Saturday 4 May 2024

A Lion for a Tomb - Corinna Turner - Friends in High Places Book 4 Ignatius of Antioch

A Lion for a Tomb:  Ignatius of Antioch 
Friends in High Places Book 4
Corinna Turner
Unseen Books
Zephyr Publishing
ISBN 9781910806302
eISBN 9781910806319

A Lion for a Tomb Ignatius of Antioch - Corinna Turner - Friends in High Places Book 4

I will be honest I greatly anticipated this volume. From the first concept art for the cover to the various descriptions as the work was being prepared for print. Both my son and I wanted to read it as soon as it released. I love the writings of Corinna Turner’s and this latest in this series is another excellent offering. I have been a fan of her work since I first encountered I Am Margaret, 9 years ago. Since then I have read her books a total of 73 times, and her contributions in Catholic Teen Books Anthologies, and other short works at least another dozen reads. I am a fan of everything I have read. She has many excellent books and great series. And this is the fourth novel in this series. The title of the series is Friends in High Places and is about friendship and devotion to specific saints and beatified. And this fourth volume is about Saint Ignatius of Antioch. The description of the series is:

“Friends in High Places is a short fiction series that presents saints’ biographies in the context of imaginary teenagers’ lives. The stories are written primarily to entertain, with inspiration and education thrown in for free!”

And of this particular volume:


Razim’s family are Muslim. His best friend, Daniel, is Christian. It’s never mattered before. But now Razim’s brother has become a crazed Islamic extremist and Daniel has turned into a total Jesus freak—and Razim is caught in the middle.

When Razim stumbles across a prayer card of an old man with brown skin just like his, who seems mind-bogglingly happy that he’s being eaten by lions, Razim’s curiosity overflows.

What could possibly make a man happy to face his own death?

And will Razim have to risk his own to find out?”

I will be honest with you. This was a volume that was very hard to put down. The events could be taken from the news in many part of the west over the last few years and especially since the Hamas attacks in October of 2023. It might remind us of friends or acquaintances we know. It is a powerful story, and the most important part is being open to truth, and believing there is truth. It is twrribly well written. This is the first time in this series we have returned to characters from a previous volume. It is set later. And it does an excellent job picking up on some of my favourite characters from story between the first two volumes in this series. 

At the end of the volume are a few sections well worth working through:

Discussion Questions
Prayer To Saint Ignatius Of Antioch
A Prayer For The Dead
Saint Ignatius Antioch Novena
Hymns To Our Lord
     Our One Physician
Saint Ignatius’s Letter To The Romans
The Martyrdom Of Saint Ignatius
The Letters Of Saint Ignatius

There is within the text of the story a prayer to Saint Ignatius of Antioch Prayer:

Lord, let me please You under whom I fight,
and from whom I receive my wages.
Let me never be found a deserter.
Let my baptism be my shield;
my faith my helmet;
my love my spear;
my patience my full armor.
Let me lay up my good deeds as a soldier deposits his savings,
that I may one day receive what is due to me.
May I be patient and gentle with all,
as God is towards me.

which I added to my daily prayers even before I finished the novel. It is not the first time a prayer in one of Turner’s books has ended up being in my daily prayers. 

This story deals with some very serious issues. Turner does an amazing job presenting the material in a balanced and respectful way. The conversion of a Muslim, even a cultural Muslim is handled well. And having family members that are extremist is masterfully written. This is an excellent story in a wonderful series. I can easily recommend this volume. It is an amazing read. I already plan to go back and reread the two stories featuring Razim later in the spring. The highest praise I can give books is: 1. I want my children to read them, 2. I keep mentioning them to friends and family, and 3. I want to reread them. This book hits top marks on all three. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan!

For reviews of other books about Saint Joseph click here.

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)

0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family
I Am Margaret The Play - Fiorella de Maria

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:

Mandy Lamb Series:
Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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