3 out of 4 stars
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Cornelius was the senior centurion of the Tenth Legion. He followed the successful political path paved for him by his father. This Roman centurion became enthralled with Ada, a Jewish woman. Cornelius invited Ada’s brother, Solomon, to stay with him with the promise of teaching him Roman gladius tactics. Solomon and Cornelius became close friends, as Cornelius’ love for Ada grew. Cornelius paid close attention as a Jewish scribe explained the Jewish marriage laws. Will Cornelius follow his heart or continue his rise to power in the Roman senate?
Jesus the Nazarene was performing miracles and gaining a reputation for causing unrest among the people. People reported healings and the miraculous appearance of wine at a wedding in Cana. Cornelius was curious about this rabbi and his healing abilities. Would Jesus be able to heal his servant, Solomon, from a poisoned dagger wound? Did Cornelius consider the repercussions of a personal encounter with this rabbi?
The Centurions Man by Michael Sansone is a romantic historical fiction novel set in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, the biblical Messiah. The author did a fantastic job of recreating the setting and the political situation in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. The photos inserted in the narrative enrich the story and help readers picture the characters and the environment. Familiar biblical names like Herod, Pilate, Barabbas, Saul, and others, immerse readers in the historical background. The political intrigue and the love story between a Jewish maiden and a Roman centurion encouraged readers to ponder the clash between the differing beliefs of the Jews and the Romans.
The story highlighted sensitive themes such as discrimination, slavery, interracial marriages, and human trafficking. Readers will also learn about Jewish customs and religious beliefs. The author presented the biblical facts in a historical setting without preaching or sermonizing. Christians might enjoy this story to a greater degree due to the biblical setting and characters.
This book needs another round of editing. This is what I least liked about the book. Spelling mistakes like “where” for “were” and “dessert” for “desert” frequently occurred in the text. For the most part, this is a clean read. Only a few sexual remarks and profanities appeared in the narrative and were used to portray the Roman soldiers’ rude and boisterous behavior.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This intriguing story carries the reader back to Jerusalem and fills in creative details about people who interacted with the biblical Jesus. The fascinating relationships the Roman centurion developed with his Jewish servant, Solomon, and his sister, Ada, will captivate the readers’ attention. Sadly, there were too many errors to award a full score. This book would appeal to readers who enjoy stories that give life to characters that receive only a passing reference in the biblical accounts. Romance fans will enjoy the forbidden love that entangles Cornelius and Ada and their families. History students might be interested in learning about Roman centurions, Roman law, and Jewish customs.
The Centurions Man
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