Book Reviews

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I use this page to post some of the reviews that have come in for my books.

At last, the final novel in Ed Lewis’s Seeds of Christianity series has been released, and it’s well worth the wait. A fitting conclusion to this well-researched and deeply intriguing set of novels, Martyr creates a wholly plausible and enthralling picture of ancient Rome in the time of the first Christians. Favorite characters from earlier tales undertake the perilous journey by sea from Antioch while waves crash and timbers creak. Filled with the sights and smells of ocean and harbor, the hustle and bustle of market and the curious wonder of ancient feast day and procession, the novel’s worth reading just for this.

Soon the family reaches Rome, where characters cope with trials and tribulations of decrepit buildings and corporate greed. History comes alive with real people in situations not so different from those of today. The obnoxious woman next door annoys. The Christian heroine forgives. And the rest of the Christians think she’s just as mad as they would in the present day. A church united by faith threatens to splinter under pressure. And a world united by powerful subjugation begins to fall apart.

The horror of a city in flames, the panicked flight of civilians, the madness of a fallen emperor, it’s all in here, well-researched, beautifully portrayed, and even illustrated with truly engaging pictures at the end of each chapter. Did you know what an ancient amphora looked like or what it was used for?

The author uses (and explains in his notes) just the right amount of poetic license to bring the familiar and unfamiliar of this time and its people into focus. History, geography, science and Bible research combine convincingly. The whole makes beautiful, tragic sense, setting the scene for the present day in well-drawn visions from the past, and building up to an awesome conclusion for a series of awesome scope. I almost wish it wasn’t over, and I’m ready to start reading Witness again and repeat the whole journey.

Disclosure: The author sent me a free ecopy in exchange for my honest review, and I can only count myself blessed to have had the chance to read all four of these books. - Sheila Deeth
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As a career writer I am sometimes critical of other people’s writing. When I see something outstanding, however, it makes me want to stand up and shout.  

The Seeds of Christianity Series caught my attention with WITNESS, the first novel by E.G. Lewis. I eagerly read each one that followed and believe each book is better than the one preceding it. In MARTYR Mr. Lewis outdoes himself. I cannot recommend it more highly. 

Although each novel stands alone, I suggest you read them all, and in order. You will fall in love with this First Century family and their interaction with Biblical events. History comes alive as Lewis weaves fact into fiction to create this memorable saga. The books themselves are not “preachy” as some Christian fiction tends to be.  

In MARTYR the main characters, Rivkah and Shemu’el, are now grandparents. They relocate from Antioch to Rome with their adult children and their families. They all have to endure the horrible persecutions of Christians in that time period. However, there is also humor in this novel as well. Rivkah’s interaction with Nasica the rental agent evokes laughter while accurately representing what housing conditions were like at that time. At first, you’ll dislike their feisty neighbor, Severina, then laugh and cry as she transforms into a totally different person with  Rivkah’s influence.  

You will experience Nero’s terrifying burning of Rome and their chilling escape thanks to the knowledge their son, Yudah. His time as an aqueduct apprentice in Antioch serves them well. The autistic giant, Pavlos, introduced in DISCIPLE and a major player in APOSTLE, returns in this book too. Lovable Pavlos is quite a hero. If you don’t shed tears of joy and sorrow over him you are one hard-hearted soul. 

Of course, Peter and Paul, Mark and Barnabas are in this book too. How could they not be? Yet, the book isn’t about them. It is about the lives of ordinary people who lived in the First Century and how they managed to survive, maintain and spread the Christian message. Whether you are Christian or not, you will find much to like about this series. It is truly entertaining, educational and inspiring.  MARTYR gets a five-star plus rating in this writer’s estimation. −Zara Heritage
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