Book Review: "In the Shadow of Lions" by Ginger Garrett

"In the Shadow of Lions" by Ginger Garrett is a historical Christian fiction novel that highlights the relationship of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII in a completely new way. Anne is portrayed as a seductive woman that is not a seductress. She is portrayed as a woman who had to seize her opportunities, not an opportunist. Most of all, she was portrayed as a devout Catholic girl, not an evil temptress bent on stealing the crown and ruining England. Ginger Garrett had her work cut out for her in trying to portray one of the most despised characters in European history as the girl she was before the gossip likely ruined her name for all time.

In all respects, "In the Shadow of Lions" is a page-turner. Ginger Garrett incorporates three different stories into one novel and weaves them in a way that you never want to skip past one plot line to get to one that is more interesting. Her main characters are three females who are protected by the same angel. The first is a woman from modern times who is writing the story of the other two for an angel she calls "The Scribe." The second is a woman of the street whose only wish is that her son found his place in Heaven when he died in infancy. The third is Anne Boleyn, a young woman who is trying to save herself and her family from the whims of a King and an unsympathetic court. All of these characters and their stories are engaging.

Historical characters that Ginger Garrett weaves into "In the Shadow of Lions" include King Henry VIII, Queen Catherine, Anne Boleyn and Thomas More. What is interesting about her approach to these characters is that she keeps their known characteristics and sympathizes where history has not. On the other hand, she is unsympathetic where history has been kind. In other words, she gives readers who are familiar with these characters a new perspective on their possible motives. In the case of Thomas More, she leaves the man that history loves and reminds the reader of his faults, of which there are many.

While the Catholic religion runs deep in "In the Shadow of Lions", readers of any faith (or lack thereof) can appreciate the intrigue, innocence, darkness, madness and politics that Garrett has woven into the plot. It is a story of how faith can save a person or drive them to cruel extremes. This is fact, regardless of whether god is real or not. As for the history involved in this book, whether you know it or not, Ginger's version will capture your attention. A lot of it will be recognized by history buffs. Deep down, we all know that history has smeared the names of some while uplifting those of others without regard to fact. That fact is we all are all human. No one is perfect and very few are truly evil. "In the Shadow of Lions" highlights that fact in a wonderful way.

It has to be said that Ginger Garrett really knows how to tell a story. This novel is brilliant. This is historical fiction the way it was meant to be. A canvas of factual history painted with the brush of a thoughtful storyteller.

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