Lucius: A Soldier’s Journey
Lucius, a soldier in Rome, wonders why he is being reassigned to a troubled region of the empire since he thought Rome would be his final station because of his advanced age. Another reason he feels uncomfortable with his reassignment is his dislike for Rome’s insensitive, destructive nature and the part he plays in it. Aside from his aversion to war and force, Lucius also abhors slavery and chooses never to own a slave, which goes against the custom of Rome. Though Lucius is initially portrayed as a wise man, his reassigned station brings him to even more depth in wisdom and understanding—especially when he meets “the teacher”. Rev. Michael H. Lavery’s Lucius: A Soldier’s Journey follows a likable, conscious soldier’s covert way of going against the atrocities that the Roman leaders and society stand for, as well as his view of the gospel of Christ.
Lucius’ decision to question his people’s evil customs and not own slaves is admirable. His bravery and thoughtfulness are traits that would serve the world well if embraced by a good portion of humans. The protagonist’s interactions with his paid servants, whom he helps free from slavery, are often filled with love and respect. This creates a welcoming, positive atmosphere that draws the reader into the story, even as the characters confront some disturbing realities and circumstances. They are seen to deal with such provocative issues as abuse, slavery, war, violence, injustice, and exploitation.
Told through a third-person viewpoint, Lucius: A Soldier’s Journey follows various characters’ responses to the consequences of political instability and power-hungry leaders. The challenges the protagonists face are accompanied by profound lessons and messages to contemplate, both for the book’s characters and its readers. I particularly liked the message about sharing one’s culture and way of life with an open hand instead of forcefully like the Romans did, as it applies to more recent atrocities of colonialism around the world. Furthermore, some biblical stories are portrayed vividly, including the lawyer’s question to Jesus about eternal life in Luke 10:25 and Jesus’ crucifixion.
Rev. Michael’s story is an excellent, elaborate blend of his active imagination and numerous biblical stories. It offers an opportunity to deeply immerse oneself in historical times involving Jesus and his likely influence on both Jews and Gentiles. Christian readers will be reminded of Jesus’ key teachings and other readers will have the opportunity to learn about Christ. The world would benefit immensely if it embraced the book’s messages about having love and respect for others regardless of their culture and economic status. What a grand, thought-provoking, and immersing Christian historical fiction! You don’t want to miss it!
|Rev.Michael H. Lavery
|Christian Faith Publishing, Inc
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