Title: The Centurion
Author: Ken Gire
Publisher: River North
My rating is 5+ stars.
Every now and then while browsing or looking for books to add to my “to be read pile” or just for the fun of looking, I am blessed to discover a rare gem. Here is one of those gems. The story follows the life of the centurion who oversaw the orders to crucify three men. Two of them were thieves; one was Jesus Son of God. At the foot of the cross are Jesus’ earthly mother Mary along with some of those who loved Him from afar and some closely. Of course, there were Romans soldiers there to make sure the orders were carried out to their fullest extent without interruption from the crowd.
As readers are drawn further into the historical work of fiction, be ready to lose yourself as you follow the years of service this one man gives to Rome. What makes his task harder is that loves a woman who loves the Lord, but one who never sees him as anything other than someone she knows. Over time readers will read how Mary Magdalena spends decades after the centurion goes to the frontier to serve as he has but one goal in mind, to be a general then retire.
The history that is written in the novel really captures the essence of the times in which the story is set, some of which is drawn from Scripture. The author has done a slew of research which is evident by the descriptions of a Roman centurion’s life, battles, the loneliness this character feels, and in the end the disappointment that echoes throughout his whole being.
The author thankfully avoids expounding on the suffering Christ went through as well as the battle scenes; he easily could have made the tale gory. Clearly, the author had other themes he wanted to tell in through the work of fiction. The ending was simply one that stole my breath away and left me thinking of all those who have been martyred for their faith; we know it continues to happen today.
This one tale brilliantly written for audiences to remember that while Jesus died and rose again, He is still reaching out with open arms to those who will come to Him. We don’t know for sure what happened to the many soldiers or the centurion after that day was over, but the author sure tells a very compelling tale sure to grip the heart of any who dare to read the book!