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The Last Temple


Title:  The Last Temple
Author:  Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer
Pages:  326
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Tyndale
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
                The setting is Caesarea in 67 A.D. as the story begins.  The main character, Vitas, is posing as a slave in a Roman official’s household.  He has been sent in as a spy by his brother, who is a slave hunter, to investigate a domestic situation.  As they escort the official’s wife as she shops in the market, there is an assassination attempt on her husband, and the Jews are declared the guilty party as well as the master’s slaves.  The slaves are arrested, pronounced guilty, and sentenced to be crucified.  The story is fast-paced and doesn’t slow down after this exciting beginning.
                Vitas has arrived in Caesarea after being secretly rescued from fighting in the arena, a fight to the death.  He has been sent a secret message to go to Caesarea to meet someone.  Who is he to meet?  He is hoping to find a clue in the market place.  Now, however, that he is in jail awaiting execution, he desperately hopes his brother will arrive in time to free him.  As a former soldier, Vitas knows how people are crucified and has witnessed this form of punishment.  Does his brother arrive in time?
                Vitas was married, but believes his wife is dead.  He loved his wife very much and misses her greatly.  He was among the inner circle of Emperor Nero’s advisors.  Nero made a play for Vitas’ wife and Vitas attacked Nero, thus earning a death sentence.  Then, Nero invites Vitas’ wife to “draw a bath”, which is a euphemism for committing suicide.  This takes place in the first book of the series, but explains the deep feelings of hatred and desire for vengeance Vitas has for Nero.  His wife was a Jew, who came to believe Christ was the promised Messiah.  Vitas is not a believer, but he wants to be.  Every time he gets close to surrendering to Christ, something holds him back.  Will he ever truly believe and come to know Christ?  Will he ever get revenge against Nero?  How long will the Romans put up with continued Jewish rebellion before action is taken?  Will the Romans go so far as to really destroy the temple in Jerusalem?
                This is the third story in this series.  There is plenty of action, betrayal, plotting, and political intrigue to keep the story moving right along.  The characters are well-developed and realistic.  There is no time to get bored with all that happens!  You will definitely want to read this novel from these two great authors.
My rating is 4 stars.
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