The Pilgrim  -     By: Davis Bunn
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The Pilgrim

Franciscan Media / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Abandoned by her husband and in danger because of her faith, Empress Helena embarks on a perilous pilgrimage from Caesarea to Judea. Although she encounters friends and foes alike in her travels, miracles follow her. Join her as she wins hearts for God and discovers the true cross of Christ! 176 pages, softcover from Franciscan Media.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 180
Vendor: Franciscan Media
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1616368659
ISBN-13: 9781616368654

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Publisher's Description

"Davis is a master storyteller and his ability to tell an ancient tale in a contemporary style regularly leaves readers wanting more."
—Dave Milbrandt, author, Chasing Deception
 
In his latest historical epic, worldwide bestselling author Davis Bunn takes readers on a journey through an ancient landscape. Travel with Empress Helena from Caesarea to Judea. Abandoned by her husband, in danger because of her faith, but with an implacable will to do what God calls her to, she takes a perilous pilgrimage. Along the way she meets those who would help her (the wizened and wise bishop Macarius;  the rough-edged but kind-hearted sergeant Cratus; the young soldier Anthony, a man who has lost everything, including his faith) and those who would harm her (the menacing and murderous Roman assassin Severus). Miracles seem to follow this humble but determined woman as she wins many over to the faith, and changes lives forever—including her own.

This unforgettable story of the discovery of the True Cross will thrill readers with its adventure, and with its vivid portrait of one of Christian history’s most important women. 

"[Bunn] does something few Christian fiction writers do…his stories open readers to a bigger multicultural and multireligious world…he always seems to surprise and lead into places readers don’t expect." —Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Davis Bunn, a professional novelist for twenty-four years, has sales in excess of seven million copies in twenty languages. He has appeared on numerous national bestseller lists, and his titles have been Main or Featured Selections with every major U.S. bookclub. Davis serves as Writer-In-Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, and has served as Lecturer in Oxford’s new creative writing program. In 2011, his novel Lion of Babylon was named a Best Book of the Year by Library Journal. The sequel, Rare Earth, won Davis his fourth Christy Award for Excellence in Fiction in 2013. In 2014, Davis was granted the Lifetime Achievement award by the Christy board of judges.

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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3.7 out Of 5
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3.6 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
3.6 out Of 5
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96%
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not a fave.
    August 23, 2015
    Beth R.
    Michigan
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    The Pilgrim was an interesting read, but I have to say it was not one of my favorites from Davis Bunn. Though I appreciated the portrayal of Empress Helena and the trials she faced as she struggled to remain faithful to Christ, I didnt really engage with her character. I have enjoyed many other historical novels from Davis Bunn, but I most likely wont pick this one up again for a while.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A must read for fans of historical or biblical fiction
    August 17, 2015
    Rachel H.
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I absolutely loved this book. The characters, the setting, the time period - all meshed together to create this beautiful read. In particular, I loved how the landscape and path the small band of travelers traversed echoed the emotional journey of a couple of the characters. The strengths and weaknesses of the characters melded together to create this excellent example of humanity redeemed by Christ. Although enough detail was provided, it felt as if you were starting to read already a few chapters into the book. The ending was satisfying - although I found myself wishing for a little more detail. Maybe not a sequel, but a slightly longer book.

    The historical details provided truly added to the book; the author made you feel as if you were walking alongside this band of people, breathing their air, seeing what they saw. As each character was sketched out within the first few chapters, you began to feel depths of the pain they were in, and the echoes of choices made in the past.

    I can fully recommend this book with five stars - the style of writing was enjoyable, and the story line, while not always urgent, kept me turning page after page.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.
  3. Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Church history from a master storyteller
    August 17, 2015
    kathae
    Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    She was just a pilgrim, about to make a pilgrimage from Caesarea to Jerusalem, on foot. Then why did an army meet her in the harbor? Why did she have an assassin tracking her?

    Helena, former wife of a Roman emperor, mother of Constantine, was a Christian, and an outcast. The story of her pilgrimage is historically based, at a time when persecution of Christians was the law of the land in ancient Rome.

    As she journeys with her small entourage, they must learn to trust each other. More importantly, they must learn to trust in God in ways they had never needed to before. As Helena makes this spiritual journey, it is a spiritual journey for the reader as well. Lessons of trust, forgiveness, and compassion endear the characters to the reader.

    This is not a long story, but I was fully involved in it. I did not know much about this period of history, so it was exciting to watch the events unfold. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy history, Church history, and stories of faith. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Franciscan Media, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Pilgrim: Powerhouse novel that packs a spiritual punch.
    August 17, 2015
    Supershopper
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Pilgrim.
    Davis Bunn never disappoints. His books have taken me an many types of journeys but this one was both difficult and rewarding. Helena, mother of Constantine the great has a vision from God to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk the path of Jesus when led to his crucifixion. Constantine now a christian is trying to change the thoughts and actions of Rome, but it is still a very dangerous trip to be making. He provides his mother with an escort (Anthony-soldier) and provisions for the trip. Helena has been divorced and disgraced by her husband.

    Though Helena struggles with her own demons she manages to minister to those she collects on her pilgrimage. Many of the characters are dealing with pain and guilt in their own lives. Bunn has rich character development and action enough for all to capture you and take you along for the ride. You may find that you go on a pilgrimage of your own along the way.

    This thought provoking fictionalized version of historical facts as we know them is sure to challenge you on your christian journey. I highly recommend this to anyone that like historical fiction but, to christian new and old there is the added bonus of evaluating your own life along with those characters in the story. I am not one to reread books but this one will definitely be read again with I am sure new insights found in the rereading.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Lakeland FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Helena: Emissary of Faith, Freedom and Forgiveness
    August 17, 2015
    san salsbury
    Lakeland FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Pilgrim.
    Helena: Emissary of Faith, Freedom and Forgiveness

    I confess I have never been a particular fan of patron saints or religious relics, but in "The Pilgrim," Davis Bunn weaves a compelling tale of the woman known as St. Helena, the disgraced Roman empress caught in the world of fourth century political intrigue. Divorced and humiliated by her husband, Helena receives a vision to go the Holy Land, and in the process she becomes an unlikely emissary of freedom. Her son Constantine (who later becomes the first Christian Emperor of Rome) has just issued the Edict of Milan, suddenly reversing centuries of Christian persecution. Helena travels from Caesarea to Judea to carry out reparations.

    Although this is a fictionalized account, Bunn remains true to the historical facts as he paints the emotional and spiritual struggles of a scorned woman moving from bitterness to forgiveness. This theme of forgiveness resonates throughout the book and made me examine my own wounds and choices.

    Like any heroine, Helena faces impossible odds, incredible obstacles and a deadly adversary, but "The Pilgrim" is no spiritual superhero action adventure. Helena's strength is her awareness of her weaknesses and her utter reliance on God as she obeys the vision God gave her.

    One of the most powerful scenes in the book involves an abandoned mine where Roman guards had been required to blind or cripple Christian prisoners. In the name of her son Constantine, Helena frees the prisoners and gives the guards the opportunity to follow Christ. Many prisoners offer forgiveness to their former captors, allowing the guards to ultimately forgive themselves.

    I found Bunn's depiction of the discovery of some religious relics to be surprisingly credible, enough so that for the first time I entertained the possibility that some relics may actually be authentic. Only God knows, but thank you, Davis, for opening my mind.

    "The Pilgrim" is a fascinating journey back to the pivotal days when ancient Rome finally acknowledged the right of Christians to practice and share their faith. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction, a student of Christian history, or just enjoy a thoughtful narrative of a woman of faith, I highly recommend "The Pilgrim."

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.

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