Wednesday, April 28, 2010

If All the Swords in England

If All the Swords in England, A Story of Thomas Becket by Barbara Willard, Bethlehem Books, 181 pp. (Clarion Reprint).

The year is 1164. Hot-tempered Henry II is on the throne of England. But all is not well--at least not well in his opinion--because Thomas Becket will not concede to him more power. Thomas refuses to sign the constitutions at Clarendon, extending Henry's authority over Church matters. Thomas will not yield. Henry is furious and relentless.

In this lively historical fiction account we follow twin, orphaned brothers separated into two households: King Henry II and Thomas Becket's, providing insight into the disputed factions. Simon becomes a scribe for Thomas Becket and Edmund is pressed into service as a page for King Henry II.

Not just a follow the facts story, but an interesting read that engages the reader's heart to want to know what will happen to Thomas, what will happen to Simon, will Simon and Edmund ever reunite? We learn how Henry's anger, not only effects Thomas, but innocent people as well. Even though many of us already know Becket's outcome, Willard weaves a fascinating tale of high drama, undaunted courage, and evil intrigue.

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