Book review: If All the Swords in England: A Story of Thomas Becket
If All the Swords in England: A Story of Thomas Becket by Barbara Willard (ages 10 and up; 181 pages)
“If all the swords in England were pointed against my head, your threats could not move me.”
With those words, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, fearlessly refused to give in to King Henry II’s demands, and paid for his defiance with the ultimate price… his life. Follow the lives of Edmund and Simon, twin brothers living in 12th century England, as they witness the events leading up to that fateful day in the cathedral. The boys are separated from each other as Edmund is employed by the king, and Simon finds himself in the service of the archbishop. Eventually, the boys are reunited as the men they serve are united in a battle of wills. But in the end, nothing is stronger than the archbishop’s unswerving loyalty to God and the Church. If All the Swords in England is an intriguing retelling, rich with historical detail, of the last days of Saint Thomas Becket.