A book so grand that no words can explain the depth of the emotions, plot, characters, and what not! Here I am, attempting to present to the readers, the best effort in my capability, the promising things about this book.The story begins with the key players of the Roman history at the time when there was much commotion among jews and Romans. Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of Rome, has an illegitimate daughter named Claudia. She is in love with a commoner named Marcus Longinus, who later gains the post of Centurion in the army of Caesar. However, when Caesar gains the knowledge of this love affair between Claudia and Marcus, he forces her into marrying a greedy, arrogant and disdainful man named Pontius Pilate. Claudia gives birth to a son, Philo, who is incapable of walking on his own. Throughout his life, Pilate feels disappointed by this condition of his son. The marriage of Pilate and Claudia is not a happy one; he tortures her physically, emotionally, and mentally in any chance that he gets. Claudia, tormented by her deep affection for Marcus and being stuck in an unhappy love marriage, has dedicated her life to the welfare of her son. However, things take a dramatic turn when Caesar appoints Pilate a governor and Marcus Longinus a Primus Pilus of Judea. You see, Judea is struggling in maintaining peace between Jews and Romans, and many governors have failed in doing so. This means that Pilate needs to be on his toes at all the time.
Until the end of several chapters of the beginning, I thought the plot of this book was about the pain that Claudia and Marcus were suffering due to their lost love; however, the plot took a drastic turn towards the rise and the tragic crucifixion of Jesus. In the last few chapters, I was finding it difficult to hold back my tears while reading about the torture and unfair sentencing of Jesus. The passionate writing of the author narrates the betrayal of Judas and capture of the merciful God’s son in a manner that it arises the deeply buried resentment of the reader to the surface. My heart broke every time the author described the extreme pain that the heartless, blind with arrogance and power crazed conspirators put him through. These people were scared that there would be a shift of power from them to a just person, and that led them to lost the last shred of humanity.
The authors have kept his vision of the book very clear. I believe, the authors wished to paint the Roman history and the journey of Jesus in a delightful manner, and they succeeded in their attempt. They have kept the preachings of the Jesus to exhibit only the fact that he was preaching the people to keep the peace, love even one’s enemies, etc.– not treason that he was charged with. Although all of his preachings are worth admiration, I am in love with the one mentioned below:
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you…Do to others as you would have them do to you… The good person brings good things out of what is stored in his heart. The evil person brings evil things out of what is stored in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart he speaks.
I felt a divine peace rising inside me whenever I read his preachings. That’s why when I read about the evil conspiracy of Herodias to kill John, the cousin of Jesus, my heart filled with bitterness against her. This is not the first time that I read about this disgusting plot of hers — I read it in Wicked Women of the Bible, as well — however, the sharp sting of the pain that I felt was not reduced by my familiarity of her devilish act.
When I finished this book, I felt enlightened and noticed the stupidity of our ways, today. We are so far away from the reality of the life. No wonder, we feel dissatisfied all the time. The simple preachings mentioned in the book are not out of the world, in fact, they are known to each one of us; yet, we decide to look away.
Back to the review, the characters are described marvelously. By the time, the authors are done with them, I, as a reader, felt as if I had known each one of them forever. My favorite character is Marcus because he is brave, loving, kind, and understanding. He speaks his mind irrespective of the circumstances, and I admire this trait of his character. The virtue and kindness of Claudia, too, touched my soul.
There are so many emotions in the book. Once I picked up this book, I knew I would adore it. The pain of losing your beloved, rage towards the person who makes his/her life miserable, helplessness in front of one’s superior, witnessing a wrongful execution of an innocent, and the out of the world feeling of a slave on beeing free are all very beautifully knitted in this one book. The extreme of arrogance, devoid of any logic, made my heart ache. I felt pity for these people who were so drunk with power that they could not witness the truth even when it touched their own lives.
I cannot rate this book anything less than 5 out of 5 stars.I feel blessed and truly fortunate that I came across this book. I would recommend it to the readers who, like me, find Roman history fascinating, and also, to those, who love knowing about the time when Jesus blessed the world by his existence.
P.S. BookLook Bloggers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.