How could Thorfinn the Mighty have known that with his deathbed decree he would condemn his grandsons to a violent and warring life? Could Thorfinn the Mighty even dared to have hoped that this same decree would bring sanctity to his grandsons?
Also, who is Saint Magnus, anyway?
Oh wow! This was a great – GREAT – read. I’ll confess that I was skeptical at first. Another saint story? Sometimes my kids are tired of the saint stories. YaknowwhatImean? But this one, this one, my children will read and savor and my guess is that they will read it again.
To begin with, the story is very well written. Peek knows how to draw the reader into the plot and keep her (in this case, anyway) there. The plot moves quickly, and the story doesn’t dwell too much on the inner sanctity of Magnus. Rather, Magnus shows us what he does. Let’s us hear what he is thinking. Let’s us see when he is struggling to do the right thing. That last point, I think, is especially noteworthy in the story of a saint. That heroic virture is just that: its heroic and isn’t necessarily “easy” to come by. In fact, its hard! The saints are people, too!
Also, this is a story of Saint Magnus! Who’s that? Well isn’t that the point? No offense to St. Anthony, or St. Patrick, or St. Joseph, or even to St. Pope John Paul II: but here is the invigorating tale of a man mostly unknown. Sometimes, its good to take a peek into one of “God’s forgotten friends” to reinvigorate the faith a little. Its a story that isn’t familiar to most of us and so its almost with fresh eyes that we see the struggle to forgive, and the power of forgiveness.
No, St. Magnus isn’t a saint that you will probably find on last year’s list of Confirmatti. But my guess is that it’s coming soon, to a parish near you.
- Author: Susan Peek
- Publisher: Catholic Vitality Publications
- Paperback, 248 pages
- Reading Age: Upper elementary (not for the more sensitive in that crowd) to middle school years.
What You Need to Know
- Role Models/Authority Figures – Lots of ’em! It’s a saint story!
- Violence – This is a viking story, right? So there’s war. And betrayal. And a house burning down with a maiden screaming in the woods. All of the violence is just graphic enough to grab a hold of you and make you turn the page to find out what’s next while at the same time stopping just short of the gruesome and gory details that would turn this into an R rated book. Sensitive readers, be wary.
- Sexual Content – None
- Consumerism – None.
- Drinking/Smoking/Drugs – None
- Religion – This is the story of a saint. Lots of Catholicism in this book, but none of it too sweet.
- Other –