An Eye for an Eye

Written by Gordon Anthony
Review by Christopher T. Moss

Bili, at age fourteen, sees his entire family and his Pictish village wiped out by Northumbrian Angles bent on the conquest of territory and the enforcement of tribute.  Only saved from rushing headlong to his own death by the monk Bledoyn, he vows vengeance and sets out on a path to find his mother and sister and take revenge on the brutal men who raped and enslaved them. In An Eye for an Eye, the reader is treated to an epic tale of a young man who finds love, betrayal, death, and loss amidst the struggle.

The late seventh century is fortunate to have Gordon Anthony’s fine interpretation, as is the youth Bili who listens to the conflicting message from both churches that while God is a God of Peace, He also calls for “an eye for an eye,” where “vengeance is mine” and apparently Bili’s too.  There is no conflict in his heart.  He knows rescue is his first priority, and that his homeland needs whatever protection he can give.  He’s a clever, talented actor and infiltrator, so in a society where brawn and swordsmanship are the only things prized, it takes Billi’s skills to effect the revenge not only on the brutal but on all those who wish to conquer.  This story is well thought out, never a dull moment, full of near cliffhangers, exceptional historical characterizations, and a satisfying exploration of the human heart and psyche.