By Megan Harlan
Updated January 24, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

A Stolen Tongue

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Set aboard a ship filled with Europeans making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1483, A Stolen Tongue is part rollicking historical potboiler, part theological mystery. Wherever the boat docks, from Crete to the Sinai, the relics of an early Christian martyr, Saint Katherine of Alexandria, turn up missing from local churches. The narrator, Father Felix Fabri, desperately wants to expose the thief, since — following medieval tradition — he is spiritually wedded to this saint. Drawing suspicion is a crazed woman known as the ”Tongue of Saint Katherine,” through whom the dead saint speaks, and her brother. Though too many plot contrivances make this voyage a bumpy one, Holman’s manic, spiritually inquisitive imagination hits its stride in the apocalyptic finale.

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A Stolen Tongue

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