Thursday, February 28, 2013 21:14

Review 132. Ginger Garrett – In the shadow of the Lions.

In the Shadow of Lions: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Chronicles of the Scribe #1)Title: In the shadow of the Lions: a novel of Anne Boleyn.
Author: Ginger Garrett.
Pages: 336.
Published: September 1st 2008.
Publisher: David C. Cook
Sort: Part one of ‘Chronicles of the Scribe’
"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world. The stories are forgotten here, and the Day draws close. I will tell you one of my stories. You will record it." So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book. A book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation. The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible—Scriptures the common people could read for themselves. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the same book, persecuting anyone who dares read it.
Rating:
3 stars
Interesting story. The beginning of this book was a little strange, but I liked the parts where we read more about Anne Boleyn. There is just something fascinating about her.
This book starts with the story of a dying woman in our time. She is visited by a strange figure nobody else can see: an Angel called The Scribe. He wants her to record the story he is about to tell out of The Tablets of Destiny.

He begins with Rose, a suicidal woman who ends up in the household of Thomas More. She is devoted to God until she reads the forbidden book from Hutchins. More is trying to persecute everyone who dares to read this book, because it’s against God and the law. These heretics must burn for their sins. That’s why More refuses to sign the Act of Supremacy and he is willing to give his life for it.

Between this story, we get glimpses of Anne Boleyn’s life. She is sent to court to serve Catherine as a humble submission, because her sister Mary is pregnant from King Henry’s child. Henry lays his eyes on Anna, but she refuses to become his mistress. That’s how Henry starts to get rid of Catherine. Anne is going to be the one to give him an heir, but when she “only” gives him a daughter, it’s time to get another wife. 


I was surprised by the beginning of this book and it was very confusing first. Bridget is in a hospital, waiting do die from cancer. She used to be an author and The Scribe wants her to write down the story. When he first starts about Angels and Archangels, I almost thought I had the wrong book in front of me. Despite the strange start, I thought it was an enjoyable book.

Rose’s story was the least interesting. I felt disconnected from her and I felt like I missed important pieces of her life to truly understand her. I liked the fact that I got to see more of More’s life. His passion for God and his strange way to show it – burning other people on the stake – were fascinating.  The main reason why I wanted to read this book was Anne Boleyn. I loved the original approach. Instead of making her the seducing, manipulating girl, Garrett portrayed her as innocent and faithful. This was so different from all the books I’ve read so far and from the television show – I really liked it.


I’m still not sure if the beginning of this book fits to the story. I was left with some questions about The Scribe and why he wanted to record these stories. I don’t know why Rose story was so important, but it was interested to see the impact of Henry’s decisions among the people. The take on Anne Boleyn was refreshing. All together, a good book, but I don’t feel the need to pick up part 2 soon.
Anne knew her temper was flushing her cheeks. “I will not speak of that night, nor will I speak of the future. I will speak only on what I know today. I have not read this book of Leviticus, but I know my prayers. You have a wife. I will never consent to be a mistress.”
Bambi
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

18 comments:

  1. Too bad this one wasn't all you hoped it would be. I can't wait to read this one though, I hadn't heard of it before stopping by your blog so thanks for introducing me to a new book :) Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    1. You are welcome! I always love to introduce new books :)

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  2. It's so hard when the beginning of a book doesn't make sense. This does sound interesting though! Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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    1. Yes, it took me a while to complete understand the book.

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  3. That's too bad that the book didn't wow you, but I'm glad you liked some of it. That's really neat that she portrayed Anne Boleyn in such a different light. I love books that go in completely different directions from original stories/characters. :)

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    1. It's always interesting to see how the author turns a story to it's own hands :)

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  4. This seems like an interesting premise! I'm also interested in that time period and with Anne Boleyn! Too bad it didn't live up to it's promise. Great review though. And I love the design of your blog, it's so cute!

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  5. I'm not a big fan of stories like this but this one does sound interesting. Maybe that beginning doesn't sound promising but still. If I ever get a chance to read it I won't give up after only few pages :) Great review :)

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    1. Yes, definitely don't give up after the first pages.

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  6. Hm, while I understand that this had its problems, the concept certainly seems intriguing enough and your review made me want to learn more. I promise to stick with it if I decide to pick it up.
    Great review!

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    1. Not every book can be perfect, as long as you can enjoy most parts of it :D

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  7. Disconnect from the characters is never good. :/ I'm sorry this was a bit disappointing--the synopsis made it sound so cool! Hope your next read is better.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. At least there were some other characters I did like! :)

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  8. I'm glad this turned out to be decent enough, despite the rocky start. It sounds like there is definite room for improvement though. Lovely review, Mel!

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  9. It sounds like a really interesting concept, but perhaps it could have been executed better. The stories of Rose and Anne from your summary are intriguing, especially (as you pointed out) this isn't the typical portrayal of Anne but it sounds like Bridget was just a tool to connect the two stories? Hmmmm..

    Thanks for sharing Mel!

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    1. Yes, she was. It would be interesting to see how the author is going to wok this out in part two.

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