Monday 13 November 2023

Lucy and the Forsaken Path - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Lucy Mysteries 03 - A Harwood Mysteries Short Story

Lucy and the Forsaken Path
A Harwood Mysteries Short Story 
The Lucy Mysteries 03
Antony Barone Kolenc
Harwood Press

Lucy and the Forsaken Path - Antony Barone Kolenc

This is the third of three currently available Lucy Mysteries that I have read. I have also read the first two novels in the Harwood mysteries and greatly enjoyed them, and I intend to read the other three. But when I stumbled across these Lucy Short Stories I had to give it a try, and share them with my youngest daughter. This story is historical fiction set in medieval England in Summer of 1185. This story takes place three years after the previous Lucy story. And Lucy is now at Harwood.  The description of the volume is:

“Lucy and the Forsaken Path is the third story in The Lucy Mysteries series of short stories, which follows the life of Lucy--one of the most admired characters in the award-winning YA medieval series, The Harwood Mysteries. In Summer 1185 A.D., Lucy is stranded upon a mysterious road while traveling with her father. When she discovers where it leads, she must confront dangerous threats from without and turmoil from within.”

If you have already read any of the Harwood Mysteries you will be familiar with Lucy, but this is the third standalone story featuring her. It first appeared in the anthology Ashes: Visible and Invisible from the Catholic Teen Books Collective. I have read that anthology three times so reading this standalone version of the story is the fourth time I have encountered it. And I admit reading it as a standalone instead of in the anthology had a deeper impact. 

This is a very impactful story. I have a deep personal devotion to Saint Damien of Molokai, or Damien the Leper. So reading this story of Lucy’s interaction with the Leper colony and the father and son whose lives she touched was deeply moving. As usual Lucy gets in trouble but this time it is because her horse bolts and throws her after being spooked by lightening. Lucy tries to help make things better for people she meets, and finds out that she had a lesson to learn herself. 

Writing short fiction is very different than novels. And not all authors can pull off both, especially authors like Kolenc who write epic historical fiction. But he pulls it off. This is a very well written story. It leaves me desperate for most standalone stories featuring Lucy and her family. Unlike the previous volume this one does not allude to another but we can hope. 

The story and main Harwood series is marketed for Middle grade readers but would also be great for tweens and teens. I am in my fifties and I loved it. It is a very well written story and one that will leave you excited for more stories set in this work Kolenc has created. Antony ‘Tony’ Barone Kolenc is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He currently teaches law. In this story, he has shown that he has great skill as a story teller. It is a story certain to entertain, reader young and old alike. And leave you desperate for the other Lucy stories and the 5 novels in the Harwood Series. A deeply moving story I can easily recommend. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Antony Barone Kolenc:
The Harwood Mysteries:

Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden
The Merchant's Curse
Murder at Penwood Manor

Harwood Short Stories:
The Lucy Mysteries:

Contributed to:

No comments: