Saint Magnus, The Last Viking by Susan Peek
Come back in time 900 years, to the fierce and desolate Northern lands, where Norsemen ruled with ax and sword. A dying king, a shocking death-wish, his heirs divided with an oath of blood . . .In this fast-paced new novel by the highly popular Susan Peek, the conflict unfolds between Magnus Erlendson, a heroic young prince aflame with the love of God, and his outlawed cousin Hakon, who blames Magnus for his banishment from their kingdom. What follows is a tale of betrayal and revenge, bravery and forgiveness, as Magnus seeks to restore his father’s vanquished kingdom to its rightful hands. Entertaining and inspiring from start to finish, a must-read for all those who thrill to learn the life of a saint we never knew existed!
If you are unfamiliar with Susan Peek’s books, I encourage you to check them out. She has quickly become one of my favorite Catholic authors. Her series of saint books, God’s Forgotten Friends: Lives of Little Known Saints, is a phenomenal collection of fascinating stories. Her tagline: “Because the saints weren’t boring, and neither should their stories be!”, sums up her novels perfectly. She creates fast-paced, exciting novels based on the actual facts of little know saints. So far, she has four books in this series and they are all excellent. This review will focus on St. Magnus, The Last Viking.
First of all, where were these books when my own kids were learning about saints? This is just such a great idea, sharing the stories of little known saints in exciting novels. The use of modern language, fast-paced action, and relatable characters make these books perfect for kids, but adults will love them as well.
Susan Peek did a masterful job of bringing to life this saint from the early 1100’s, and giving the reader a look into the Viking way of life. Ms. Peek has woven the facts surrounding Saint Magnus into a wonderful story that makes him real and relatable while dropping the reader in the middle of a dramatic period of history. I especially loved Magnus, his brother Aerling, and their relationship.
This teen book is equal parts geography, history, and theology lessons in a thoroughly engaging story. I found it so compelling and interesting that when I finished the book I began researching Saint Magnus wanting to know even more about this saint that I’d never heard of. I think any teen would enjoy this book, but boys especially will love the adventure, danger and action that drives this novel. Just one slight warning – this a book about a time of war so there is some violence which might be more appropriate for older or mature readers.
I have a feeling that after reading Saint Magnus, you’ll join me in wanting to discover more of God’s forgotten friends.
Awarded the Catholic Writers’ Guild Seal of Approval 2015
Themes: forgiveness, courage, accepting God’s will, sacrificial love, family ties, family feuds
A Note From the Reviewer:
As a writer and a mother, I’m always searching for wonderful Christian books for teens of all ages. I truly believe one way we can encourage teens in their faith is through fiction with positive messages, embedded in great stories. There are many fantastic Christian and Catholic teen novels out today but they can be hard to find. I’m excited to share some of these books with you.