A sweeping Christian fiction epic, the story is also part mystery, part detective story and filled with intrigue. General Maximus is a battle-weary commander of one of Rome's finest legions. When he returns from a long, bloody campaign Maximus finds himself questioning his life. Word has reached Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judea. Maximus, disguised as a Jew, is sent to investigate the situation and assess his potential threat to Rome. In this innovative rendering of the story of Christ we see Jesus from the perspective of an outsider who is stripped of his cultural identity and therefore free to ponder whether he can believe Jesus and find a new purpose in his own life.
Maximus was a captivating character. The author did a great job bringing him to life, complete with the internal struggles he was going through. The book moved slowly at times, but then there were plenty of times that I had to read "just one more chapter" (and another and another) before I could put the book down.
I enjoyed how the relationship between the two Romans and Jershon and his family developed. It didn't seem too rushed, even though it happened in a short amount of time. I really liked how Jershon was able to look past cultural prejudices to see the good in people, no matter where they were from - a lesson we all could learn.
The one negative I had about the book, was how often the author switched from the main character's Roman name to his undercover Jewish name. At times, it happened more than once on a single page. Not a huge deal, but kind of distracting.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
About the Author:
Richard L. Black is a writer with a background in the software industry who has worked closely with Department of Defense and intelligence community, an experience which informs his writing style which shows a flair for undercover mystery and intrigue. A native of San Diego, he now lives with his family in the Southwest and is an avid car enthusiast and guitar player. This is his debut novel.
Author: Richard L. Black
Published: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review