In the course of his duties, Sergius, a young Roman soldier, meets a beautiful Celtic girl named Ailidh, and later a Greek missionary traveling with the Apostle Paul. Their common Christian backgrounds form a bond that leads the couple to adventure and happiness....
|Number of Pages||:||434 Pages|
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Imperial Legions Reviews
Note, March 25, 2014: I just edited this review, to correct one slight typo in the position of an apostrophe.Clement of Rome, writing in the 90s A.D., states that the Apostle Paul reached "the furthest limits of the west" in his travels, probably after the house arrest recorded in Acts 28: 16-31. Building on this, British-born evangelical author Seddon posits a visit by Paul to Britain around the time of Boudicca's (the conventional spelling, Boadicea, is actually inaccurate)rebellion. The main characters here, however, are Sergius and the Briton woman he loves.Any student of history will know before opening the book that the Britons' fight for freedom is doomed, so this book has a lot of tragic violence, with the innocent and helpless usually on the receiving end of it. (However, Seddon avoids white-and -black caricatures; some of his Romans are honorable types by their own lights, who believe in their "civilizing" mission, and some of his Britons are quite capable of committing their own atrocities.) Given my preference for upbeat stories with happy endings, this wasn't the most congenial read for me, in one sense of the word; but it provides a valuable and relevant depiction of Christian believers seeking to be faithful to the will of Christ in a profoundly unjust world largely divided into oppressors and oppressed --which, unfortunately, is the same kind of world we still live in. Seddon is one of today's best Christian writers of fiction; he's an excellent stylist, he presents romance in a way that's neither sappy nor in "bodice-ripper" mode, he researches his historical background and details solidly, and he excels at portraying strong female characters (something evangelical writers don't always do).
Excellent historical fiction. Well-researched and imaginatively told. By making one of the Roman officers and one of the Briton elite followers of "the Way," Seddon introduces a new dynamic to this retelling of the Boudeccan Revolt of AD 60. It works, mostly. As with most you-are-there type historical fiction, principal characters pop up in illogical places and slip through the fingers of fate with amazing ease, but that's mostly to keep the plot coherent. The combat is as gruesome as expected for that time without dwelling on the gore. Motives are fairly and honestly explored on all sides. Good pace.Quibble: Yes, Seddon may have found authors willing to place the apostle Paul in Briton at about that time, but there's no hard evidence that his life didn't end with his first visit to Rome. Neat opening: Luke starting the third volume of his works of early Christian history.A very good read.
Hard to get into and a bit overwritten, nevertheless full of a very interesting story and some interesting history. Set in London almost 2000 years ago when Caesar was messing with Britannia, you get to meet early Christians and pagans, Romans and Celts and Britons...all too human.
Great historical fiction!
Why, oh why, did I finish this dumb book?