Patrick by Stephen Lawhead
Set in an era of brutal conflict and turmoil, this epic adventure is the first novel to tell the full story of the slave who became a saint, of the man who rose to the challenge of his time and changed the course of history.
In the summer of 405AD, Irish raiders attack the western coast of Wales, carving a fiery swathe through the peaceful countryside. Among the survivors who are rounded up and taken back to Ireland is Succat: an impulsive sixteen-year-old son of a powerful Roman family.
Succat is sold as a slave and put to work tending sheep. Repeated escape attempts lead to ever more brutal and savage beatings, until he comes to the attention of Cormac, a young novice druid. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and, as Succat learns the ways of the Irish people, he is given a new name by the druid: Patrick.
With a new name begins Patrick's new life: he is married, and returns to his home to claim his inheritance, only to find his father's estate in ruins. So begins a calamitous journey that will lead him to Tours, see him join the Roman Legion as a soldier, suffer the the horrors of a plague-filled Rome; and thence back to Ireland, where he will embark on a mission for which his name will be remembered throughout history.
In the spirit of Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian cycle, Patrick is a gritty and unsentimental portrait of one of the Western world's great icons, featuring an accurate and compelling rendering of the historical period - an era full of brutal conflict, adventure, turmoil, and visionary inspiration.