works were wonderful and I was not disappointed with this one.
The story is set during the Siege of Rhodes in 1522 and told from the point of view of an eleven year-old boy, Marko. His own journey of coming to terms with loss, grief, and guilt is intertwined with the account of the discovery of the icon of St. Phanourios by three monks with whom he has found himself. The slow unfolding of this story is masterfully accomplished. In addition the characters are well-rounded and come to life.
The horrors of siege and battle are blunted a bit to make the book appropriate for children while not sugar-coated. Likewise the description of the martyrdom of St. Phanourios is honest without being gratuitously violent. Because the protagonist is eleven this crafting makes sense and does not feel contrived.
I’m always pleased when I see a book is thick because that means I can lose myself in the story longer! Don’t let this scare you off, though; the typesetting and layout mean the pages themselves are not packed. It’s the perfect length for a tween.
I would highly recommend The Lost Saint. Put this on your Christmas list to add to your child’s library, but don’t neglect to read it yourself. You will fall in love with the characters and the book just as I did.
You can find your own copy at the Ancient Faith Store here. Also you’ll definitely want to get Kh. Christine’s other books, Spyridon’s Shoes (my review here), and The Road to Golgotha (my review here).
* * * * *
I received my copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.