Thursday, September 17, 2009

Centurion, by L.D. Alford (OakTara)

(Click cover for more information)
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Okay, now we're talkin'! I bet you all thought I'd gone soft with all the romance reviews. Well, my guy card raced gleefully back into my wallet with this one.
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L.D. Alford has outdone himself, in my estimation. Centurion has it all: captivating storyline, impeccable research, plenty of action, and a great balance between the harsh realities of 1st-century AD everyday life and the ideals of a radical fledgling faith. Oh, okay, and there's some romance, too, but it didn't intimidate me.
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Abenadar is a half-breed bastard (literally) of a Galilian mother and a Roman sire. I say "sire" instead of "father" because there's more to being a father than simply siring a child--and Abenadar had no father. His mother, an outcast living on the outskirts of Nazareth, finds her only friend in Mary, the mother of Christ--also an outcast. Abenadar and Yeshua become friends during their formative years. And before Abenadar leaves to seek his future as a Roman soldier, Yeshua exhorts him not to forget his God--Adonai.
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Abenadar finds his calling in the austere life of the Roman camp. His military acumen and prowess are quickly revealed--and tested. In battle after battle, Abenadar distinguishes himself, accumulating honors and accolades that advance him to the unexpected rank of Centurion--a position normally reserved for only those of full Roman blood. But inside, he is a man caught between two worlds; fully a Roman warrior, but fully a child of Galilee, who adheres to the precepts of his God, Adonai.
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He is posted to Jerusalem, where he rescues Ruth, a woman of the streets, from an abusive client. Captivated by her beauty, he seeks her out and rescues her from her life of forced harlotry. The stigma he carries as half-Roman, and hers as a Judean whore, bring them together against a world that accepts neither one of them.
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Yeshua enters the picture once again, and Abenadar's and Ruth's respective worlds collide in the draw of this unlikely prophet. How does the love of a Roman soldier, bound to his oath to Caesar, and a Jewess, bound to her faith in God and the promise of His Messiah, survive through the passion of the King of Kings? The answer lies in the pages of Centurion.
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L.D. Alford delivers an extremely well written and meticulously researched story that won't let you go. Steeped in Roman martial lore, you'll learn more about the Empire's military organization, weapons and battle tactics than you ever realized existed. But the learning never comes at the expense of the story. If fairness still exists anywhere in this world, Centurion is destined to become a classic in Christian literature--it's got to.
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4 comments:

Four Lights For Him said...

Now that sounds like a good book!

Janette Oke & Davis T. Bunn wrote a book called the Centurion's Wife - haven't read it yet but sounded very interesting: (excerpt from Christianbook.com)

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions. Head of the garrison near Gallilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

Bruce Judisch said...

I saw the book you're talking about and it does look good. Centurion is well worth reading, though. Alf did two years-worth of research before writing the book and you can tell. Very well done.

Cheers! Bruce

Four Lights For Him said...

I read The Centurion's Wife by Janette Oke & Davis Bunn ... Very Good!

Bruce Judisch said...

Hey, Jennifer!

Glad to see you got settled into your new digs. Hope you like Georgia (I'm sure you will).

Thanks, as always, for commenting. "Centurion" would be a good complement to the book you described.

Cheers! Bruce