Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great Writing About A Great King

No offense intended to Benjamin Merkle that it took me a couple of months to get through this book. He's an excellent author. I expected a historical fiction novel, but this book is a NON-fiction narrative.

I applaud Mr. Merkle for his captivating authorship. An example from Chapter 3 illustrates the retreat of the Vikings when Alfred’s brother finally arrived at a fierce battle:

“All that was left was a view of the backside of a panic-stricken mob fleeing for its life. It took several moments for Alfred and his men to recover from their amazement and to realize what had happened. Suddenly, it became clear.

King Æthelred had finished his prayers.”

James Scott Bell (my mentor) would consider that last sentence a gem.

I wish my history books back in school had been written with such colorful word pictures and intense emotion. I'm sure my grades in that discipline would've improved. I loved history, but the texts were as dry as sawdust. Mr. Merkle made me care about King Alfred. I was saddened at Æthelred's untimely death, but encouraged by Alfred's unwavering tenacity against the marauding Danes.

I feel like I truly know this great king, although I had never heard of Alfred the Great before selecting this book. The White Horse King, Alfred, was a fierce warrior, a faithful Christian who sought wisdom, and a deeply committed leader who loved mercy and gave himself for his people, dying at the age of fifty.

The first of my friends to get a copy of this wonderful book is May Barnett, our resident Liverpudlian who said, “King Alfred sat by the fire...” when I told her I was reading about the White Horse King.

I highly recommend “The White Horse King – The Life of Alfred the Great” by Benjamin Merkle.

Great writing about a great leader!

Disclosure of Material Connection. I received this free book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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