Caesar’s Lord (Constantine’s Empire)

Written by Bryan Litfin
Review by Thomas j. Howley

In 323 AD, Emperor Constantine is on the verge of consolidating the widespread Roman Empire under the Christian God and a unified government, but there are still many hurdles: political, religious and military. In addition to heretical sects within the Christian church, there is still a sizeable portion of the people and the Roman army who prefer to keep the old pagan gods. The emperor has critical allies, such as Bishop Sylvester in Rome and a married couple: Rex, a German and former Roman military Special Operations soldier, and Flavia, a former Christian nun of noble heritage. Yet even these two devout Christians face temptations to stray from the faith as they endure the hardships that ensue. They both become key players in the mission to develop the Nicene Creed in hopes of unifying the believers, hunting for the true cross in Hierosalem, and extinguishing the hopes of a pagan revival.

This is the final book in the Constantine’s Empire trilogy. I also reviewed the first two. They are outstanding historical novels, and I found this one even better. Many today are familiar with the words of the Nicene Creed, but I found it significant and rather cool how the author explains this bit of intricate and important canonical history through the lens of dynamic historical fiction. Like the others in this series, the book is filled with realistic descriptions of hard-fought military action, tense scenes of intrigue, betrayal and espionage, and “story behind the story” accounts of religious history. All of this occurs across a wide series of venues including Rome, Alexandria, and Byzantium. Dramatic, emotional and, above all, inspirational. Highly recommended.