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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Advocate by Randy Singer


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.

The Advocate by Randy Singer was an excellent read that incorporated fact with fiction in a flawless and intriguing way. I have always been interested in who Theophilus actually was, and I thought this novel put together a story of his life that was captivating, compelling, and even credible. The history of Roman lifestyles, history, emperors, architecture, philosophy, and Greek philosophy that were a part of this story were very well researched and completely pulled me into the story and the time period. I was really intrigued by how the author orchestrated Theophilus' life to have him be at Jesus' crucifixion, then be involved in several Roman events, and finally defend Paul in front of Nero because of his guilt that Jesus, an innocent man, was killed while he stood by silently. I also liked the author's take on why the books of Luke and Acts were written to Theophilus in the first place. The descriptions of locations, people, and situations were detailed and helped me picture what was going on.

The plot was well written and contained a good mixture of slow and fast paced sections as well as including mystery, romance, danger, and sorrow. The majority of the story was narrated in first person from Theophilus' perspective; however, one section was third person from Flavia's perspective and the last section was third person but still from Theophilus' point of view. The novel was supposed to be like Theophilus was writing his memoirs except for the last section which supposedly occurred after he  finished his memoirs. The characters in The Advocate, especially Theophilus were realistic and well developed. I really felt like I could relate to Theophilus and his emotions and thoughts because of the way the novel was written. There were times where I was deeply sad because of the situations that he and several others faced, especially at the end and another time when one particular person died. Overall, I really enjoyed the depth and content of this novel, and while it was not Randy Singer's normal style, The Advocate was definitely an excellent read that I would highly recommend.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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