Publisher: Tuscany Press (2015)
eARC (395 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2014
Set in the first century on the edges of the Roman Empire and the Jesus movement, Blood of a Stone is a sweeping story of murder, betrayal, love, and the search for redemption.
Faced with the brutality of slavery, Demetrios confronts his master and flees by the blood of a stone. Determined to escape his past, he struggles to create a new life and a new identity with his friend and fellow escaped slave, Elazar.
However, freedom has its price. Secrets cannot remain secret forever. A chance for love is lost. Elazar betrays Demetrios to a so-called prophet named Jesus of Nazareth. Fearing the Roman authorities and Jesus, Demetrios risks everything to silence those who would enslave him again. His quest leads him to startling discoveries and dire choices. Demetrios must answer the question we all ask: Can we ever be free of our past?
Once they escape from slavery, Demetrios and Elezar become caravan drivers in Judea and Galilee. Demetrios comes across as a bit greedy. He always seems to want more. That is understandable from his past as a slave who was never given enough of anything. Throughout the book, Demetrios struggles to get over his past. His father sold him into slavery. His master was vicious, brutal, abusive. He had to kill his master to save his own life. His master was a Roman and the Romans were quick to bring criminals to justice. Demetrios is right to be scared of what would happen if the Romans discovered his crime.
While Demetrios is a Gentile, Elezar is Jewish. Elezar hears word of a miracle-worker, a teacher some are calling the Messiah. Elezar goes to see this person himself. When he returns from listening to Jesus of Nazareth speak, he informs Demetrios that he will be joining Jesus’s followers. Demetrios feels he is being abandoned. This is made worse when Elezar reveals that he confessed his sins to Jesus and told him everything he and Demetrios had done. Demetrios is terrified that Jesus will take this knowledge to the Roman authorities. He believes that his only option is to catch up with Jesus before he arrives in Jerusalem for Passover. However, things don’t happen the way Demetrios believed they would.
This is an interesting story of the time of Jesus told by an outsider, a Gentile, a former Roman slave. I enjoyed the book. It kept me interested. The characters were very believable and relatable.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.