Sins of the Father

Author: RJ Palmer
Pages: 477
Language: English
Publication date: 01/05/2012
1.52 €
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A minister losing touch with his faith… A severely autistic child with no past
Bowen is an orphaned child in feudal England whose first appearance in this novel is having been bound hands and feet and whipped mercilessly by the monks in a monastery in an excess of bloodlust. He’s realistically of an indeterminate age but no more than about seven years old and the monks are very sadistic. He’s punished repeatedly for any number of minor and inconsequential infractions.

Bowen’s father and mother and sister are dead. His sister was the victim of a brutal rape in which she became pregnant and died shortly after giving birth though she had been returned to her parents’ home in a beaten and catatonic state. His father drowned and his mother burned to death in the family home.

Aaron is a minister in present day Midwest America who takes a short sabbatical after he has a fainting episode while experiencing the marks of the stigmata immediately preceding a sermon that he’s supposed to deliver about Faith Unending, a concept with which he’s struggling himself.

Aaron is continuously having episodes of a fugue like state or altered consciousness in which he’s catapulted back in time. He sees Bowen whipped by the monks and is compelled to take the whipping on himself which in turn leads Bowen to have to leave the monastery where the sadistic monks are calling for his death, citing devil possession.

Lucian is a severely autistic child in the present day who’s found homeless and taken to a mental health center after a fire in an abandoned building in which he’s sleeping. He’s horribly scarred and disfigured and bears a striking resemblance to Bowen and Aaron. He takes a liking of a sort to Aaron, who has eyes of the same amethyst color as his. He also bears a mark on his chest which looks like a brand and is the mark of the Celtic war god Rudianos.

Lucian has a horrible aversion to religious symbols, only speaks Welsh and then only in riddles and in a cold, hateful voice not like a child, “The guardian lives. The gate has been opened. The sins of the father borne upon the son. Vengeance thirsts for blood. The sacrifice must be made.” He also tends to say, “Bless the child, save the child.” All this starts to make sense, along with the rash of fires that follows Lucian wherever he goes when Aaron finds out that Bowen and Lucian are the same person.

Lucian/Bowen’s father awoke an ancient evil whose service he had the strong desire to use for revenge but he didn’t understand that said evil thirsts for living blood and the dead blood of the sister, whom he dug up and tried to offer as payment on a burning pyre, was simply unacceptable. Since he performed a Druid rite under the light of the full moon, each lunar cycle brings with it a fresh hell for Lucian.

Lucian/Bowen is the Guardian of that ancient evil and a perpetual child who has been severely tortured, violated and abused. He’s centuries old though physically still very young and has been left repeatedly to the whims and care of both good families in the past as well as people with sick and obscene appetites, so it was easier to retreat into his own mind where the suffering wasn’t so bad.

Aaron realizes that his compulsion to help Lucian comes from the fact that he’s a direct descendant of Lucian’s nephew, the child of the rape. This is why they bear a stunning resemblance to one another, including the black hair and amethyst eyes. Aaron also realizes that this is why he’s the only one who can help Lucian and he offers his own life to take Lucian’s place as the church they’re in burns to the ground.

When Aaron’s body is found the next morning, Lucian is curled next to him but he’s talking and able to meet peoples’ eyes. He’s judged fairly healthy all things considered and a most unlikely guardian steps forward in the form of a member of Aaron’s congregation, Philip Moran. It’s under the cooperative care of Philip and his sister that Lucian begins to obtain an education and grow up though he always remembers the sacrifice that Aaron made to
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Hi there. I'm R.J. Palmer and I'm told that I should write a little something about myself at which point I should probably tell you that if you slog through this I give you kudos, you've done very well. You see, there is nothing the least bit interesting about me and in truth sometimes I believe that I live vicariously through characters of my own creation in which case I should probably seek professional help straightaway. I could bore you with dry facts recited by rote but that would be contra-indicative of my personality type which demands that I at least make this somewhat interesting regardless of the enormity of the task involved. Easier said than done I can assure you. I started writing Birthright because I was bored half insane and I've always had an overactive imagination that will go off on the most silly little tangents about anything at all really so it seemed only natural that when I found myself so completely and helplessly at loose ends one winter day that I began to write. Before then I had felt for many a year that I had what I could only describe as a completely useless talent for words though when I opened myself up to the story for the first time it spawned in me an enduring love affair with the written word which has profoundly changed my life. I can now spot a typo from across the room and I fairly consistently offer to rewrite anything that doesn't have the exact wording that I believe it should and I probably drive my husband completely batty but what can I say, it's compulsive. But I digress. I had wondered at the possibility for years that something man made and frequently used could alter our very existence. I wondered if it could theoretically happen and what the circumstances surrounding an oversight of this magnitude would have to be and I became so enamored of the idea that I eventually began to become more obsessive than anything. When it came to the point that I could no longer put up with myself I finally set about writing a story that embodied the more dramatic aspects of my creative imagination gone hopelessly awry the result of which was Birthright. I've been sitting on Birthright for about eight years and have just discovered the courage thanks to the undying support and strength of the love of my life to actually post my writing though now I leave it to you, the reader, to judge the worth of my work.

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