Monday, October 31, 2016

The Centurion- Ken Gire

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: An ambitious Roman soldier. A stunning crucifixion. An unlikely romance. A long war and a chance reunion—the moving parts that make The Centurion a gripping story of love, duty, and sacrifice.

Lucius has always dreamed of military conquest and Roman glory. Little does he know how a routine crucifixion will change him forever.

Curious about this “King of the Jews,” Lucius seeks out His followers and falls for one Mary Magdalene. But all is interrupted when Lucius is called to lead military campaigns. There the hardships of war, year after year, wear him down to nearly nothing.

When Lucius finally returns to Rome, the city has lost its allure. A chance encounter tests his allegiances, and he must decide who he is, what is real, and what is worth dying for.

My Thoughts: The Centurion is a fast paced novel which juxtaposes the life and training of a Roman soldier (Lucius) with that of the burgeoning Christian church through the eyes of Mary Magdalene. The rapid pace comes from Gire's magnificent use of short scenes in order to depict only what is necessary. In the first part of the novel, this serves well to mimic the chaos soon after Jesus' crucifixion.

However, at times these short scenes became too intense, treating the drunken discussions of men as earth-shattering observations and Lucius' training speeches as though they came from Braveheart. The consistently epic tone could be wearing, especially since there were few reprieves.

Like many novels in this vein of fiction, Biblical fiction surrounding the crucifixion, The Centurion is told in omnipresent which allows for various character perspectives. Particularly in the beginning, some of these perspectives were muddled, with few of the secondary characters introduced in any way before they were suddenly acting.

The Centurion does offer some unique content. The writing style is almost cinematic in nature, making it similar in cut scene format to The Passion. As well, the story is told in a historic light, depicting an early church that fully expected the return of Christ in their lifetime. Not everyone will appreciate the make up of this novel, however there are those who will adore it.

I provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.

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