"The Advocate" by Randy Singer is a work of historical fiction, (based on historical facts), yet it is so very real! I love how Singer has taken a little known biblical character and created an entire world for him. "The Advocate" starts out with the childhood of Theophilus and continues through his adult years.
As a young man Theophilus was involved in the trial of Jesus, which he carried many mixed feelings and regrets about. As we follow Theophilus over the years we watch his career take off, and then be damaged as he stands up for the underdogs of society. Then, comes the trial of a simple man named Paul! I was fascinated by all the information, so scripturaly accurate, about the life and trials of Paul.
While I occasionally found "The Advocate" to be a bit long and drawn out (almost 500 pages), I also found it to be quite informative and interesting. The book definitely contains some violence (crucifixions, gladiators fighting to the death, etc.), but that was only a small part of the story. If you like historical fiction based on facts, this is a great book for you!
I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
As a big fan of Randy Singer's legal thrillers I found this particular book to be very different from his usual work. I always like it when an author takes a break from what they usually do & this book wasn't an exception.
Three Biblical mentions turned into a Historical thriller!
November 19, 2014
Age: Under 18
Theophilus is a Roman Aristocrat...the very same man that, three decades ago, stood behind Pontious Pilate and offered a suggestion...to release Barabbas. Unfortunately that plan backfired and, equally unfortunate, that is what has left Theophilus aching for justice after witnessing the cruel death of Jesus of Nazareth...an innocent man. When the case of Paul of Tarsus is brought up, he can't help but think this is his chance to redeem his decision that he feels ultimately led Jesus to the cross. Though his head knows the truth, his heart can't shake the feeling he could have stopped it. When given the choice, Theophilus defends Paul in front of Rome's cruelest tyrant. In the end, will the Apostle show Theophilus the truth or will Theophilus witness the death of another innocent man...or his own death?
*What I liked*
Whoa. I believe that is the exact word I used when I first read even the description...when I opened the book to the first few pages. Oh.My. Randy Singer has got to be the best Christian non-fiction writer ever. He magically brought Theophilus, a man mentioned only three times in the Bible, and turned him into a vital part of the story of Paul...and Jesus. He offers an eye opening account of both stories as well as a look into how Paul's case affected his family.
*What I didn't like*
This book is really, really good. Which is why I will say this. Stick with it. This book, though good, is really, really hard to get into. Incredibly hard in fact to get into because of all the Roman History involved. While some may love that and dig into like a huge piece of chocolate cake...to use my analogy to the fullest...others may prefer vanilla or to be daring, red velvet. ;)
I give The Advocate...
*Why my rating is what it is*
My rating is five stars because this book, while hard to get into for me, really offers an in-depth look on not just Theophilus' life but also on Paul's. Randy does an expert job on creating a real experience in their lives and Roman History. He does all of this with just 3 mentions in the Bible! Fantastic!
* I recieved this book from Tyndale and Bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
What an extraordinarily, amazing book! I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion and was hardly able to put it down from the very first word. Randy Singer did an exceptional job of blending fictional and historical characters in the story. I especially loved the character of Theophilus and watching him change over the years. It is awesome that he is a actual historical figure and is even mentioned in the Bible. The corruption of the Roman emperors and the spinelessness of the Senate are almost more than you can bear to read. The intrigue and suspense will have you holding your breath and the ending is absolutely overwhelming! I cannot say enough good things about this book. You MUST read it for yourself. I know you won't be disappointed!
Randy Singer takes a man mentioned three times in the New Testament and writes a breathtaking and inspiring novel. The story begins when Theophilus is a young Roman at age 14. He is raised in Roman Aristocracy and attends a school of rhetoric in Rome under the instruction of his lifetime mentor, Senaca, who is a philosopher and a statesman. Due to a conflict with another student from the school, Theophilus is sent to Greece to continue his education and training. He returns to Rome with the intention of starting his career as an Advocate, only to discover the earlier conflict from his school days in Rome has not completely been forgotten. Therefore, he is sent to Rome to serve under Pilot, the prefect of the Roman province of Judea from AD 26-36. Theophilus serves as assessore, or legal adviser to Pilot and is present in Jerusalem during the Passover, arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. Theophilus is both confused and impressed by Jesus. He never believed Jesus to be guilty of any crime, and throughout his life, he lives with regret of the role he played in the death of Jesus. After the death of Jesus, Theophilus eventually returns to Rome again to resume his life as an Advocate. He makes a name for himself by taking on very public and impossible to win cases in a corrupt Roman legal system.
While I love historical fiction, this time period is difficult for me, personally, to stomach with the cruelty dispensed by the Roman Empire and their insane Emperors. With that being said, I was fascinated with this story and adored and admired so many of the characters. I was exposed to terrible acts of betrayal overshadowed by amazing acts of heroism. I was reminded of the horrific trials and tribulations the early Church was subjected to. I was treated to beautiful love stories, stoicism, faith, hope, and loyalty. This is one of the most fascinating books Ive read. I laughed and I cried. It is simply amazing and in my opinion, it far exceeds 5 stars.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.