Treachery and Truth

Written by Katy Huth Jones
Review by Arleigh Johnson

In 10th-century Bohemia, Duchess Dragomíra of the Přemysl dynasty has taken over as regent and begins persecuting followers of the Christian religion spreading from the surrounding Germanic areas. Her son, Duke Václav (Wenceslaus), is on the cusp of manhood, and waiting for the day he can introduce the people to the faith of his revered grandmother.

The story is told through the perspective of Poidevin, a young boy purchased as a slave to personally serve the Duchess. In the early days he focused solely on keeping himself safe from the bloodthirsty whims of the pagan followers, but he soon finds interest and solace in the Christian religion that Václav openly recognizes. As tension rises within the Duchy and with its neighbors, Poidevin must choose where his loyalties lie.

It should be noted for potential readers that the category for this book is Christian Fiction, as it is written with a clear agenda. The religious aspect features Christianity as an absolute good, choosing to display all the positive characteristics of the religion, and Paganism as its evil nemesis, with only mentions in a negative light. Readers looking for a balanced view may be disappointed with the tone of this story. Even so, its uncommon setting and era piques the interest of those looking for an unusual historical novel, which has a fast-paced storyline with a likable protagonist.