Weekend Reads: “The Centurion”

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The Centurion by Ken Gire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I usually avoid so-called “inspirational fiction” like the plague. It is often preachy and ham-handed. That was not the case with this book.

The Centurion is written from the perspective of a Roman centurion named Lucius. He is present at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth … and it turns out that he knows Mary Magdalene from another circumstance. He’s pretty much in love with her, and he tries to develop a relationship … but he’s sent to Brittania to help conquer the people for the glory of Rome.

We see Lucius across a little more than 30 years, with occasional peeps into what’s going on with Mary … and it seems that the two of them are destined to never see one another again. They write letters they never send … or if they do send them, they don’t get answers. So, there’s that challenge.

Another challenge is that, for a Roman soldier, the emperor is god. We see Lucius becoming increasingly disturbed by what he sees being done around him in the name of the emperor. His is a true hero’s journey of change.

The end of the book was not at all what I expected, and it was perfect. I won’t deliver spoilers.

The characters are believable, and the historical situations in which they find themselves are all true.

I really do recommend this book highly. It’s an excellent work of historical fiction, and it’s well-sourced. In fact, the bibliography is so extensive that I am planning to use it as a source for my own research.




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