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Hammer of the Huguenots (Heroes & History) Paperback – May 26, 2015
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"A compelling historical novel. . . . Well written and informative. . . . Bonds story captures the attention and makes the reader eager to know more about the historical characters in question." --Marc Mailloux, Author, God Still Loves the French
"A gripping story about life in sixteenth-century France. Bonds skillful blend of fact and fiction draws the reader into the religious wars of that era. . . . This book provides insight into a little-known but important time." --J. Robert Vannoy, Emeritus Professor, Biblical Theological Seminary
About the Author
Douglas Bond is the author of a number of books of historical fiction and biography. He and his wife have two daughters and four sons. Bond is an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America, a teacher, a conference speaker, and a leader of church history tours.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hammer of the Huguenots is a work of historical fiction that follows Phillippe; a young, Roman Catholic man, as he witnesses the French Catholic persecution of Reformed Christians around him and the effects of the Gospel ministry of Pierre Viret. What drew me to this book, beyond enjoying how Bond writes, is its historical context. I am still a novice to the genre of fiction, and I am still highly selective on those works with which I will spend time. If you are not a book about a quest for a ring, hopping through a wardrobe, or solving crimes with your buddy named Watson, I have had little time for you. But historical fiction I can justify. Sure, the stories are not “history,” but the truths they convey are historical. And the context and many of the characters and many of the events are all historical. So, I can tell myself that I am not reading for entertainment or fun or any of those silly reasons. Nope, I am learning!
But then here is the kicker. Hammer of the Huguenots is a work that engages the reader. I can tell myself I am not reading for entertainment, but then I have to deal with the fact that I am being entertained. And I can tell myself that I am not reading to enjoy the catharsis of vicarious experience, but then I have to acknowledge how this book causes such a visceral, emotional, personal reaction. Bond writes in a way that causes an emotional response. You find yourself feeling the anxiety, fear, and sadness; relief, peace, and joy.
History is good. Storytelling is good. Better than anything is the Gospel. And Douglas Bond would agree. Hammer of the Huguenots makes that clear. Bond focuses on the Gospel throughout this book. The Gospel is presented in many ways and in multiple contexts. We see the true Gospel presented in contrast to Rome’s doctrine of “faith +.” We see the Gospel of Christ’s all-sufficiency and vicarious atonement through preaching, teaching, and the response of the characters. Watching Phillippe confronted with the Gospel time and again, and watching him struggle with the implications of his beliefs is more than good literature; it is convicting, challenging, and encouraging.
I greatly enjoyed this work. If you want to read some good fiction, get a dose of history, and be overwhelmed by the Gospel and its implications, Hammer of the Huguenots will prove to be an investment that pays great dividends.
I received a review copy from the publisher.
Set during the mid 1500's, France is determined to maintain the maxim "One king, one law, one religion" - the one religion being Catholicism. But no matter how hard the Pope or Catherine de Medici try, the faithful teachings of the Reformers are carried throughout all France and their followers are called Huguenots. The protagonist, Philippe, a lonely orphan, is good friends with two of the children (Maurice and his sister Sophia) of one such Huguenot family. Their ways bewilder but draw Philippe as he observes their lifestyle. When open war is declared against the Huguenots, whose cause will Philippe join?
The book started off a little slow but really picked up toward the end. The characters are fairly well developed. Sophia does some things which, realistically, a woman during her era would never do (ride out on a horse to help her brother who has gone to join the war). So while not the best of Douglas Bond (the Crown & Covenant Series and the Faith & Freedom Series rank highest in my opinion), it's still worth the read.
Several descriptions are given of the atrocities committed against Huguenots by Catholic forces. They are, however, discreet. Nevertheless, I wouldn't give this book to a child under the age of 10 or 11.
Sophia is described as a beautiful young lady and Philippe takes notice of her on several occasions. He however forces himself to think of her as a sister. Thus, the possibility of a romantic relationship between them is left unexplored and open-ended, for which I'm grateful.