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Stone and Steel: A Novel Of The Roman Empire (Colossus Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Put this one on your short list! David Blixt makes the tragic tale of the conflict between ancient Rome and ancient Judea come vividly to life." - ROBIN LEVIN, The Death Of Carthage
From the Back Cover
'Intricate plotting, well-staged scenes, and colorful descriptions enhance head-spinning but lively entertainment.' - KIRKUS REVIEWS
'Intricate plot, taut narrative, sharp period detail and beautifully realized characters.' - PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
'Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it.' - THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
- ASIN : B07HHZH63R
- Publisher : Creativia; 3rd edition (September 19, 2018)
- Publication date : September 19, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 566 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 379 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #660,238 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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David Blixt's Colossus: Stone and Steel brings the struggle between Rome and Judea vividly to life. The fictional heroes of the story are twin brothers Judah and Asher ben Matthias, both master stone masons. The twins are identical but have very different personalities: Judah is a warrior while Asher is a scholar. Judah remains in Jerusalem with his father while Asher goes off to Alexandria to pursue learning.
Judea is governed by Gessius Florus, a Roman equite whose rapacity and brutality are extreme even by Roman standards. Florus has provoked the Judeans to arms by profaning the Temple of Solomon. Judah has taken up arms to avenge his brother, whom he believes has perished at the hands of the Romans in Alexandria. A battle takes place at Beth Horon, and Judah heroically manages to capture the Roman eagle, the sacred standard of the 15th legion. Judah wishes to marry Deborah, the brother of Phannius, another mason, but even the capture of the eagle doesn't persuade the girl's mother, who thinks Judah's family beneath hers.
Ancient Rome might occasionally lose battles, but it did not lose wars. When Caesar Nero gets word of this rebellion while on his concert tour of Greece, he appoints his general Vespasian to bring several legions to Judea to put down the rebels. Vespasian is only too happy to comply because he knows he has deeply offended Nero by falling asleep during one of the Caesar's performances, and if he doesn't get a command his days are numbered. This also gives him a chance to promote the career of his son Titus by giving him command of a legion.
The Judeans are profoundly disunited. There are several factions, each at odds with all the others. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Nazarenes. The people of Jerusalem have little in common with the rough-hewn peasants of Galilee. An ambitious priest, Joseph ben Matityahu, known to history as Josephus Flavius, is assigned to the command of a Judean armed force in Galilee. Although wounded, Asher has somehow survived the conflict in Alexandria and returned home. He and Judah answer the call to arms and join Joseph in Galilee.
The struggle between Rome and Judea has a sort of David versus Goliath quality to it, but it is very clear that, in this instance, David has no chance to win. Nevertheless, you have to admire the zeal and courage of Judeans who fought the colossus of stone and steel. David Blixt's fine novel makes it all real.
This first novel introduces the fictional Judah and Asher ben Matthias, identical twins who are masons by trade (Asher is a scholar as well), but who become warriors in the heroic defense of Judea against the oppression of Nero's legions under the direction of Vespasian ... more about all of them in book 2 of the series: The Four Emperors.
These novels have it all: political and personal intrigue, internecine struggles to maintain religious and secular control over nations and people, loyalty, love, betrayal, riveting action ... when this book ends you'll want to immediately pick up where it leaves off with book 2 in the series and hope that Blixt has book 3 coming quickly down the pike!
Unlike other authors whose various multi-book story lines all feel interchangeable, Blixt has found totally different voices for his. Instead of renaming and recycling characters and introducing them into a different time period, this author not only gives the reader truly new, though no less intriguing, characters, but also a very different narrative rhythm. Fortunately for fans, Blixt is talented enough to do so while still maintaining his gift for wrapping a deep love of history and painstaking research in quick moving, riveting plots and action sequences.
I've long been intrigued by the actual historical events that shaped modern Israel and the ancient political machinations that lie at the root of so much of middle eastern politics. Blixt's telling of the siege of Jotopata added yet another piece to a provocative, complicated puzzle. Time and time again, I found myself thinking of famed author Leon Uris and his masterful telling of other events in Jewish history. Blixt follows well in his footsteps.
My only complaint is that I was shocked to find myself at the end of the novel- not because the ending isn't perfectly logical in its placement, but because I was so involved I wasn't ready for the story to end! Looking forward to the next installment!
Top reviews from other countries
As the story unfolds and zzz I include no spoilers here, it looks for a time as if the jews are about to secure a momentus victory of sorts against the mighty Roman Empire. You'll have to read this great book in order to find out. One clue, Judah and Asher appear in the next book in the series. Brilliant!
I'm pleased the author decided to split the series into more readable smaller books, I hope the next few are as enjoyable
Beautifully told story. Characters give a real feel of the times and culture of those days ....