This was the first book I read by Ginger Garrett, who has become one of my favorite historical authors. I saw an interview with her on a TV show and found that she had done all her own research for this book, which prompted my reading of it. I think she has done a wonderful job of telling Anne Boleyn's story in the true context of the oppressive society women lived in during this period. By the time I finished reading it, I was convicted to the core of having taken so lightly the cost of the very lives of the people in this story who risked everything to make the Bible available to the common man. Everyone I have recommended this book to has loved it, including an unbeliever.
I was disappointed, because I did not feel like it ended. There were a lot of loose ends that were not wrapped up. I definitely did not get the end of the book. Why did it end the way it did for Mariskka? What happened to David? We know almost nothing about who Bridget was. The whole story of Rose just ended abruptly.
Unfortunately I found this book a little confusing. I enjoyed the storys of Anne and Rose, but found Bridget's "story" vague, short and therefore confusing. I was saddened that we didn't get to go into more detail about her and what ever happened with David. I also found that it ended quite abruptly.
On a plus side, I am not usually a fan of this period in history, yet I found this rendition of Anne Boleyn's story quite interesting.
I really like this series, it offers an interesting combination of styles with Historical Fiction and some Fantasy. Many Christians seem to take for granted the fact that they have the Bible in their own language, but after reading this book that will probably change. Before reading this book I was aware of the fact that William Tyndale died because he translated the Bible into English but I had no idea of the tremendous persecution which took place in England. One chapter of In the Shadow of Lions details the trials of two people who had read the book and were burned at the stake; but people only had to have it in their house to be burned at the stake, even if they had never read it. Another chapter details a secret meeting of women deep in the woods where they read the book and are then asked to remove their linen underwear as a donation for printing the book. After some hesitation all the women present agree because they believe in the cause so strongly. The chapters jump back and forth between the stories of Rose and Anne, which at times can be confusing to the reader to whose story is being told at the time. Fortunately the two women are never in the same chapter together, which helps to keep them straight. Bridget's story cuts in occasionally, but her story is told in first person instead of third, which helps to distinguish it. However there are often long breaks in the book where Bridget does not enter, and it can be hard to remember the last thing that happened to her.
I love history and bought this as a gift for another history buff and we were both very disappointed. It is a unpleasant story, creepy actually. This is not what I want in a historical novel. I couldn't finish it.