A book review by Alex Szollo
Entire libraries can be filled with accounts of the life and times of Jesus Christ, worshipped by billions of people all over the world as the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and all this has, of course, developed over the course of time. I’ve always been fascinated with the world into which Jesus was born, lived, died and was raised to life again. I’ve seen countless movies based on His life, and I’ve read a wealth of fiction books, from all sorts of perspectives.
I think it’s safe to say that after years of reading about Christ, I found the most gripping, dramatic account of His passion that I’ve ever read. It arrived in the form of a novel called THE SOLDIER WHO KILLED A KING, written by David Kitz, whom I wholeheartedly thank for the signed copy of the novel. I also hereby declare that the views you are about to read are entirely my own. This is what this book fully deserves, because, to say it briefly, it’s awesome!
The novel is written from the point of view of Marcus Longinus, a Roman soldier who observes the effect that Jesus has on the people of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which is the event that starts the story. Over the course of a week, this man’s entire life is turned upside down and built anew as he seeks to find out the truth about who the mysterious, wonderworking “donkey king” is, and what He means for Rome, Israel, and the entire world.
He witnesses the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the cleansing of the temple, and thinks Jesus to be a ragtag revolutionary. Then, he sees Him pray and bring miracles to those who need them, and begins to wonder whether there’s more than meets the eye to this man, as he witnesses Jesus becoming caught in the power struggles between Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod Antipas(or the Weasel, the Badger and the Fox – all very fitting nicknames).
Here is where the book becomes brutal, and I’m not just talking about what Jesus goes through. There’s a very powerful and dramatic scene where the blood-crazed Herod abuses his power in a shocking manner. Read the book to find out how, and how Christ plays a role in the aftermath of that scene. As for the Passion itself, it is depicted in all its cruelty, but there’s a great deal of reverence coming across.
Readers will be transported to those times, they will be terrified and inspired at the same time, reliving the most impactful sacrifice of all time. Mr. Kitz’s background as a spoken-word drama performer comes across powerfully in this gripping narrative, which does not feel cheesy or preachy for a second. It’s the story of a man whose faith develops gradually, the fictional but Truth-filled story of the difference one Man and one week made in the history of the world.
I’m blessed to have this book on my shelf, and give it ten out of five stars! Blessings upon blessings, Mr. Kitz! You’ve written one for the ages!