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by Gregory Bellarmine
Italy. A tough master of novices, Father Dante encounters the bold young priest Antonio who challenges his identity and accuses him of being the Saint Nicholas. But despite the Father faking his death, a determined Antonio discovers a rather alive Dante arrayed in kilt and armor.
In return for Antonio’s silence—and to protect the town from attracting all manner of darkness—Dante agrees to tell his life story. Without explanation, Dante orders Antonio to meet him at night in the abandoned Cathedral, the site of a former battle that the Church has kept secret for a generation.
The Criskindl. Ice Steeds. The Unborn. Saint.
From the Dark Ages’ when Poet-Sorcerers ruled kings, to the Holy Land when a new civilization was rising, to Revolutionary France where love is lost and gained, Father Dante pursues the one responsible for both his master and his mother’s deaths: Black Peter, his brother.
"As you see, I'm not overweight, and of being jolly I've never been accused. Moreover, I find the pagan ritual of indulging children's greed quite loathsome. Rewarding a year's worth of insolence merely encourages more childish behavior and prevents the child from becoming the man. Secular excess goes against everything I believe about how to upbraid the sinner. In fact, I can't name a single child who should get anything other than the strap for Christmas."
He sat back in the creaky chair, then wove his fingers together and hooked his thumbs into his silver buckle. The white of Father Dante's priestly collar contrasted the Cathedral's late-night shadows. Diamond eyes—blue crystal pools that appeared half-blind but which studied all—snared the candelabra's golden light with a glint. Red among gray streaked the trimmed whiskers at his chin, and cardinal flecks peppered his mane.
November gusts rattled the stained-glass windows and shuddered the main doors where we sat in the foyer. I glanced right to the rows of freshly varnished pews, then above to the painting of Sebastian's Martyrdom on the dome, and hoped the Abbot slept soundly. On the curved roof was a gothic spire, and that was where the young Abbot took his brief hours of rest. He claimed he felt closer to God there.
Dante shifted his broad shoulders. "Were a man like that to exist, do you really believe he'd be sitting across from you now? They're myths. We made them up to teach women to pray at least as much as they gossip. Really, Antonio, you surprise me."
Gregory Bellarmine is the author of the bestselling Monthly Roman Breviary. He lives a happy though sometimes sleepless life in the UK with his wife, two children and rather cheeky Parson Russell Terrier.
Gregory’s blog is http://www.fatherdante.com
Book Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF_LaW215X4
Amazon USA: http://amzn.com/1907436472
“The Blood That Cries in the Ground will grab the reader by the throat with a death grip from which it is impossible to break free.” -Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
Link to the full review: http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/13394
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