Wow! That's the first word that popped into my mind after I finished reading The Errant Flock, the newest book by author Jana Petken. In an absolute thrill ride of a piece of grand historical fiction, the story follows four unique men in Spain in 1491. David Sanz, a young Converso knight, the Duke of Sagrat, Luis Perato, the Lord Treasurer, Sergio Garcia and the Inquisitor, Gaspar De Amo who are attempting to survive the Inquisition. Young David, a convert from Judaism to Catholicism, has been stripped of his knighthood after being forced to do something against his very nature by Luis and Sergio, and was subsequently blackmailed. His family members were tortured, killed and imprisoned, and his parents forced to flee Spain. Jewish people in general were being forced to give up their belongings and tortured for the "crime" of being Jewish. Times are dark, and darker times appear to be on the horizon for these four men, and survival, for any of them, no matter what side they come down on, seems uncertain at best.
The Errant Flock was a fantastic book. Absolutely fantastic. I am a fan of historical fiction in general, but this book stands out even among my very favorites. Author Jana Petken is an extremely talented author who has done an amazing job at describing scenes so clearly that the reader will absolutely feel in the moment, even if the moment occurred more that 500 years ago. Her character development skills are second to none, and the four principals of the story truly seem like real people. Jana Petken has quite obviously done her research into the Inquisition, and this comes through quite plainly throughout the book. Any reader who enjoys historical fiction, action or just a good book will love The Errant Flock. In fact, the only piece of advice I have for any potential reader is to be sure that you have time set aside to read this book, because you absolutely will not want to set it down once you start it, it's just that good. This is the first book that I've read by Author Jana Petken, but it certainly won't be the last, and I hope that she is hard at work on her next novel right now!