Book Review: The Pilgrim, by Davis Bunn

The Pilgrim, by Davis Bunn

In this post, Christian author Mark Fisher reviews The Pilgrim, by Davis Bunn, a book of Christian historical fiction set in the world of ancient Rome in AD 313.

ThePilgrim-Cover-DavisBunnAn Empress Disgraced, But on a Quest

The Emperor has summarily divorced his wife, the Empress Helena, who is a Christ follower. Evicted from her Italian country home and without official status, she feels disgraced and alone. But God speaks to her and she undertakes a perilous voyage to Palestine and Jerusalem. Her son is Constantine, the general in charge of the eastern armies. He opposes the Emperor and recently helped craft the Edict of Milan which decreed tolerance for all Christians. But powerful forces resist.

Friends of the Emperor and enemies of Constantine want to kill her. They’ve assigned the task to Severus, a brutal assassin. Young Anthony, a soldier from Constantine’s legions, accompanies her. He’s lost his family and his faith, but he’s loyal to her. He warns her an opposing army might meet her in Caesarea when they land. But she’s undeterred.

In Caesarea, An Assassin Waits

In the Palestinian port, she meets Macarius, a bishop of Jerusalem, who lost an eye to his persecutors. Cratus, a hard-edged Roman sergeant with soft heart, joins her. Together they start the difficult journey through a dry and harsh land to Jerusalem. Her son’s edict is in hand. She will bring it anywhere that Christians are enslaved or persecuted. She vows to stop the persecution of Christians in Palestine. Despite the peril, she heads toward Jerusalem.

Helena rejects the offer of a horse, choosing instead to go on foot. This slows their progress. And when danger threatens, she insists they must rely on God. Her will never falters.

But Severus and his soldiers are always one step ahead.

A Short Book, Worth Reading

This is a short book, only 175 pages, but well worth the reading. It takes us into ancient Palestine when the Roman Empire was changing its attitude toward Christians from persecution to wide acceptance. Davis does a brilliant job of depicting the times and culture, which truly comes alive through his words. Bunn also writes under the pseudonym, Thomas Locke.

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