Caesar’s Lord (Constantine’s Empire)
In the fourth century, Christianity has taken root in Rome, thanks to Emperor Constantine. However, the old gods are still widely worshipped, causing tension in the empire. Even within Christianity, there are divisions and threats of schism.
Litfin has set the latest book in his Constantine’s Empire series against the background of the Arian controversy and Constantine’s battles against his brother-in-law Licinius and the struggles within his own household. It’s a fascinating period of history, and it’s clear Litfin knows it well. At times, it seems he knows it too well; the narration dives into detailed explanations of the controversy surrounding Jesus’s divinity and descriptions of the setting that will mainly distract people already intrigued by this period of history. I wish he had put as much energy into giving the characters more depth. As it is, there is a stark split between the good Christians and the utterly wicked pagans.
This book will appeal most to a Christian audience with either a strong backing or a strong interest in Roman history. I found it interesting but dry, and the constant reminders of monotheism being the only right way soon grew repetitive.
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