About the Book
Ever since Lucius read of the heroic exploits of Caesar, he dreamed of the glory of Rome and of securing his own great name. But his first station as a centurion is in the backwaters of Jerusalem.
Haunted by the crucifixion of Jesus, yet eager to learn more of this supposed King, he seeks out His followers, soon becoming enthralled with one Mary Magdalene. But before his curiosity is quenched and any romance catches fire, he is summoned to lead conquests against the barbarians of Gaul. There the hardships of battle, year after year, wear down a heart that was just beginning to come alive. Mary continues to journey toward God, while Lucius drifts further and further away.
Decades later, life-worn and weary, their paths cross again during the Christian persecutions in northern Italy, and they must choose to serve either love or duty.
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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
KEN GIRE attended Texas Christian University where he earned a degree in History and Speech. In 1978 he graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Masters in Old Testament Literature and Exegisis. From there he embarked on a career of full time writing which has resulted in the publication of more than twenty books, several of which have won prestigious awards.
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