review of Christianus Sum by Canadian author Laura Davis, I just knew that I had to get my hands on a copy of my own. Having been a huge fan of the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, I had an inkling that Shawn Pollett's debut novel would offer something similar, and I was not mistaken. This book had it all--history, romance, and suspense paired together with unforgettable characters--and I couldn't help but be amazed that it wasn't published by one of the big Christian publishing houses!
My biggest takeaway from this book was the suffering of the Early Church. I have read so few books focusing on their martyrs and trials, and this book really helped to open my eyes to the horrible torture that the early believers were victims to. It made me think that it is so easy to give lip service, but it is another thing altogether to be willing to sacrifice your own life for the cause of Christ.
I enjoyed Pollett's debut novel a great deal and now, can't wait to get my hands on the second and third books in the series (yes, there really is more)! He took me on an engaging journey through ancient Rome that left me frustrated once or twice, but ultimately, left me quite satisfied. Take my word for it...if you loved the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, this is where you need to start next.
Summary of Christianus Sum:
The year is AD 249 and the Roman Empire stands on the brink of destruction. Barbarian hordes swarm the frontiers, desperate to feed on the vast wealth of an empire paralyzed by rampant corruption, immorality, and a string of incompetent emperors. Out of this chaos emerges a new emperor, the "Divine Decius," who plans to save the empire by annihilating the people he believes are responsible for angering the gods-the Christians.
Now the fate of the empire rests on the slim shoulders of a simple slave girl, Damarra Valensia, the obsession of two of the empire's most powerful men: Valerianus, Decius' depraved lieutenant and the architect of the Decian persecution of the Christians, whose lust for Damarra will not be denied; and Julius Valens, the handsome and respected senator, who wants only to win the beautiful Damarra's heart. As the battle between the two men escalates, Damarra becomes the pawn in a game that threatens to tear her life apart and bring the once mighty Roman Empire to its knees. Will she deny the Christ and live out her life with the man she loves? Or will she stand with her fellow believers and proudly proclaim the very words that demand a death sentence in her world: Christianus Sum . . . I am a Christian?
**Many thanks to Laura Davis for the giveaway copy I received from her blog. :o)