This haunting medieval novella, set somewhat ambiguously in the period of the Crusades, tells the story of Julian the Hospitaller, drawn from ancient legend. Revered for his famous devotion to the church, Julian must hide a violent nature that leads him to love the hunt and the kill above all. "Saint Julian follows the inexorable descent of this golden-boy hero from favored son of nobility to the depths of beggardom, and eventual sainthood.
Rich with fascinating historical detail and deft religious metaphor, this story is powerfully gripping and lingers long after the read. Wangerin's juxtaposition of the forces of tremendous privilege and duty with those of obsession and fate make for storytelling at its finest. His language is dark, spare, and vivid -- as sure and sharp as the marksmanship of Julian the obsessed hunter.
Julian's terrible fate is inescapable -- yet it is only when he can sink no further that the fantastical possibility of his transformation breaks through like a thunderbolt to gather up his broken life. Prophetic and lyrical, Saint Julian will transport readers to a distant time filled with meaning for our own.