• A Song for Else (Volume 1: The Vow) by Christopher Zehnder

Lorenz List didn’t know what awaited him in the great city of Nürnberg. It was an impossibly large city for a boy from the rural hinterlands, where ancient custom, seething discontent, and (at times) a mystical fanaticism held sway. In Nürnberg, he hopes to fulfill a destiny for which he never had dared to dream. He could move from obscurity to fame, perhaps, and from poverty to wealth. In Nürnberg he begins to move among an urbane and cultivated class of people far superior (he thinks) to the peasant folk from which he came. And he finds unexpected love — a love that could prove the ruin of all his hopes.

Set in early 16th century Germany, this is a tale of a young man in a time of impending revolution, felt but as yet unseen. This volume is the first part of a trilogy set against the backdrop of the dramatic events of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

Praise for A Song for Else

A Song for Else is a splendid love story, a coming-of-age novel, and an intimate account of the Protestant Reformation in Germany from the inside.  Zehnder deftly juxtaposes historical fact and fictional characters in the opening volume of his trilogy. — Mark Adderley, author of the McCracken Adventure Books and the Matter of Britain series

As Sigrid Undset’s historical novels transport the reader to medieval Norway, Zehnder’s A Song for Else plants one in a Germany on the cusp of reformation. This is historical fiction of the best sort: the kind that not only brings you into the past but allows you to experience the past as the characters would have. The past is not a desiccated stage for action, but a living environment, one we are drawn into through the hopes, fears, and challenges of the characters themselves. —Fr. Raymund Snyder, O.P.

Like The Betrothed, A Song for Else is intimately personal and yet an epic of Christendom. Zehnder's powerful style and vivid imagination bring the reader to root for the nobility and weep over the baseness of an earnest young man's passions, while discovering through youthful eyes the spiritual core and memorable characters that made medieval Germany center stage for one the greatest revolutions in history. —Andrew T. Seeley, Ph.D, Tutor, Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California


Size: 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN: 978-1-989905-87-6 | $23.95 USD | paperback
ISBN: 978-1-989905-88-3 | $30.95 USD | hardcover

358 pages

Read Christopher Zehnder's essay which gives some context for the novel here: Were Medieval Germans Secret Pagans? | Notes from the Wasteland (wordpress.com)

The author's readings: 



About the Author

Christopher Zehnder earned his bachelor of arts degree from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, and his master’s in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. He is the general editor for the Catholic Textbook Project and has written four of the books in its history series, and is currently editing a history of Christendom from the ancient world to the Renaissance. In his native state of California, Mr. Zehnder edited two monthlies serving the Los Angeles region and the Bay Area. He has written for various publications on historical, political, and theological subjects. In 2017, he, with his wife, Katherine, and their children, returned to his ancestral Midwest, making their home in Central Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Zehnder are lay members of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).

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A Song for Else (Volume 1: The Vow) by Christopher Zehnder

  • Product Code: asfe
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $23.95

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