First of all, there are some highlights of this powerfully and expertly written manuscript which we should mention. The story covers a lot of territory and themes including power and greed. This is something many men wish for in the Roman Empire as the story opens. The Emperor Diocletian is one of those men. However, he has a Christian wife and daughter. A young soldier named Constantine enters the picture. Things begin to get shaken up when Christians pray and seek God. There are those such as a man named Maurice, who doesn’t understand why God allows pain. But a Christian man named Paul helps him out following a time when Maurice is wounded. Maurice travels on in the desert, praying to God and voicing his lack of understanding regarding God’s ways and will. But he has an experience with God, and his life is changed. This same man who constantly questioned God after suffering great personal loss, suddenly is quoting from the Psalms. Maurice has great influence and he influences a Roman soldier who cries out to God in a time of need. Also, the conversion of Constantine is nicely told in the manuscript.
The writer is very capable, using a large vocabulary and he is quite descriptive in writing about love, war, pain and hope. He also sets the story very well in the time period of 285 A,D, There is a battle which takes place from page 89 on and is described as including stabbings and violence. We can still award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal as long as there are no graphic scenes of blood and stabbings with graphic wounds being shown in a subsequent film. The violence comes to the brink and rates a level two in our content rating. The neck snapping scene is hopefully not intended to be graphic on the big screen. A level three would have prevented the story from receiving our Dove Seal. We recommend the story for ages twelve and up.