The Conqueror – Revell Reads

About the Book

51273181Title: The Conquer
Author: Bryan Litfin
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fiction
Synopsis: It is AD 312. Rome teeters on the brink of war. Constantine’s army is on the move. On the Rhine frontier, Brandulf Rex, a pagan Germanic barbarian, joins the Roman army as a spy and special forces operative. Down in Rome, Junia Flavia, the lovely and pious daughter of a nominally Christian senator, finds herself embroiled in anti-Christian politics as she works on behalf of the church.

As armies converge and forces beyond Rex’s and Flavia’s controls threaten to destroy everything they have worked for, these two people from different worlds will have to work together to bring down the evil Emperor Maxentius. But his villainous plans and devious henchmen are not easily overcome. Will the barbarian warrior and the senator’s daughter 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?

Travel back to one of the most pivotal eras in history–a time when devotion to the pagan gods was fading and the Roman Empire was being conquered by the sign of the cross.

My Thoughts

Have you ever opened a package and immediately felt giddy over the book that popped out? Well, I will be honest that is how I felt about this book. The cover pulls you in, the weight and feel of the paper further builds up the hopes in your mind, and then to cap it all off, the description is intriguing! Did I mention I got a hardcover edition? 

  Bryan Litfin is a new to me author with a very great writing style. He pulls you in with vivid characters, drama, battles, and dreams. I loved the period and setting, and I am so thankful for the research Bryan Litfin put into making this book believable and accurate. The characters were pretty realistic, and they chose believable courses of action. Although at times I marveled at their courage! The Religious aspects of the book were spot on for the period (but more on that in a bit), and I truly felt like I was back in time facing off against the lions with the characters. Both Flavia and Rex captured me from the first page, and I enjoyed getting to go on their journey (But I am curious to see what happens to them next).

  On the religious aspect. I usually only review Christian Fiction. This is not your normal overtly Christian Fiction. It does not mention God in the sense of having a personal deep abiding relationship with him. He is thought of more as a deity and mostly mentioned in passing. He is not the focus of this story, as most people expect from Christian Fiction. Yet to clarify it is not primarily listed as Christian Fiction, but Ancient, Historical, Romance with a Christian fiction genre thrown in there. Personally, if this book were to be marketed directly to a non-Christian audience, I could see it doing very well (maybe even having a movie made of it) but directing it towards Christians… I do not think it will go well. Also, because it has sexual connotations throughout the story, as well as taking an odd (period correct though) stance on women.

Overall, I give it 3 out of 5 stars for the great research, interesting story plot, and vivid characters. But I would NOT recommend it to anyone who is not sure of their faith, has problems with reading sexual references, or an impressionable audience. I would also recommend the publisher Revell not label it as Christian Fiction.

*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.

About Bryan Litfin

1025498Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in a Christian home as the son of a seminary professor, pastor, and college president. In addition to Texas, he has lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and Oxford, England.

Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting

to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.

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