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The Ruby Ring Review by Erica BeyeaKaren Rees
Cross Link Publishing
558 E Castle Pines Pkwy.
Suite B 4117
Castle Rock, CO 80108-4608
Set in England during the Protestant Reformation, The Ruby Ring is a historical novel that examines the cultural conditions surrounding William Tyndale’s translation of the Bible in English for the common man. Readers follow the main character, a young English lady named Jane Horne, as she matures and develops her own personal beliefs. Along the way, she discovers an abundance of romance and adventure as her paths cross with English nobles, merchants, and her one true love, Owen Alton.
Owen Alton abandons his theological studies and renounces the comfortable life of a wealthy merchant man to live a dangerous, secret life of Bible translator and smuggler, vowing to help bring an English translation of the Bible into the hands of all Englishmen. His close alliance with the “outlaw” William Tyndale makes him vulnerable to the attacks of the rigid clergymen of the state ordained church under King Henry VIII. Though Jane’s love for Owen is decried by her relatives, her blossoming love of the truth of the Scriptures causes her to follow Owen and join the Lollards in their quest for an English Bible.
This 423-page novel abounds with adventure, romance, English aristocracy, and historical accuracy. The background and characters are extensively developed to give an authentic feel to the tale. It is a well-researched, compelling book to read.
When I opened my copy, there was a personal note from the author handwritten on the first page. It read, “May you always value the Bible and the truth it proclaims.” As I read the book, it was obvious that this is the author’s passion and purpose for which this story is written. I was moved to tears over those who sacrificed their lives because of their love and loyalty to the Scriptures. I was inspired by those who gave everything to ensure that others could have access to the truths of the Bible. This novel has a purpose far greater than mere recreational reading. It truly does give the reader a greater appreciation for the abundance of Bibles in our world, and the many who gave their lives so those Bibles would be readily available to any who desire their own copy.
Both myself and my high-school-age daughter read this book, and we both experienced the same feeling—once started, we could not put it down. The compelling story is emotionally stirring and challenging. Readers who enjoy British literature would enjoy this story, but even those who don’t can greatly appreciate the characters when they are so thoroughly illuminated. Readers who are somewhat familiar with some of the bigger names in Reformation history will be intrigued by how they are woven into this story. Once engrossed in this book, you nearly forget that it is a fictional encounter, as the lives and conversations are so vivid and palpable. Mature themes such as illegitimate births, martyrdom, and murder are discussed in an appropriate manner as they relate to the story.
I highly recommend this book to high school students and adults who would like to enhance their study of church history, specifically the Reformation era. We used this book as an introduction to a study on the origin of Scriptures, and it has successfully whet the appetite of my high schooler to learn more of the journey our Bible made from ancient times to the English copy we hold in our possession today.
The Ruby Ring is currently available on Amazon in a paperback version for $19.97 or in a Kindle version for $2.99.
-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017