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Leslea Wahl reviews Kathryn Swegart's latest historical fiction, an inspirational novel for teen readers.

Martyrs (Brave Hearts Book 2) by Kathryn Griffin Swegart


Recipient of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval! Father Sebastian Rale was a little-known Jesuit missionary who lived among the Abenaki people from 1689-1724. In this riveting story, readers travel into the Maine wilderness and witness the heart of a true martyr for the Faith. Martyrs is an unforgettable story of courage, faith, and enduring friendship. Based on the actual letters of Father Rale, this book will inspire young and old alike.



Martyrs is the story of Father Sebastian Rale, a Jesuit missionary who lived among the Wabanaki tribe in the Maine wilderness during the late 1600s. This teen novel provides an intriguing glimpse into this time period and the conflicts not only between the natives and the British but also between the French in Canada and the British in what is now America. I was quite intrigued by the hostility the Protestant British leaders had with the Catholic Church and the Jesuit priests who lived with the natives.

This would be a great book for older middle-school and high-school students to explain the many complicated issues that settlers faced in the New World. There is a lot to contemplate in this thought-provoking book.

Because this was a tenuous time in our country’s history, full of desperate battles for land, there are some difficult passages that might not be appropriate for younger readers. The violence is not overly graphic but still could be upsetting to some. This is the second book in the author’s Brave Hearts series. These books do a wonderful job of relaying the stories of fascinating, devoted Catholics who did indeed have brave hearts and remained dedicated to their faith during extremely difficult times.

The story of fascinating, devoted Catholics who remained dedicated to their faith during extremely difficult times #catholicmom


Copyright 2020 Leslea Wahl