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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2010
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.
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.
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