Cover image for Storm
Grant, Reg, 1954-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Colorado Springs, Colo. : WaterBrook Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xii, 402 pages : map ; 21 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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An historical novel focuses on the life and times of Martin Luther chronicles his battles with Charles V, his romance with a former nun, and his role in launching the Reformation. Original.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Grant's talky but entertaining Storm re-creates the life and times of Protestantism's great hero, Martin Luther, celebrating his achievements without ignoring his faults, such as anti-Semitism. Grant begins dramatically: in a great storm, young Martin nearly perishes and swears to St. Anne that he'll become a monk. Luther's mission, to cast off the bonds of corrupt Catholicism (Pope Julius II sells "indulgences," or early releases from Purgatory, to finance St. Peter's Basilica) is made clear, and Luther himself emerges interestingly as outgoing, irritable, and profane (though Grant can only suggest the profanity). Luther's romance with reformed nun Katherine Van Bora is not idealized.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shoddy history and a predictable plot mar this novel about the father of Protestantism, Martin Luther. Part Protestant screed, part love story, this tale introduces readers to Martin and his love interest, escaped nun "Kate" von Bora, and to Luther's friend Jonathan, and Jonathan's love interest, Elizabeth. Grant's history is way oversimplified: to judge from this novel, the entire Reformation came about because Luther was consumed by hatred of indulgences. Add to that Grant's portrait of an utterly corrupt ecclesiastical hierarchy--this novel's caricatures of the church are little better than the anti-Catholic pap of the 19th-century--and the result is a skewed picture of the Reformation. Grant's dialogue is inconsistent; he can't seem to decide whether he wants his characters to speak in archaisms or anachronisms ("he didn't give a fig for the basilica"). The one interesting plot twist is Jonathan and Elizabeth's romance. As youths, they fall in love, but Elizabeth's father has promised her to another. Readers will clearly see, chapters ahead of time, that the two will eventually be reunited. But Grant adds a layer of complexity: Elizabeth is a Jew, and even the most radical Protestant reformers had misgivings about mixing with God's chosen people. Readers who are interested in historical fiction about the Luthers should turn instead to Children of Disobedience: The Love Story of Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora, which, despite a disappointing ending, offers a fresh--and meticulously researched--take on the reformer and his world. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.



Chapter One A road four miles north of Erfurt, Germany A puff of wind kicked up the dust in the road. A killdeer cut across the late afternoon sky, an erratic check mark against blue-black clouds rolling in from the north. Lightning flashed briefly on the darkening horizon. A few seconds later thunder rumbled far across the summer fields.     Absently, Martin regarded his surroundings. He walked slowly, talking to himself, his eyes fixed now on the wagon rut in front of him, now on the windblown grass, now on the sky. His mood was as gray, his thoughts as confused, as the tumbling clouds. At least he didn't have to think about the road he was traveling. It was familiar, deeply grooved. Easy to follow. He had been praying for God to show him such a path for his life for months. He was twenty-one going on fifty, worried that his future was becoming his past without a present.     His parents were no help at all. Both of them, his father especially, insisted he finish his law degree in Erfurt. He could still hear his father's booming voice ringing off the rafters. "There's your path, Martin. There's your way," he had shouted. "God is guiding you, boy. But you're too dull to see it."     Martin's conscience gnawed at him. How many nights had his father, Hans, come home from the copper mines, dirty and tired and swearing he wouldn't spend his old age managing some shaft, scraping a living out of the mines he owned and operated. A good son, a dutiful son, would save him from that. A lawyer could make enough to hire servants for his parents so his mother wouldn't have to haul wood for the fire. But Martin's studies had opened the Bible to him, and he was feeling the tug of something unfamiliar.     The reedy grass rippled in waves across the flat countryside. Most of the color had drained from the summer fields. It was as if a child had casually dipped a brush in dirty water and smeared the canvas, blurring the colors, leaving a confusion of lines, a lack of definition, an unimaginative sameness in its wake.     Then, suddenly, nothing. No wind. No sound. Martin stood still. Everything around him sharpened into hard-edged focus. The nearby trees, the unmoving grass, the gray clouds frozen on a cobalt blue background. He felt the hair rising on the back of his neck. He was aware of an odd metallic smell, a tingling in the air--then a violent burst of light and a crackling, sizzling sound and the boom of thunder. God's fire unleashed. He stood, staring, his eyes fixed above the road, gazing through what appeared to be a rip in an invisible curtain suspended between heaven and earth.     Through the gash in the celestial fabric he saw--sensed--a pulsing, divine presence, cloaked in glorious, multicolored light. All his senses ignited instantly, surged to full capacity and fused into a single responsive chord. Martin heard the colors, tasted the light, experienced a throbbing singularity that made him feel as if he were being consumed and filled all at the same time.     A movement caught his eye, and he dodged instinctively to his right, pulling away from the light. The rift began to close. Then more movement near the line of trees to his left--there, shadows hunching, lurching. His mind struggled to comprehend, to make sense of the darkling forms, bestial now, assuming greater definition each second ... the clouds rolled. Clouds--yes, only the clouds casting shadows on the ground.     But there were too many--and too small for clouds and moving so fast, all toward him, so fast. Then he saw, in each shade, flashes of light, always in pairs as if they were eyes, glittering like silver-white points of fire wrapped in shadow. Demons. "Dark angels," his mother had called them. He recognized them from his nightmares, black obscenities loosed from the pit, skittering across the flat field toward him, hungry for his soul. He turned, stumbled.     Another lightning flash blinded him. He smelled burning hair. He fell. Blackness engulfed him.     He opened his eyes slowly. Something snuffled at his ear, then pulled away. He was off the road, lying in the ditch. He'd been there ... how long? He felt something warm trickling down his cheek. He stared at his right hand. Blue fire arced off his fingertips. He closed his eyes. No pain. He drifted.     Rain, thunder, more lightning.     A dream lake boiled in front of him, boiled from the center outward. He woke, rolled over, and pushed himself out of the puddle that had formed beneath him. He crawled onto the rain-soaked earth and collapsed, rolling faceup to heaven. Cold shafts of stinging rain pierced him. He covered his face with his hands.     Flash!     Martin curled into a ball and felt the hot earth beneath him. He opened his eyes. A few feet in front of him, water in the ditch sizzled on an outcropping of rock. The thing snuffled his ear again. It was crawling over him. He tried to roll away, tried to push the shadow creature off, but he couldn't move. Something tugged at him, pulling him away. Voices called to him, but he couldn't speak, couldn't answer.     He looked again toward the light and saw ... Saint Anne! Patroness of miners, the one who helped in thunderstorms ...     Flash! Flash!     He screamed. "Help me, Saint Anne. I'll become a monk!"     A rush of flame.     Behind him.     Over him.     Wings of fire, hovering, arcing, blue.     Martin looked up. The shadow beast opened its jaws wide to devour him, to drag him into the burning abyss.     Martin screwed his eyes shut and screamed one last time. Copyright © 2001 Reg Grant. All rights reserved.