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The Centurion, by Ken Gire
Meet Lucius, the centurion in charge of Jesus’ crucifixion. His life would change forever that day, but it would take years for him to realize it. While trying to make sense of what happened, he meets a woman who seems to understand who Jesus was, why he was so different – a woman named Mary Magdalene. There is an obvious attraction between Lucius and Mary, but each has other roles to carry out. When they finally meet again, will they be on the same side?
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2016
The Young Messiah (Movie-tie-in) (Originally published as Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt) A NovelAnne RiceBallantine Books / 2016 / Mass Paperback$3.59 Retail:Video
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An ambitious Roman soldier. A stunning crucifixion. An unlikely romance. A long war and a chance reunionthe moving parts that make The Centurion a gripping story of love, duty, and sacrifice.
Lucius has always dreamed of military conquest and Roman glory. Little does he know how a routine crucifixion will change him forever.
Curious about this "King of the Jews," Lucius seeks out His followers and falls for one named Mary Magdalene. But all is interrupted when Lucius is called to lead military campaigns. There the hardships of war, year after year, wear him down to nearly nothing.
When Lucius finally returns to Rome, the city has lost its allure. A chance encounter tests his allegiances, and he must decide who he is, what is real, and what is worth dying for.
This work of historical fiction includes an extensive annotated list of sources.
"This book was my introduction to author Ken Gire. As first impressions are critical in securing future readership, The Centurion put Ken Gire on my radar and earned any subsequent novels by him a place on my to-read pile.
I remember the myriad of emotions I felt the first time I viewed Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. I was a new believer at the time and the brutality of the crucifixion, juxtaposed with the audacity of Christ's love, hit me like a sledgehammer. For me, Gire was able to dredge up the same emotions the movie had created years ago. Not to say his scenes were as graphic, but his writing re-engaged the same emotions. This forged an instant connection for me with the storyline.
A quick internet search revealed to me that Gire has authored both fiction and non-fiction books. Perhaps that is why his blend of fictional narrative with early Roman and church history comes across so effortlessly. In the past, I've often found that when authors skip large portions of time, something gets lost. However in The Centurion, the large lapses in time allow for the development of Lucius' character, as well as highlights Rome's world dominance, mentality, and methods. By concluding the story during the reign of Nero, Gire bookends his work with the theme of persecution. This is particularly applicable to the plight of believers today.
Despite a fair amount of brutality, the story still appealed to me as a female reader. The depiction of Christ's impact in the life of Mary Magdalene, as well as the perseverance of the early church, softened the edges for me. If you only read one fiction title during the Easter season, let it be The Centurion. Pre-order now or pick up your copy when it releases from River North (a division of Moody Publishers) on February 2, 2016.
I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.' "
Reviewed by Amanda Geaney, NetGalley, Dec 3, 2015