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Brooke Shaffer

Author, Ski Patroller, and Pasta-Eater Extraordinaire

Library / The Timekeeper Chronicles / Singles / Of Saints and Sinners

Of Saints and Sinners

A condemned man sits in prison, waiting to die.

The public wants to crucify him.

The warden wants to hang him.

The gaoler wants to beat him.

The priest wants to save his soul.

Owain is no saint, and he would even go so far as to say he's too evil to be called something as redeemable as a sinner.  He's killed six men, and that's just what he's in prison for this time.  He's no stranger to rape, assault, theft, or any number of heinous crimes.  He's spent more nights in a jail cell than his own home, and now it will be the last bed he knows.

But before he goes, he's got a conscience that needs clearing.  The priest probably doesn't really care, he figures. Maybe the priest might use him as an example to get unruly children to behave, but he needs to talk.  He's got the rest of his life to tell his story, after all.

FAQ (Contains Spoilers!)

Q: Is Father Forthill based on a real person?
A: Not as such, but there was a lot of influence from Father Josemaria Escriva as depicted in There Be Dragons.

Q: Why is the story written the way it is, going from a retelling to a narrative?
A: It is very possible to tell Owain's story more in a present, linear style, as most novels are, but then the story was in danger of becoming too long and boring and detracting from the main purpose, that is, telling Owain's story and linking it into the Timekeeper Chronicles.  I could have easily made this a trilogy, but having two books as having nothing to do with Time or any of that, while they may have been interesting and historically insightful, would have been a drag on the chronicles as a whole.

Q: Where does Cassius fit in here?  In Time to Kill, it sounds like they have more of a history.  Here, they don't seem to really interact on any sort of intimate or familiar level.
A: His role in OSaS was pretty fleeting as the focus was primarily on Owain.  Cassius' role in this particular TKC historical marker will be more explored in The Hands of Time.

Q: Why is Owain's attempted hanging described in such detail?
A: Quite frankly, because that's reality.  This novel is as much a journey through Owain's thoughts and feelings as a mere story, and if we're looking at his soul and examining his internal turmoil, we have to take it all the way to the end, to the brink of death.

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Safebooks Rating

Language: 1/10

Considerations: Type of language, frequency, and context

 

Violence: 9/10

Considerations: Type of violence, frequency, graphic detail

 

Sexual References: 4/10

Considerations: Type of reference, explicit content, context