The Son of Man shall choose/When the time returns for the Poet Prince. He will inspire the hearts and minds of the people/So as to illuminate the path of service/And show them the Way. This is his legacy, This, and to know a very great love.
Worldwide controversy surrounds author Maureen Paschal as she promotes her new best seller - the explosive account of her discovery of a gospel written in Jesus's own hand. But a scandalous headline about her lover, Bérenger Sinclair, shatters Maureen's plans and sends her to Florence. In Tuscany, Maureen and Bérenger seek out their spiritual teacher, Destino, who insists the besieged couple study one of history's great Poet Princes: Lorenzo de' Medici, the godfather of the Italian Renaissance. Bérenger is a Poet Prince of the ancient bloodline prophecy, and even across the centuries, his fate is intertwined with Lorenzo de' Medici's. Bérenger must uncover the heretical secrets of the Medici family---and the shocking truth behind the birth of the Renaissance---if he is to fulfill his own destiny. These heretical secrets were hidden for a reason, and there are those who would stop at nothing to prevent Bérenger's assumption of his rightful role.
The Renaissance comes vividly to life as Maureen decodes the clues contained within the great masterpieces of Lorenzo the Magnificent's friends: Donatello, Botticelli, and Michelangelo. Maureen uncovers truths connected to the legend of Longinus Gaius, the Roman centurion who pierced the crucified Jesus with his spear. Could Longinus Gaius, doomed to live forever, be someone she knows? Could his infamous Spear of Destiny, sought even by Hitler, be the key to Bérenger's fate? As Maureen and Bérenger race to find the answers, someone is after them, hell-bent on settling a 500-year-old blood feud and destroying the heresy once and for all.
©2010 McGowan Media, Inc. (P)2010 Tantor
"An edge-of-the-seat thriller written in sharp, glinting shards of words. Held in, held back, whispered and shouted. Fantastic!" (Tim Wynne-Jones, Edgar Award-winning author of The Uninvited)
"The Poet Prince" is the third book in Kathleen McGowan’s Magdalene Line series. Most church historians will agree that in the early years of Christianity there was a wide variety of understandings with regard to what Christ had taught and exactly who or what he was. In the Magdalene Line series McGowan introduces the reader to one a line of Christianity that goes back to Mary Magdalene. This version of Christianity sees Magdalene as the wife of Jesus, has a Gospel written by Jesus and views the law of love as a fundamental moral principle. The community that follow this line of Christianity lost out as the dominant Christian line in the years following the rise of Constantine and the transformation of Christianity from a persecuted sect to a state religion. In the McGowan novels this community continues to exist as a subtle, underground force throughout history, attempting to shape the world in light of the law of love, rather than the power politics that all too often uses religion as a tool to manipulate people and nations.
The first book in the series established a shell story to root the series in the present and to aid the reader in uncovering the world of the Magdalene Line. Each book also takes the reader back in time to see how different people played a role in the history of this clandestine community and its impact on the world. The first book focused on the tale of Mary Magdalene, as the foundation story for the series. The second book developed the doctrinal content of the series and the characters that populated the shell story in the present. The historical aspect of the book told the story of Matilda of Tuscany, one of the truly great women of the Middle Ages. The third book in the series focuses on Lorenzo de Medici, one of the moving forces of the Renaissance. The shell story is also developed.
While the first two books in the series had their virtues and were engaging enough to get me to come back for the next installment, the third book had me all the way through. The author focused on the story and the characters, with much less of the didactic that filled the earlier works. All of the significant characters in both the shell story and the tale of Lorenzo de Medici were much more multi-dimensional than in the first two books; not just the heroic lovers of each tale, as with the earlier books.
My biggest complaint regarding the first two books was that the villains were cardboard characters, who came across as mere plot devices rather than as real people. In The Poet Prince there was a real improvement with the villains. Each of the villains was sufficiently developed that you could understand why they made the choices they did. It became a cavalcade of the seven deadly sins, as the villains made their choices from greed, lust, envy, shame, pride and even psychosis fueled by toxic and fanatical faith.
My complements to the narrator, Cassandra Campbell; she did an excellent job of making the characters come alive and providing distinct voices for each of them.
I am sure others will review this book and write more eloquently than me. I will state, however, that I consider the book to be well-written, and it touched me deeply in myriad ways. Cassandra Campbell narrated the book in a world-class manner; easy on the ears and very convincing.
If you are familiar with the first two books of the Magdalene Line (The Expected One and The Book of Love), and if you liked them, then you will, in my opinion, consider this offering even a notch higher in quality and storytelling. I believe that through what was probably a huge amount of research on the part of the author, we have to stop and, at least, consider her beliefs and the arguments she presents to defend them. Even the author's notes at the end were enjoyable.
There might be others who will review this book and give it low marks. Perhaps one should consider their motives. It is easy to be cynical of love. Only the brave push through the sorrow to attain it. And, as far as Kathleen McGowan's skill as a writer is concerned, she is very skilled. Everyone who reviews on this book is entitled to their opinion, but I know a great writer when I read one.
Now for my soap box: as with many of the more recent audio books, I am disappointed that there is less and less ... or none ... incidental music. I believe we are being short-changed by the publishers. Music is every bit important in an audio book as it is in a movie. It actually rests the ear. But, though this audio book does not have any incidental music, do not let that keep you from making the purchase.
I anxiously await the fourth book.
I had read the other books in this series and absolutely loved them. This was my first audible book and I was thrilled to hear the book. This genre, as with Dan Brown, is my favorite genre. McGowan does not disappoint. It was great and I hate that there isn't another after this one.
The characters were well developed and interacted well together. This being the last in the Magdalene series I had grown fond of each of the characters. However, Maureen is the like your friend next that could go shopping with and yet she has this extraordinary role to play. You want to be her friend.
Exceptional. She did a wonderful job making this audiobook easy and enjoyable to listen to.
I enjoyed the story overall, but it dragged on in places as I found myself easily distracted at times. It became a bit too preachy for me...especially after having already read the previous 2 books in this series. The "eyes to see and ears to hear" statement was ultimately repeated far too often...as if the reader is either quite dense or forgetful! I am happy to have read the books and am interested in the subject matter, though it perhaps could have been accomplished in a less lengthy format. The narrator was fine, however personally I preferred the narrator for the first 2 books. If the subject matter interests you, I do recommend the series.
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