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Review: Crushed Yet Conquering by Deborah Alcock

This book has been on my shelf for a long time, but for some reason I never read it.  What a mistake! 

It is the early fifteenth century, and in Bohemia John Huss is preaching God’s Word.  Throughout Europe, the faithful are disheartened by the antics of rival popes.  And in Constance, Hubert Bohun is certain the Holy Council and his beloved master, the Chancellor of Paris, can solve the problems and difficulties.

As young Hubert, trained as a scholar but with the heart and body of a squire, roams the city of Constance, he meets not only his long-lost brother but also Robert who guards the prisoner John Huss and reveres him greatly.  The mysterious and gentle Huss fascinates Hubert.  As the Holy Council begins to try Huss, conflict builds in Hubert.  We all know what happened to Huss, but what happened to Hubert and to his beloved master as a result of Huss’s martyrdom?

Crushed Yet Conquering is a book in two parts, the first about the Holy Council and Huss in Constance, and the second about life in Bohemia, Huss’s homeland.  Hubert, now a squire, encounters all sorts of difficulties and hair-raising adventures during the papal crusades against his adopted country.  Eventually he finds both earthly and heavenly contentment.

Once again Deborah Alcock, a devout  nineteenth century writer of historical fiction, has illuminated a fascinating era, showing us not only the events but also the mindset of the times.  In this thrilling novel of intrigue, nobility, bravery, battles, castles, rescues, piety, loyalty and love, she describes Eastern Europe around 1400.  She portrays not only the trial of John Huss, the beloved reformer of Bohemia, but also the Hussite wars against his people after his death.

Crushed Yet Conquering is highly recommended as a memorable supplement to the study of European history or church history during the early fifteenth century.  It also stands as an inspiring novel in its own right.

This is yet another book in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Review of Books.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Crushed Yet Conquering by Deborah Alcock in order to share my honest opinions with you.

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