A Review of The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest
The latter half of the 15th century was a time of political consolidation under the rule of young Maximilian. Even isolated barons found themselves threatened with attack unless they willingly submitted to his much-stronger rule.
The turmoil and trials, as well as the glory of this era, are seen through the eyes of Christina. Christina has been abandoned by her wayward father and left in the tender care of his brother and sister-in-law in Ulm . There she enjoys a life of peace and prosperity. This tranquility is shattered when Christina’s father returns to take her to care for the baron’s ailing daughter. She is hastened away to an isolated castle known as the Eagle’s Nest high in the mountains some distance from Ulm .
The reader will quickly realize that Christina is the dove as she faces sickness of body in her patient, and, more fearfully, the sickness of soul that has no human remedy.
Through much sadness and a providential turn of events, God uses His loom of loving sovereignty to weave a situation in which young Christina becomes the lady of the castle and the mother of twins.
Here a concurrent, and much more important, story is woven into the continuing indecision of the twins’ submission to Maxmilian’s rule. The sons must decide whether they are going to be covenant keepers or covenant breakers. Their wayward hearts must acknowledge the saving rule of King Jesus. They must realize that they cannot have true rest until they rest in Christ.
Their spiritual decision will greatly impact their impending political decision. In a culture that has passed vengeance from generation to generation, these twins have to decide if they are brave enough to pursue peace sacrificially.
Their desire for peace leads to bloodshed and death but also provides comfort from the One whose shed blood defeated death. As the young barons realize this, they increasingly see the importance of godly decisions even in seemingly hopeless situations.
The author has penned a story that shows the importance of a personal submission to the sovereign God. Her casting this struggle in the historic context of the struggle for political consolidation provides an excellent way for readers to learn how to integrate their faith into daily events.
Yonge does an excellent job of character development as Christina and her sons draw constantly from their spiritual strength to successfully confront the animosity from family and foe. Yonge accurately develops the Catholic thinking among the laity just prior to Luther’s shattering the spiritual world with his hammer. In fact, Yonge weaves into the latter pages of this story the struggle that so many faced regarding whether or not to side with young Luther.
Throughout the book good and evil are clearly demarcated. The heroes reveal their humanity in their foolishness and stubbornness. The world in which they live is seen to be God’s as truth is maintained amid hardship. There are clear consequences for unwise decisions and actions.
This is a volume for young and old. The stress on the existence of objective truth and the slow, steady sanctifying work of God in the lives of His people are timeless themes. Yonge develops these themes in a writing style that keeps one anxiously reading to see what will happen next.
Topics: World History