Wednesday, January 15, 2014

[Review] Sebastian's Way, The Pathfinder: The Sebastian Chronicles Book One by George Steger

Title: Sebastian's Way: The Pathfinder (The Sebastian Chronicles Book One)
Author: George Steger
Publisher: iUniverse LLC October 3, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Frankish-Saxon Wars, Saxon, King Charlemagne, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Format: Paperback
Pages: 370
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from George Steger and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the purpose of review.

Last year I began reading books on the Middle Ages and Anglo-Saxon history, pertaining to its affect in England, Scotland, Wales. I wanted to read Sebastian's Way to learn about the Germanic Franks. Charlemagne has been a historical figure I've wanted to read about for a long time. Even though Sebastian's Way is historical fiction, this book helped give me an in-depth look at the time period and people.

When the story begins~
The year is 768 AD.
The setting is Fortress Adalgray, in the Germanic region, east of the Rhine river and south of the river Lahn.
Sebastian is a youth and lives with his willful and influential mother named Ermengard. A family friend named Attalus is a mentor and father figure for Sebastian. Attalus is an old Gallic warrior. Heimdal is a blind hermit, he has keen senses and is intuitive, he is a wise man. Konrad is a cousin of Sebastian's, at his early age he shows a penchant for battle. Konrad is an arrogant, bold, carnal person. Sebastian is a sensitive, intelligent, spiritual person. As Sebastian develops in body, his mentor Attalus teaches him techniques in combat training. When Sebastian meets Charlemagne, the Germanic leader is impressed with Sebastian's interest in education and encourages him. This is the beginning of a relationship that will change Sebastian's life.

I loved this story! It was difficult to lay the book down.
I found the character of Sebastian to be similar to a King Arthur-type-figure. He is a hero, a man of valor and faithfulness. Sebastian is imperfect; but he is quick to confess and repent and begin anew.
He is a character who develops in the story; in mind and body and spirit. 
The battle scenes are rough, showing the barbaric combat style of this era. Life was not one of comfort, and in respites of peace this was not taken for granted but a time to prepare for the next war.
There is a love story element; but it is not the large over-all story.
I'm anxious to read book two, I must know what happens in Sebastian's next stage of life. 
I gave Sebastian's Way 5 stars for excellent, because I was swept away by an Arthurian-type character I'll not forget.

Authors Link
A native of Louisiana, the author followed a long tradition of young men from the Deep South by seeking to improve his prospects in the military. From a green second lieutenant in the famed 101st Airborne Division to battalion command in Vietnam, Colonel Steger spent most of the rest of his military career in four European tours as an intelligence officer and Russian foreign area specialist, working on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. He traded sword for plowshare in a second career in academia and is now Professor Emeritus of history and international affairs at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The motivation to write Sebastian’s Way came from his experiences in both war and peace, from fourteen years in Germany and Eastern Europe, and from his love of teaching medieval and other European history courses.

Steger is an avid hiker and trail biker, and much of the story of Sebastian came out of time spent in the woods and fields of eastern Kansas. In memory of Mary Jo, his wife of many years, he and filmmaker son Ben spent a recent summer trekking across Spain on The Camino de Santiago, one of Europe’s oldest pilgrimage trails. He lives and writes in rural Kansas and has four other grown and gifted children.

Tour Link

Kindle is $3.99

 

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