Friday, January 7, 2011
Title: Valeria's Cross
Authors: Kathi Macias & Susan Wales
In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.
This book did a fantastic job setting the stage and making you believe you were there with Valeria - living what the early church went through. I felt her pain as she heard the news about Mauritius and his entire legion being killed for their faith. Even more telling, I felt the misgivings and pain of the soldier ordered to kill Mauritius.
Nothing is black or white in this story world. Valeria hates what her father has done, but worries about his health and cares about him and wants him to accept Christ. You see her have problems saying things from the old religion she grew up with just because it's habit and comfortable. She goes through a period where she isn't sure what she believes anymore. When she is forced to marry the man who is chiefly behind the persecution of the Christians, she rebels and is angry for quite a while. She has moments of jealousy - even towards her best friend. In short, Valeria reacted just like I think a real person in her position would have.
I don't like to read books that depress me. There were a lot of... negative things that happened in this book but because of the way the characters interact with each other, it never feels like you need to walk away. In fact you pull for them more and care about what will happen to them and wonder how they're going to handle the next obstacle that comes their way.
This is one of the best books I've ever read about this time period. It's a contender for my best books of the year as well. The plot moves along at a good pace, the authors did a fantastic job developing their characters and their is some nice romance - and true love - to sweeten it all up. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest this book to anyone. It's a great read.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 5:01 PM