Hostage Lands

Monday, July 16, 2012
To the end of my days – which I was beginning to think might come very soon – I shall never forget what I read therein. In ran to the effect, “By the authority of holy Mercury, chosen from the seven planets, and the emperors Caracalla and Gete, I, Tribune Publius Pius Festus, do command Centurion Marcus Aurelius Rusticus to lay aside his accoutrements of rank and assume the garb of a native tribesman, to journey north and move among the Caledonian and all other tribes that oppose Rome. Whereupon, he shall gather information that will reveal the status of the tribes, as to strength, numbers, strategic plans, including places and times of further revolt against the armies of the eternal city of Rome…” I felt I was reading my declaration of execution.

Book: Hostage Lands by Douglas Bond, P and R Publishing, 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 14-18
Subjects: Truth, Loyalty, Friendship, Power
Summary: A massacre. All of his men, dead. And for what? The power hungry tribune’s foolish command! Now that same insane tribune is sending him to what will certainly be his death: a spy mission amongst the enemy. He has no hope, not a chance of convincing the enemy he is one of them. But the tribune insists. Thankfully, the man who saved his life is joining him. And his heritage truly is the same as that of the enemy. If he can survive and bring back enough information before the tribune’s deadline, his life will be spared. If not, his life, the life of his friend and the life of an innocent girl, will be taken. Is Mercury strong enough to help them through this mission?
Notes: This is a look at the culture of a Roman soldier and a Roman Christian as they travel through their adventures together. The Christian shares very little, but just enough to wet the appetite of the soldier. The issue is truth – what is really real. It’s not prominent, but it’s there. The book has a violent beginning when the war scene first appears but not one else dies after that and the main character only knows his men have died through being told. There aren’t any graphic violent scenes though.
Recommendation Scale: 3/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect


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