Picked up the novella Seeker of Stars by Susan Fish for free for my Kindle (from David C Cook publishers) because, um, free books. And then I decided to read it because I am fascinated by stories surrounding the Magi and is it after all Christmastime.
As a boy, Melchior is fascinated by stars but has rigid obligations to apprentice with his rug-making father. When his life is radically changed, he is propelled onto a new path full of danger and glory in pursuit of a special star. The journey leads Melchior to reflect on life and death, dreams and duty, and to find unusual reconciliation within his family and with the God he never knew he sought. Destined to become a classic, Seeker of Stars offers a fresh retelling of the story of the magi, and will appeal to people of all ages and faiths.
It turned out to be a quick and enjoyable read. It has a simplicity to it but I felt like it captured the characters well and gave the reader some sense of what it might be like to live in that time and place. It also includes some interesting exploration of relationships and family life.
Even in only 134 pages, there was a sense of backstory and character depth. You could get a sense of their dreams and aspirations, and of the push and pull of nations and people but also of families and the gravity they have.
If I had a nitpick it might be that the story felt so connected to history and that particular time and place and yet as soon as Melchior meets the baby Jesus it is a supernatural encounter with a deity. It might have been interesting to explore what the Jewish messiah meant and entailed instead of immediately presenting Jesus as God and having him heal Melchior (the constant need to spiritualize and de-contextualize faith and the stories surrounding the New Testament is one of my pet peeves). But this is really a small piece of the book and was mostly well done.
Overall, I thought it was a well done story for those looking to get in the “Christmas Spirit.