Against a Darkening Sky

by Lauren B. Davis

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A new novel from one of Canada’s most acclaimed and celebrated writers, Against a Darkening Sky is set in 7th century Northumbria and is the story of Wilona, a seeress and healer whose life and way of being in the world are threatened by the coming of Christianity; and Egan, a young monk from Eire whose visions may have brought him to Christ, but whose experience of the sacred puts him at odds with the Roman church. Full of magic and mystery, Davis’s new work explores what happens when one’s experience and beliefs clash with those of the people in power.

ISBN: 9781771483186
eISBN: 9781771483193


“As with The Empty Room, which grabs hold of you on the first page, Against A Darkening Sky pulls you in from start to finish.”
—Shelagh Rogers, CBC’s The Next Chapter

“. . . richly layered.. Not just a compelling story, but a treatise on the idea of fighting back when one’s beliefs are challenged. The way one’s ideals survive in an ever-changing world, as imperative now as it was thousands of years ago, is at the crux of this expertly rendered parable. Davis’ prose keeps the tale flowing towards provocative revelations about love, religion and the human instinct to survive.”
The Globe & Mail

“Brilliantly achieves the ideal for a historical novel: period and milieu seem utterly inextricable from character and theme, and together they illuminate timeless and universal truths of the human condition. Seventh-century England is fascinating. Wilona is achingly real. Her quest for an identity and a place in the world are richly resonant. Davis is a remarkable writer.”
—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“While it is certainly more historical than speculative, there is something of the fantastic in Lauren B. Davis’ latest novel. . . . Though it wrestles with big question surrounding how we construct a view of reality, it’s the human connection and the deep intimacy there that gives this novel its magic. ”
This Magazine

“Set against an otherworldly, intimate backdrop, Davis’s tale vividly brings to life a near-mythic period of British history while speaking to universal human experience.”
Publishers Weekly

“Seventh-century England comes to life in author’s skilled hands. Told in the clear, uncluttered prose that characterizes Davis’s work; the present-tense narrative and straight-ahead pace take the reader into 7th-century England. Never a false note is struck. . . .  Lauren B. Davis is too good a novelist to make her story simply a vehicle for a ‘message.’ This tale of medieval life and the struggles of a steadfast pagan woman and a fearful monk is captivating and entertaining. In fact, even Margawn’s dog, Bana, and Wilona’s pig, Elba, are memorable.”
—David Williamson, Winnipeg Free Press

“A beautifully written novel that brings the world of the past alive with stunning imagery that wraps around the mind of the reader and shuts out the lights and noise of the modern world. . . . Anyone would be hard-pressed to find another novel able to bring the story to life in such striking detail.”
Minneapolis Books Examiner

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