by Douglas Bond
PO Box 817
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865-0817
©2006 234pp Soft Cover
There are times when an author can seem disconnected from a subject. When the book looks odd or contains information that directly contradicts things the reader knows to be true. It is highly unlikely the Douglas Bond is one of these authors. Bond begins his book Hostage Lands in a Latin class. The students are translating the Aeneid. The first few paragraphs of the book will give anyone who spent time in Latin class chills as they are catapulted back into their past. That alone was enough to make me trust this author. Nothing else that happened after that could really bother me. I guess I am trying to say that this book had a good opening.
Hostage Lands is about a bored young student in Latin class named Neil Perkins. Neil discovers an ancient manuscript and translates it. The story the manuscript tells is about the Romans in Britain during a chaotic period of history. This type of story telling has a name but I cannot remember what it is. All that matters is that this is a story within a story. The boy’s discovery of the tale of Rusticus, a Centurion who is attacked by his own people and finds hope in a Christian Celt is meant to reflect the feeling of discovery that many non-believers feel when they read and understand the Bible for the first time. That the story involves Celts fighting Romans is also good.