The Conqueror by Bryan Litfin ~ Review

My Review:

I went into this book with high hopes, excited about a book exploring the rich history of the Constantinian Empire, and in many way this book does deliver just that -- possibly in more ways than I bargained for. Meticulously well researched, the author's Phd in ancient church history is on full display as the complex political climate, as well as the cultural norms of the time are described in a way that shows great understanding. I feel like the things done best in this book are the way that the author brings the ancient setting to life,with an excellent understanding of the times. 

While there was quite a bit going on, I found the pacing slow at times to my taste, and I had a hard time connecting with the characters. The things that I didn't enjoy or even think necessary was getting in the heads of the more villainous characters. I understand that what is represented is very likely true to what happened in those early times, but I think that the shock and punch of the goriness and immorality could have been handled less explicitly, the regular mentions of fornication, adultery, promiscuity, innuendo, and violence, especially in the last 2/3s of the book made it wearisome, and I just wanted to be done with the book. 

In the end, I honestly just didn't enjoy this book. I kept pushing because though there were things that were well done, and I think that it did a good job of showing the juxtaposition between Rex and Flavia's worldviews, well as those who would claim to know Christ but bore no good fruit. So while there were many things that were well done, I don't think that I could in good conscience recommend it to others, and definitely not to younger readers. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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