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Valeria's Cross - eBook
Abingdon Press / 2010 / ePub
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In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius' wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.
In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.
Kathi Macias is an Angel-award winning writer who has authored or co-authored thirty books, including the bestselling devotional A Moment A Day, the popular Matthews mystery novels, and the Extreme Devotion series scheduled for 2010-2011 release. She is a popular speaker at churches, womens clubs and retreats, and writers conferences, and has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. She also hosts the international blogtalkradio program Write the Vision for The International Christian Network (www.THEICN.com) and is a regular online contributor to Crosswalk.com, The Christian Pulse, and Churchmouse. Visit her on the web at KathiMacias.com
Susan Wales, a born storyteller and wife of film producer, Ken Wales, is a popular speaker throughout the United States and a frequent teacher at writers conferences. A partner in Gaga Animation with Jeff Holder, she also has spoken internationally on storytelling in production. She co-authored Faith in God and Generals and The Amazing Grace of Freedom, companion books for those two films, and also co-wrote the popular political thriller series The Chase, The Replacement, and The Candidate. Best known for her Match Made in Heaven series of compiled true stories, Susan co-wrote two etiquette books, Social Graces and Social Graces for your Wedding, and an entertaining book, The Pleasure of Your Company. Her top-selling gift books with author Alice Gray are A Christmas Keepsake, Keepsakes for a Mothers Heart, and Grandmother, Another Name for Love.
Macias (A Moment A Day) and Wales (the Match Made in Heaven series) collaborate on historical fiction set in the 3rd-century Roman Empire, in the last days of persecution of Christians before Constantine legitimizes the religion. Valeria is the daughter of Roman emperor Diocletian, a ferocious persecutor of Christians. Valeria becomes a Christian and falls in love with a Christian soldier who is subsequently martyred. She is then compelled by her father to marry the ambitious pagan general Galerius, whom she regards as responsible for the death of the soldier she loved. The writers are constrained by a faithfulness to historical fact that makes the story almost inanimate in spots ("And so the empire continued"), and also makes the character of Galerius unconvincing; trite dialog doesn't help ("I expected a real hellcat with claws"). The authors should dial down the history and dial up the fiction for a more engaging balance. (Sept.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Valerias Cross by Kathi Macias and Susan Wales takes place in the historically important time of the early 300s (A.D.) in Rome and surrounding areas. Valeria is the daughter of Caesar Diocletian, one of the most powerful and cruel emperors of the Roman Empire, known as a great persecutor of early Christians. Valerias mother is Prisca, a Christian and empress of the Roman Empire. The story follows Valeria from late adolescence through adulthood as she struggles to survive as a converted Christian in these dangerous times. Her first love, Maurutuis, is also a Christian and is put to death under the orders from Galerius, a pagan believer and Roman general. She is forced to marry Galerius, and the rest of the novel focuses on her attempts to make her marriage hold together even though she and her husband are of different faiths. Valeria suffers from infertility which causes enormous strain, as Galerius becomes Caesar and needs an heir. She falls in love with another man, Maximus Daza, who is Galerius nephew. She quickly falls out of favor in the court and she, along with her mother, Prisca, must run for their very lives across the empire to try to escape the death sentence imposed on Valeria. Tragically, she becomes yet another victim of the times she lives in.
Even though biblical passages are often paraphrased throughout the book, a direct quote from the Book of Romans is presented by a bishop before an execution. It is an appropriate quote about being slaughtered like sheep, yet nothing can separate the true Christian from Jesus Christ in love and dignity. The devotion Valeria has toward God is very evident, since she is challenged every moment of her married life to Galerius. He is pompous and wicked, not above killing his enemies or even close friends and relatives. Valeria confronts and forgives him for the deaths he causes, but needs Gods support to keep her relationship in perspective.
Although a good, easy-to-read novel, this story deserves a more in-depth treatment, considering the subject and historical time setting. The pace is too fast, with little description or analysis of the main characters. Valeria is the protagonist and the reader is quickly attuned to her predicament, but considering how important these times were to the early Christian movement, just before Constantine turned the pagan empire into a Christian realm, there was plenty of opportunity to expand the novel into a real work of historical fiction. It is certainly an enjoyable story, but could have been something even more. Anita Tiemeyer, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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