Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Conqueror by Bryan Litfin REVIEWED

 About the Book:

AD 309. Rome teeters on the brink of war. Constantine's army is on the move. On the Rhine frontier, pagan Germanic barbarian Brandulf Rex joins the Roman army as a spy. Down in Rome, senator's daughter Junia Flavia finds herself embroiled in anti-Christian politics as she works on behalf of the church.

As armies converge and forces beyond their control threaten to destroy everything they have worked for, these two people from different worlds will have to fight together to bring down the evil Emperor Maxentius. But his villainous plans and devious henchmen are not easily overcome.

Will Rex and Flavia live to see the Empire bow the knee to Christ? Or will their part in the story of Constantine's rise meet an untimely and brutal end?

About the Author:

Bryan Litfin is the author of the Chiveis Trilogy, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Early Christian Martyr Stories, After Acts, and Getting to Know the Church Fathers. A former professor of theology at the Moody Bible Institute, Litfin earned his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia and his ThM in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently a writer and editor at Moody Publishers. He and his wife have two adult children and live in Wheaton, Illinois. Learn more at  

My Thoughts:

"Be strong and courageous, brave warrior...and wait to discover the plans of God."  (p.490)

This novel, The Conqueror, is a majestic piece of literature that sweeps the reader back into the history of the early church.  Rome is the target of conquest, and the warring parties are filled with much darkness and a malevolent greed.

Among all of this, there is a young Speculator named Rex who rises in favor with his general to become a spy.  Embedded in the imperial horse guard, Rex is tasked with gathering intelligence to feed to the Emperor Constantine in his quest to free Rome from the tyrannical rule of Praetorian prefects Pompeianus and Emperor Maxentius.  That storyline alone is RICH!

BUT there is Flavia, a daughter of another aristocratic leader, and also a daughter of King Jesus.  The Christians are still reeling from persecution when they find themselves in the middle of a war they neither want or can ever begin to slow. Flavia finds herself a pawn between rulers and winds up as a fugitive for her very life when Rex intervenes at a particularly deadly moment!

These two characters serve as a rich center point upon which  Litfin builds a saga quite unlike anything I've ever read!  Every character, whether emperor or common slave, comes alive on the page! The passage of time and change in scenario is seamless, and your own life and time passes over you with little notice! (think late nights that you don't mind at all!)  This is such a treasure!!  Greater's the first in a series! You will be so glad you chose to spend time with this novel!  It will change your heart!!

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