Byzantium by Stephen R Lawhead

ISBN10: 0061057541
ISBN13: 978-0061057540
Author: Stephen R Lawhead
Book title: Byzantium
Publisher: Harper Voyager (July 4, 1997)
Language: English
Category: Literature & Fiction
Size PDF: 1624 kb
Size ePub: 1386 kb
Size Fb2: 1888 kb
Rating: 4.9/5
Votes: 507

Byzantium by Stephen R Lawhead

Download links

Byzantium - Stephen R Lawhead
PDF version

1888 downloads at 21 mb/s
Byzantium - Stephen R Lawhead
ePUB version

1624 downloads at 24 mb/s
Byzantium - Stephen R Lawhead
FB2 version

1386 downloads at 22 mb/s

Born to rule

Although born to rule, Aidan lives as a scribe in a remote Irish monastery on the far, wild edge of Christendom. Secure in work, contemplation, and dreams of the wider world, a miracle bursts into Aidan's quiet life. He is chosen to accompany a small band of monks on a quest to the farthest eastern reaches of the known world, to the fabled city of Byzantium, where they are to present a beautiful and costly hand-illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells, to the Emperor of all Christendom.

Thus begins an expedition by sea and over land, as Aidan becomes, by turns, a warrior and a sailor, a slave and a spy, a Viking and a Saracen, and finally, a man. He sees more of the world than most men of his time, becoming an ambassador to kings and an intimate of Byzantium's fabled Golden Court. And finally this valiant Irish monk faces the greatest trial that can confront any man in any age: commanding his own Destiny.


Best book I read in ages. An historical novel, it relies much on the factual history of the early church in Ireland and the rise of the Vikings in Scandinavia, neither of which I knew much about. It is a swashbuckling tale of pirates and priests, Kings and slaves, with epic battles on land and sea, untold riches, love, and secular and religious intrigue. It also deals heavily with the the natures of Islamic and Christian faith. Islam is depicted, on the whole, with respect. Christian faith too is seen as, for the most part, virtuous, although the morality of its earthly leaders is questioned. I found the depiction of the struggles with doubt and anger towards God of the Christian protagonist, Aidan, to be most interesting. Mr. Lawhead is a great story teller.

This was an excellent book and great history lesson, but I almost didn't make it through the beginning. I heard it started slow, but it was more pages of slow beginning than I can hack. If I hadn't heard how good it was from so many people, I would have put it down. The story follows a monk kidnapped by Vikings, teaching about the Viking culture and Byzantium history in a fantastic and fun way. My advice? Read it, but speed read the first 100 pages or so.

I loved this book! It had action, adventure and the thing I loved most was that this book was impossible to predict what was going to happen. A lot of books you can do that with, but not with this one. I was always like, whoa, didn't see that coming! It's a long book, but it held me captive 'til the end. I kept waiting and wondering if he was going to find his faith again and I had no idea how it would end. The ending didn't disappoint. I originally picked this out for my teen boys for homeschool high school literature. They love action and adventure which this has lots of. Both of my boys have advanced reading skills, there's just some heavy scenes, such as graphic violent physical abuse. There's also a scene where he attempts to buy a prostitute's services and lose his virginity, though it doesn't actually occur and it's very brief. Because of those parts, but mainly the graphic images of men being brutally tortured, I'm not going to have my kids read this. Maybe in a few more years. In case you were thinking about this for your teen, I wanted to caution you. Personally I strongly dislike pointless violence, but it had purpose in this book, and since it was such a part of the main character's life it belonged in the book, it was just very well-described. The book is well-written and addicting. I love how you see the character change as the story progresses. The character development is phenomenal! All of the characters are so realistic and you just get sucked into the story. It's one of the best books I've ever read. This author has a gift! I'll be reading his other books now. If you love historical novels that are full of adventure and keep you guessing at every turn, you will love this story and it will not disappoint!

Rarely has a crisis in faith been matched with such elegant prose and masterful character development. I will leave the full-blown plot analysis to others who seem to delight in the picayune. Myself--I consider this one of the top 10 books I have read...and I have consumed thousands. From beginning to end, this book will satisfy every nook and cranny of your psyche. Mr. Lawhead--I commend you.

This is one of those books where one immediately feels a kinship with the main character - Aiden. Well, Aiden, with a simple, but sincere, though untested faith, goes on a mission to Byzantium with 12 fellow monks. What happens in the next 650 pages is a pilgrimage of faith that makes the ministry of the apostle Paul look like a piece of cake. The lessons Aiden learned can only be understood and appreciated by following his steps and missteps. The conclusion powerfully answers the question so many Christians have asked of God, why?

Stephen R. Lawhead's BYZANTIUM is historical fiction. You will not be frightened by lethal aliens, or dazzled by futuristic technology. You get plenty of sword, but no sorcery. Does that sound boring? Well if science fiction relied solely on its aliens and futuristic speculation, it would be boring. Likewise with fantasy and its swords and sorcery. And if BYZANTIUM relied only on its historical realism, it too would be boring.

Yet BYZANTIUM is far from boring because it displays a powerful lesson on what is fiction's sine qua non (without which nothing).




It is of paramount importance.

Around 885 AD, the protagonist Aidan joins with twelve of his brethren monks on a pilgrimage from Ireland to Constantinople (the Greeks called it Byzantium). They have a gift for "Christ's second regent" on Earth, the Holy Emperor. It is a masterpiece of their own making: a Bible of hand-scripted vellum, bound in silver with a jewel-encrusted crucifix. But travel during the Dark Ages is dangerous. Even for warriors. If these monks were not obsessed with faith, they would understand that such a journey is foolish.

So before experiencing the splendor of his world's capital, our humble Aidan must experience the nadir of agony. But Lawhead is not a sadist. He does not mire you in endless pages of dark dungeons. Failure is always balanced with victory; twists and turns and surprises abound; the innocent wander into intrigue; and in the end, BYZANTIUM gratifies. Yet if you insist that you NEED aliens and spaceships, or that you NEED at least a little bit of magic, you do yourself injury. BYZANTIUM will fill your needs with story.

This is a book you will go back to read many times in your life. I'm on reading three or four. This is my favorite Lawhead book by far. His Robin Hood trilogy is also quite good. This book is a great combination of historical fiction and a redemption story. I look forward to sharing this powerful story with my sons once they're old enough (mid-school) to handle some of the more intense portions of the story.