Thursday 3 April 2014

Saints Alive - Saints of Empire - Andrew M Seddon - News Stories of Old Saints Volume I

Saints Alive - Saints of Empire
News Stories of Old Saints 

Volume I
Andrew M. Seddon
Bezalel Books
ISBN 9781936453191

I was recently asked about writing a few words about a forthcoming book,  that book happened to be Saints Alive Volume II - Celtic Paths. After reading the first story in the new volume I went back and purchased the first volume and alternately read chapters in each book. But now let us focus on Saints of Empire, Saints Alive Volume I. This wonderful little volume with take you many places and give 12 examples of faith. The stories are written around legends of saints, to quote the introduction: "Edification was their reason for existence. The hagiographers were concerned that the lives, deeds, words, and examples of the saints would endure, encouraging and inspiring later generations of Christians." The saints who's stories we evaluate in this volume are:

1. Wheat of Lions (St. Ignatius of Antioch) Rome, c.107
2. Ariadne's Angels (St. Ariadne) Phrygia, c.117-161
3. The Informer (St. Cecilia) Rome, c. 177-250
4. The Governor's Eyes (St. Sabinus) Etruria, c.303
5. A Vision of Theodota (St. Anastasia) Illyricum, c.304
6. The Sword of Dioscorus (St. Barbara) Heliopolis in Syria, c. 304
7. Relics (St. Boniface of Tarsus) Rome, c. 306
8. The Fortieth Martyr (The Forty Martyrs of Sebastea) Armenia, 320
9. The Lure of Terenuthis (St. John the Dwarf) Egypt, c.390
10. The End of the Games (St. Telemachus) Rome, c. 404
11. Bishop Martin's Cloak (St. Martin of Tours) Gaul, c.407
12. The Penitent Pigeon (St. Pelagia & St. Nonnus) Antioch, Late 400s.

Some of the Saints will be familiar but few of the stories. Seddon has chosen to present lesser known stories for some saints and some lesser known saints. Each story entertains, and yet also challenges. And is that not what the Saints are supposed to do. Seddon also states: "These stories are not strict retelling of the lives of the saints involved and should not be read as such. They are, rather, literary creations, tales based upon an incident in the life of a saint. They do, however, contain as much factual detail as could reasonably be accommodated." This book was an amazing read and left me wanting to read more. Thankfully Seddon provides extensive notes and list of resources at the end of the book. I loved this book and have already read it twice and know I will read it again. I cannot give it a higher recommendation.

Books by Andrew M. Seddon:
Walking with the Celtic Saints (with Neil & Gerlinde Kennedy-Jones)
Dr. Andrew's Curious and Quirky Compendium

Historical Fiction:
Imperial Legions

Saints Alive Series:

Saints Alive Second Editions:

Stories Of The Supernatural:
What Darkness Remains
In Death Survive
Science Fiction:
Red Planet Rising
Iron Scepter
The DeathCats of Asa’ican and Other Tales of a Space-Vet
Wreaths of Empire

German Shepherd Wanderings Series:
Bonds of Affection
Ranger's First Call

Contributed to:
Sky Songs
Sky Songs II
Fungi #20
Unintended Consequences
Silent Screams: An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction
Eldritch Embraces: Putting the Love Back in Lovecraft
Tails from the Front Lines
Legends of Sleepy Hallow
Wolf Wanderings


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