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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
Misswife3 Stars Out Of 5March 13, 2013MisswifeQuality: 3Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Mediocre story. I was interested in the historical period, I haven't read much about it. The historical background was good, but the story wasn't believable, and the characters were too overblown.
LissaSCAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Faith through persecution.June 19, 2012LissaSCAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A sad read of persecution, but a testament of faithfulness (of God and of his followers). An intriguing read.
BarbVirginiaAge: Over 65Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Third Century Christians under pagan dominationMay 13, 2012BarbVirginiaAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3As a lover of historical fiction, especially involving the young Christian Church, I looked forward to reading this novel. The historical setting seemed accurate and the facts seems to correlate well with the records as we know them, although those are spotty at best.
The story line was interesting but seemed contrived, especially the initial love story between the pagan princess Valeria and the Theban warrior Mauritius. That portion of the story, which was to be the continual reference point for the entire book, happened so quickly and ended so rapidly that it just didn't seem balanced.
Also, some of the relationships were a bit difficult to follow and not adequately explained, although I thought that Valeria and her mother, Prisca's, characterizations seemed very believable and fully developed. I especially enjoyed their loving companionship and trust in one another, first as pagans and then as Christians.
The sufferings of Christians during this time period was horrible and was depicted very accurately. The Church endured through horrific persecution and survived because of the brave lives of many saints.
My main difficulty with the story was that the authors dwelt, in my opinion, a bit too much on the sexual lives of the characters. The point that this perspective was described so often and vividly in the private lives of the characters, and yet was not correlated with the entire pagan culture and its religious practices at that time, did not seem appropriate. That is not to say that this perspective was incorrect; it just seemed to be unnecessarily emphasized for Christian fiction.
britt3 Stars Out Of 5February 27, 2012brittQuality: 3Value: 2Meets Expectations: 1The story was good, some parts became very boring.overall it was an ok book.