John Hunt Publishing is one of the publishers with who we collaborate frequently and I want to start this article by thanking them for giving us an ARC of “The Senator’s Assignment” by Joan E. Histon.
I can’t say that I read many books about the Roman Empire. Not because I am not interested in the subject, but because I didn’t have the opportunity to do so. Due to this, I was very happy I was the one from our magazine that got the chance to read it.
What is the Senator’s Assignment?
The book’s plot is set after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It has as the main character a Roman Senator, Vivius Marcianus, who is sent by Emperor Tiberius on a secret mission to Jerusalem. The Caesar has doubts about Pontus Pilate’s actions, asks Vivius to investigate if the Roman Ruler abides his higher power. This assignment puts Vivius in danger and makes him form unlikely alliances.
However, the conspiracy doesn’t stop here. Back in Rome, the Senator’s fiancee, Aurelia, is also subject to a dangerous plot that makes her step out of her comfort zone and asks her former lover for help.
Histon takes a big risk with this story because all Christianity knows how Pontus Pilate is the person responsible for Jesus Christ’s death, so not much more can actually be said that can bring something new to this story. What she did, in my opinion, was to take the great Bulgakov’s example in “Master and Margarita” and reinterpret the story of Pontius Pilat. She did a good job with this. Bulgakov treated this subject in a very profound and biblical style that made his book to become a masterpiece. Histon, on the other hand, gave “The Senator’s Assignment” a more contemporary feeling with intrigues on different levels that made her book to become an appealing historical thriller.
I am not a very religious person, but I always wondered how a nation that allegedly persecuted the Christians so much became the nation that fathers now this religion. However, this is not the subject of this novel, it is just my personal question that popped into my mind again while reading “The Senator’s Assignment”.
Strictly about Joan E. Histon’s book, I want to say that it is good easy to read lecture. It felt like a shorter version of “Quo Vadis” with a fresh way of looking at that part of the history.
So, do I recommend it? Of course, I do.