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About the Author

Born and raised in America, Lawhead moved to the UK, to Oxford, in order to research into Celtic legend and history. He now lives in Austria with his wife, writer Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, and their two sons, Ross and Drake.


Devotees of prolific historical novelist Lawton (The Iron Lance) will enjoy this picaresque, which follows the legendary eponymous Irish saint through the "lost years" between his escape from slavery and his missionary work in Ireland. Though Succat, the hero, does not receive his more familiar name until late in the story and doesn't encounter even a single snake, he blazes a thrilling-and meticulously researched-trail across the Holy Roman Empire. Succat, the son of a Christian family of well-to-do fifth-century Britons, is captured by Irish raiders and sent to Ireland as a slave. After years of brutal conditions, he manages to escape. Having lost his faith in the Christian God while a slave, Succat studies druid theology and lives in a home with other druids, who give him the name "Patrick," Celtic for nobleman. He eventually returns to Britain; serves for a while as an assistant to Bishop Cornelius, who helps him find his faith again; studies in Gaul; and goes on to Rome, where he becomes a city official, marries and has a daughter. Yet Patrick is haunted by his memories of Ireland and comes to believe that he has a special mission there: to convert the Irish people to Christianity. His triumphant return changes the history of Eire. Lawhead wisely keeps the fantasy and folklore to a minimum and never grants Succat superhuman qualities. Patrick is unfailingly sympathetic and believable, and his story of losing and finding faith will resonate with a wide spectrum of readers. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

'An enjoyable, sweeping and often touching tale of bravery ' SFX'This is a rip-roaring adventure story; the pace rarely flags. There's scheming, murder and betrayal aplenty' Interzone'A vivid historical setting and a lengthy and satisfying plot' Publishing News'Amusing and interesting' Locus'I can confidently assure you that fantasy writing doesn't get much better than this' The Express'Powerful and deeply moving. The Iron Lance is an engrossing read' Starburst

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