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Believing herself abandoned by her gods, Leova, the heroine of The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar, agrees to be baptized knowing little about Christianity. A few hours later, she and her children make their vows and have water poured on their heads.

Some critique partners questioned whether the ritual was so hasty. To paraphrase, they wondered if she would have taken classes first. Probably not, and there are letters from someone wanting the Christian mission to succeed to prove it. After reading Alcuin’s letter in Charlemagne: Translated Sources by P.D. King, I am convinced that the baptism in early medieval Saxony was indeed rushed and with disastrous consequences.

See English Historical Fiction Authors for more about the insight Alcuin’s letter provide.

A scene of the Saxons' baptisms

A scene of the Saxons’ baptisms (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons)