Macias and Wales will win readers’ hearts as they reveal the lives of early Christians. The stories of an esteemed emperor, his family and the soldiers that follow him into battle make for quick reading. The authors give enough supporting historical evidence to bring the characters’ viewpoints to life; we willingly empathize with their circumstances.
In the third century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. He and his entire legion are killed for their faith by the evil Galerius. Then Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife. She despises her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority of her own. She knows that she must remain committed to him, but at the same time she knows she will never find the love she knew with Mauritius again. (ABINGDON, Sep., 383 pp., $14.99)