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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Advocate Review

The Advocate Description:

At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths—Roman crucifixion.

Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

The advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

My Review:

Although the identity of the biblical Theophilus has been lost in history, and the opinion that Theophilus was in fact Paul's advocate is not widely accepted, Singer offers up a rather interesting and intriguing story from that perspective.  Singer draws from the biblical account of not only Jesus "trial" but of Paul's character and life as well.  He does take some creative license, but not so much that it caused me to question his attempt at a creative telling of biblical accounts.

Theophilus embodies what I think many citizens during the time of Jesus and the birth of Christianity may have felt.  They knew that something was different about Jesus, but weren't really sure what.  It wasn't until they took the time to hear his message that their lives were changed.  I found the characters came to life in this story and I was drawn in.  At over 400 pages there was enough detail to allow me to create the images and action in my mind but not so much that I was overwhelmed with useless information.

I look forward to reading more from Singer and I hope that he again writes in this genre.

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