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Dancing Priest: Book 1 in the Dancing Priest Series Paperback – January 1, 2012
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Glynn Young has an easy writing style and a gift for story telling that raises the novel above its genre. Add interesting, well-developed characters, a romance that has as much grief as joy, fascinating locations all over the world – Edinburgh, London, Athens, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Francisco – and it is no surprise that most readers have difficulty putting the book down.
Young writes enthusiastically about Michael’s advancement to the priesthood, making the events and elements of priestly formation seem credible, but I would have to question the accuracy of some of the details. However, since most people would probably never notice these things, and since they have no negative impact on the story, I would simply be prepared to let these minor errors go.
That said, this is a story of twists and turns, a story of passion, love, faith and friendship, a story with strongly evangelical undertones that must appeal to the Christian heart, and an ending that some might guess at but will not fully intuit until they have read to the end to see how all falls into place.
In some ways, I would have to wonder about the appeal of this book to the general reader, but within its own genre, Christian Fiction, it has to be right up there. For readers who want a gentle story with an exciting sports element, travel, to exotic locations, and a heart-stirring romance, buy The Dancing priest. You won’t regret it.
When the book starts I got the feeling that things started almost too fast to be honest. The backstory, characters, and events just starting coming at me lightening speed. Then around chapter five I found myself immersed. Young doesn't use a lot of extra and unnecessary "flowery" language. There are no "dark and stormy nights ... the kind of night that is so dark ... so stormy" that just plague good (and many bad) stories. He gets to the point and sucks you right into the characters, their lives, and the events that change them forever.
I didn't get the feeling that I was reading a typical book. It was almost as if I were spying on these people's lives. I was the insider into an amazing array of people and situations that had me at times happy and more often than I'd like to admit in tears. Young is not writing a behemoth novel for page or word count. He is telling a story. A vivid and compelling one at that. After finishing the novel I'm astounded at his skill as a story teller. All of the adjectives and descriptive language in the world mean nothing without a good, solid story and characters you actually care about. In Dancing Priest Young has focused on the story thankfully. He pulled me in and didn't let me go until the very last sentence of the book. And actually I'm still not free of it ... I want more. I need more. I really feel the need to know what happens to these people I've come to know through Young's novel.
This book has left me wanting more ... more story tellers like Young. And more from Young himself. I don't know if I can wait for the sequel ... but guess I will have to.
The story of Michael Kent—student at Edinburgh, Olympic cyclist, then Anglican priest assigned to a San Francisco church—shows, unadorned, his steadfastness, integrity, and seemingly foolish love toward others. All this comes through without hiding or sanitizing his struggles. If you carry an enthusiasm for cycling, you will especially appreciate this book. But, cycling fan or not, you may find that Michael Kent's life in DANCING PRIEST feels a bit like a cycling race: fast pace, determination, struggle, exhilaration, team dynamics, defeat, victory, gratification at crossing the finish line. This story challenged me to persevere in pain, love those who are against me, extend a hand to others in distress, practice art and exercise any God-given abilities, and deepen relationships with those I love. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, A LIGHT SHINING.