Book Review: The Princes of Albion

26 Jan

51amzuvvnhl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Within the soul of every man is the desire to be loved by one’s father. Throughout history, this primal urge has resulted in epic and violent acts of betrayal, poetic expressions, loyalty, and dramatic twists of fate and fortune. From Oedipus to Othello, father-son relationships have represented story lines in literature that have altered the arc of the world’s civilizations and shaped our modern definition of what it means to be a man. The Long-Aimed Blow, Book One: The Princes of Albion eloquently and graphically depicts an ancient world of dark forests and dusty streets where family dynamics and human passions collide in explosive episodes of rampant tyranny. It’s a universal and timeless story of individual egos and generations of pride. Prince Caradoc, not bound by rules, honesty, or reciprocation, is a vengeful son and violent father. He embarks on a ruthless life of reckless ambition that delivers him and his extended family into a fearful journey filled with political intrigue, deadly revenge, and a hope redeemed in the age of the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. Combined with light-hearted adventure, learning to deal with pain through imagination, spiritual hope, and incorporating deep underlying themes of love, kindness, and friendship, The Princes of Albion is a heartbreaking story told from the deepest hearts of people everywhere.

91nlo1-t7nl-_ux250_Jon Hopkins earned his B.S. in Theology and Biblical Studies from Baptist Bible College, Springfield, MO. He has over 40 yrs of proficiency providing care to teens and families in distress. A Licensed pastor, 12 yrs as a Psychiatric Youth Care Coordinator, a Hospital Chaplain, over 20 yrs a Church Youth Pastor, and 10 yrs a Secondary School Teacher.

Jon is single, living in Kansas and has 5 grandchildren. He collects books from the 1800’s on character building, has an interest in Ancient Roman studies, and studies Latin. He plays the mandolin and guitar, and chases tornados for fun.

Jon’s favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:8 and his personal motto is “You’ll never grow old if you keep youth in your heart.”

51mj7xdjlcl-_ux250_Thomas Hopkins, MD is a board-certified family physician who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. He received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and finished his residency in family medicine in Springfield, Missouri. Thomas is married, has two children and two grandsons. He plays the banjo, photographs bears in the wild, and likes to dress up in period attire and shoot his six-shooter in cowboy action competitions.



My Impressions:

Authors and identical twin brothers, Jon and Thomas Hopkins have an advantage writing about the two young boys in the first book of their Long-Aimed Blow series, The Princes of Albion. Set during the first century in Rome and Britain (Albion), this novel is a graphic and gritty imagining of historical characters who have taken on legendary reputations. The book follows the ruthless Caradoc who challenges Roman authority and seeks to defend his beloved Albion from foreign influence. Other historical characters are included in the narrative, as well as fictional characters who flesh out a story that is drawn from the mists of time.

The story begins in 10 AD on the streets of Rome and continues throughout the years of Caradoc’s life. The Hopkins present a believable explanation of the fierce hate that Caradoc harbors towards Rome. The time represented is barbaric — human sacrifice, physical abuse, slavery — yet the hearts of men are not much different in our own civilized day. One character stands out. Alexenah is the slave-wife of Caradoc and the mother of the two princes, Jachin and Boaz. She begins the story as a young Jewish woman living freely in Rome, until treachery places her in the slave market. Her faith in God and His promise of a Deliverer keep the story from being completely brutal. I have to admit I had trouble at first with the names of the characters. Although the authors very helpfully include a pronunciation guide along with their who’s who, I still struggled. That is the fault of the character’s parents, not the authors, since many of the characters are historical and those were actually their real names! I also winced a bit (or a lot, depending on the scene) at the merciless treatment of men and women at the time. Most Christian fiction isn’t so graphic. Although, I am sure the authors were restrained in their depiction — it probably could have been a lot worse.

A different kind of story than readers usually encounter in the Christian fiction market, The Princes of Albion, is unabashedly realistic in its portrayal of life in first century Britain. This is a story that may appeal to those looking for gritty realism.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the authors for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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