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The Princess Adelina

by Julie Sutter
185 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Nienna

Excellent, godly book with some non-descriptive violence and idol worship.

Plot

Adelina is a humble Christian maiden living in Germany with Irish missionaries in the year 700 A.D. A young ruler, worshiper of the god Woden, demands her hand in marriage and offers to allow the Christians to worship in peace if she weds him. Choosing to be unequally yoked rather than condemn her fellow believers to death, the 17-year-old girl enters the castle as Herzogin. Struggling with a jealous husband and his cruel and hateful mother, Adelina continues to serve God with a pure heart, desiring only His will in her life.

Morality

Very, very high. Some characters are wicked, and one good character behaves very badly, but all of that is shown as sin, and almost all of them fully repent.

Spiritual Content

Adelina and many of the others are strong Christians, and they read the Bible and pray. Other people worship Woden and other gods which are shown to be idols and nonexistent. The Devil is discussed correctly. At one point, as mentioned in the Plot summary, Adelina marries an unbeliever after facing a difficult choice.

Violence

It is stated that the previous Herzog (duke) had sacrificed some abbots to Woden. Many people die in battle, including a main character. A man is almost crushed by a tree and later has to have his arm amputated. A servant girl is beaten and almost sacrificed to Woden. A main character is threatened with having to pass the fire test, which is walking over live coals. None of it is at all descriptive, and most of it is merely stated.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine is drunk and it is stated once that a minor character is intoxicated.

Sexual Content

Adelina is very beautiful and this is frequently mentioned when Hedan meets and falls in love with her. As soon as they are engaged he hugs her and kisses her hand. The heathen songs sung at their wedding made Adelina blush and wish she could block her ears. A man tries to convince her to abandon her husband and marry him. She is accused of being in love with someone other than Hedan.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Hell is mentioned correctly. Some men swear by Woden.

Conclusion

A true story, The Princess Adelina is a surprisingly engaging tale "of beauty and bravery." Though the first chapter is somewhat slow, it gives interesting historical information about the missionaries of that age, and the story picks up quickly from there. Adelina is a wonderful example of a pure woman devoted to God, and the faith of the Christians who willingly die for their faith is inspiring. Though named after her, the book is as much about Hedan as about Adelina and has adventures enough to suit readers of both genders. I approached this story sceptically, but found myself greatly edified, and I actually laughed aloud for joy when reading the last chapter. I would exercise caution in giving the book to younger children, though, because of the worship of false gods and what that involves.


Editor's Note: We ask that readers keep in mind the biblical passages that forbid the marriage of believers with unbelievers. While Adelina was gracious to her people, keep in mind that these actions, in light of God's word, are not biblical.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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