Since the dawn of time, our ancestors discovered a path of light in the skies that seems to point directly to the end of the world, Cape Finisterre, in Spain. This light is nothing else but our own Galaxy, the Milky Way.
Many pilgrims, Christians and Pagans, have followed this path made of stars, in search for the meaning of life. The Celtic pilgrims used to cross Europe to arrive to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to worship the Sun; this was the end of their journey, this place was considered the end of the world of the living, the world of the dead was at the other side of the sea.
This famous pilgrimage is known today as the Way of Saint James (El Camino de Santiago), and this is the story of a man who once walked one of its many paths. The events to follow take place at a crossroad in time when Christianity is replacing the old religions of Northern Europe and the hero of our story will have to choose between the old ways and the new.
Deep in the forest of the Ardennes, a twelve-year-old boy, named Philipp, lives with his mother and siblings. After a hard and long winter, his mother struggles to feed the family, and fearing for the lives of her children, she gives him away to a wealthy family who will take care of him; this is the beginning of his journey.
Philipp goes to work in Aachen, Capital of the Holy Roman Empire, at this place, he has a date with destiny; a totally unexpected story unfolds when the young man finds out the secrets of his origin, discovering among other things that his mother is not just a common farmer, but she was once a priestess of an ancient cult.
Philipp embraces the way of life of his new home, championing Christianity wherever he goes, but destiny and love will teach him a lesson, that there is more in this world than your eyes can see and your hands can touch, and that behind every religion; Christian or pagan, the truth lies hidden.
Review: This is the first of two books of which I read backwards. Having read the Blue one before the Red one I found it hard to comprehend. But, after reading the Red one I was able to then put the whole of the story into a much better perspective. This is not a book to just pick up and read in one sitting. It takes some time and a lot of thinking on the part of the reader/readers. There are strong views on many subjects throughout the book.
Ms. Baptiste did a very good job of researching her subject while showing the horrors of what it was like to live through the time of war. Showing that war in the past is the same as it is today. War is War.
She had a way of showing the history rather than telling which made it seem more real…alive somehow.
While the showing she inserted a young boy named Philipp who started out a servant bringing himself up through the ranks to a Mayor political figure. We learn through his life that you don’t get anything by sitting around. He works hard, shows loyalty to others and has a strong determined attitude to want to change. Along with making connections along the way he is a success story.
Philipp meets a young girl named Jana who is his driving force to become better; showing us that there is a reason for meeting people throughout our lives. Ms. Baptiste also went into depth with Philipp’s strength and dedication to his religion, without being preachy.
Overall this is a well written book that has allot of history within the frame of the story. Some things that would be hard for some are the facts that you have to overlook run on sentences and the fact that she doesn’t really use quotations for her conversations. But that really is easy to overlook. Some of the ways she phrases things is also different but her first language isn’t English so the translation is hard at times.
I enjoyed this book and as I said earlier would have wanted to have read this first.