Publisher and Publication Date: Langdon House. June 3, 2017.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Source: Complimentary paperback copy from Langdon House. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: 1 star. Did not like.
I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
The first two books are The Keys of the Watchmen and The Sword of the Maiden.
Kathleen C. Perrin website
About the author:
Kathleen C. Perrin
holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Humanities
from Brigham Young University
and is a certified French translator.
Besides being the author of The Watchmen Saga,
she has published several non-fiction articles, academic papers,
and a religious history about Tahiti.
Kathleen has lived in Utah, New York City, France, and French Polynesia.
She and her French husband have spent years
investigating the mysteries and beauties of his native country
—where they have a cottage—and have taken tourist groups to France.
The Perrins have three children and currently reside in Utah.
to see photographs related to book.
After unwillingly leaving a comatose Nicolas behind on Mont Saint Michel in 1429, Katelyn Michaels is distraught to be back in the United States in modern times. When a series of remarkable events facilitates her taking up residence on the Mount and reveals why Katelyn was called as a Watchman, her fondest hope is to be reunited with Nicolas, regardless of the circumstances. However, when Nicolas unexpectedly arrives with a new mission for her, Katelyn is devastated to learn that his head injury has deprived him of any memories of their relationship. Nonetheless, she is determined to once again save the Mount—this time in sixteenth-century France amidst violent religious turmoil—and rekindle Nicolas’s feelings for her. The couple’s love and loyalty is tested as she and Nicolas attempt to unmask the true source of the threat¬—their adversary Abdon—sort out their conflicting emotions, and deal with the consequences of an astounding age-old secret.
The Secret of the Abbey is explained as historical fiction, historical romance, French Wars of religion, time travel, and Huguenot and Reformation history-fiction. I am adding fantasy fiction to the list. The use of magic keys that give people the ability to travel in time. And, the fictionalized account of angels, an explanation of the story of the fall of man in the garden, and why Satan wants to inhabit mortal bodies. I consider all these points fantasy and fiction.
I have been writing book reviews ten years. This is the first book I’ve read where a mainstream historical fiction book has expounded heavily religious doctrines. This element is expressed in the last 1/2 of the book. The book is heavy with Mormon teaching. On the other hand, The Secret of the Abbey is heavy with the French history of Catholicism. During one of the time periods of this novel, the French Huguenots believed in the Protestant Reformation teachings, but there were those opposed to this belief and held strong to Catholicism. The Watchmen of the novel hold strong to Catholicism, plus the Mormon beliefs, which are entered in the last 1/4 of the novel.
The Secret of the Abbey
gives a strong history lesson in the Hundred Year’s Wars
, the wars between the English and French in the 14th-15th centuries, and Joan of Arc’s
contribution. The first book in this three book series introduced Joan of Arc. The Secret of the Abbey
‘s focus is to tie-up the series, by giving the reasons for the Watchmen and what secret they guard.
The Secret of the Abbey is a heavy book laden with history and religion. It’s a huge undertaking for a novel. I enjoyed reading the history parts of the book but did not care for the Mormon elements. At no point is the word Mormon or Latter Day Saint used. However, it is easy to google these teachings and read they are of this religion. I believe it would have been appropriate to state where these teachings came from, because they are not a creation of the author.
A few of the historical people mentioned are Catherine de’Medici, Charles IX, Francois III, Francois d’Andelot, House of Valois, and the House of Bourbon.
Katelyn Michaels is the main character. She is a teenager living in our modern era. She is still in high school during most of the three books in the series. I’ve had an opportunity to watch her personality and character develop. She is an amiable person. I was shown her strengths and weaknesses and this makes her a relatable character.
The Secret of the Abbey is a clean novel. There is a romantic element to the story. However, the book is clean of intimate demonstrations of love.
In the opening chapter, a catch-up is given for readers who’ve not read the previous two books. I feel this information is helpful.
The dynamics of Katelyn’s family and their blended nature is brought out in the story. Blended families is something most readers, including me, can relate to.
Katelyn is a character easy to identify with, her humanity is shown, but her ability to work through and persevere under the gift is amazing. She is a worthy heroine.
Over-all The Secret of the Abbey is an interesting story.
Some readers may read The Secret of the Abbey and not take issue (take seriously) with the religious teachings, it is just fiction after-all. For them, the book is for entertainment purposes and is not to be taken seriously. But, because I am a Christian and because I have an opportunity to review this book (I had no idea about the books teachings prior to reading) I must state I did not like it. The additional teachings I’ve spoken of is the turning point in why I gave this book 1 star for do not like.
An example of one of the teachings:
Our physical bodies are a great blessing to us. To obtain them is one of the reasons we came to earth, Katelyn, to become more like God, or as the Apostle Paul put it, ‘to be heirs of God.’ and to have a body like His. To become His heirs entails a test of our willingness to follow His plan and to stay true to His teachings. This meant we would have a veil of forgetfulness about our pre-mortal life come upon us, so that our mortal life could be a true period of testing.” Page 477.
Kathleen C. Perrin states in the “Author’s Notes” section on page 551.
It is a reminder to us today that we must learn to respect each other’s beliefs and each individual’s right to worship as he or she sees fit. Only through mutual acceptance and respect can we avoid repeating the pitfalls of the past. Unfortunately, events in our current environment show that this idealistic hope will probably never be achieved.
I agree with being respectful. I do not agree with false teachings of the Bible.
I’m not going to argue. I am not going to coerce with pretty words. I will close this review with one of my favorite portions from God’s Word.
John 1:1-5. CSB. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. Verse 14. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.