by Louisa M. Bauman
What is the secret of the hidden meetings, which are held in the woods at night? Anna had hoped to escape the violence of the Reformation when she moved to Amsterdam. But now, in November 1531, Charles V has sent his Spanish officials to this ‘nest of heretics’ in the Netherlands, determined to rid his empire of all those who refuse to attend the state church.
The obstinate shall be executed unless they swear allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor and the Catholic church, and citizens must report any disloyal activity they notice or suffer the same fate. But Anna can hardly betray Maeyken, her only friend in Amsterdam. The last thing Anna will do is listen to the Anabaptists, let alone join the traitorous sect! If Charles V succeeds, the Anabaptists will be annihilated. Especially the leaders of the new faith, such as Adriaen, a new widower. Anna is embarrassed to be falling for Adriaen, not believing he could ever return her love. Besides, as an Anabaptist preacher, he is unlikely to survive the purging of heretics.
In Sword of Peace, struggle with Anna on her journey to find faith, peace, truth and love in this sweeping and romantic historical novel, set during the Reformation in the Netherlands. In those turbulent days, the seeds for the present-day Amish and Mennonites were planted. This story is perfect for fans of historical thrillers and romance alike.
Kimberly Miller on Amazon wrote:
I love historical novels and Louisa M. Bauman's SWORD OF PEACE weaves together a dramatic story of religious revolution together with a descriptive account of life in the Netherlands in the mid 1500's. SWORD OF PEACE offers the harsh elements of an artic life style, sacrifice, romance, friendships, and religious conflict with the tenuous day-by-day fight for religious freedom leading to the Reformation in Europe.
Anna, the heroine of SWORD OF PEACE battles multi-layered internal struggles to overcome personal tragedy, a disabling self-perception and her personal questions about how she should best serve God, protect herself and her adopted family.
SWORD OF PEACE deftly depicted the core questions and underlying religious dissatisfaction felt by the growing number of European citizens willing to risk life, family and livelihood to put God first in their lives. I loved SWORD OF PEACE and I recommend this novel to everyone--it is well written, moves quickly, captures the readers' interest, and challenges readers to address their own internal ethical questions. I also loved Bauman's presentation at the end of the book that separated the historical facts and figures from the fictitious characters. GREAT JOB!!!
Lynn T on Amazon wrote:
Well written and filled with great characters, this book is as entertaining a history lesson as you will ever get. The book is rich with historical details. It’s obvious that the author researched meticulously for this book. The characters are interesting and there is action to be found on almost every page. There’s even a little bit of romance sprinkled throughout the story. As someone deeply interested in history, I know a fair amount about the Reformation era, however I knew very little about the Annabaptists’ part in the Reformation until I read this book.
This book held my attention to the very end, and I sincerely hope the author continues the story in another book!
A talented writer who must have done a great deal of research for this story. There is a lot of history and characters, but it is woven into a fictional account and does not seem like a boring textbook. I thought the story was well written with plenty of suspense and action that is constantly changing. It is a story of love, Christian brotherhood, and salvation through Christ alone. Like the heroine Anna, I too was a Catholic who later left the faith because of many of the same issues brought out by the Reformation. So I particularly understood Anna's struggle with her faith and that of the Anabaptists. Like Anna, as I studied and talked to others, I became an evangelical, having our roots in the same Anabaptist movement. I knew of the persecutions, but had never studied about it. The torture and constant hunting down of these people was very distressing, leaving the book on a whole as rather depressing.
I believe the historical and religious theme will keep many people from reading this book, but that would be a shame. All who call themselves Christians should know about this period of history. This persecution later led to many of early settlers coming to America for the religious freedom offered.
About the Author...
Louisa M Bauman is scribbling away in her peaceful home in Ontario, Canada, where orioles and goldfinches, grosbeaks and red-bellied woodpeckers are a common sight. In early summer, the trees release their hold on the budding leaves, the earth springs to life and tulips flaunt their sassy colors. Heavy winter coats and clumsy winter boots are thankfully packed away, while T-shirts and shorts, sandals and crocs appear. Sheep frolic in the pasture. Horses roll in the carpet of green grass, then rise and shake the winter's dust off their hides. Kicking up their heels in joy, they race around the field.