I am hereby changed again! This book, the first book in “The Mark of the Lion” series, (a trilogy), was my initial introduction to Francine Rivers. Most women bibliophiles will know the name Francine Rivers, as a romance writer, turned Christian inspirational romance writer, when she was born again in 1986. (I was born again 1993!!! Hallelujah!!!). A fantastic friend named Leslie P., suggested, (and loaned me) the “Mark of the Lion” series, stating that she (Francine) usually appeals to women, but she was such an incredible writer, that she was sure I would enjoy it…OH WOW, WHAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT. Men of the Kingdom, get out a handkerchief, because if you pick up this book, you will find yourself peering into on of the mansion rooms in the Heart of the Lord. Want to find out how a man should be toward the women in his life? Read Francine Rivers!!! Better than a Gary Chapman marriage seminar!!!
The time period is right after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, and you will meet Hadassah, a Christian Jewess, whose whole family dies at the hands of Rome. She is sold into slavery, into a Roman household, as the personal slave to Julia Valerian, a young woman buried in self-centeredness, and moral depravity, but a family of much wealth. In this story, through Hadassah’s eyes, you’ll learn much about the Rome of that time, as well as the struggles that the believers faced daily. You will find yourself a part of the colliseum crowd, as you witness in your mind’s stage, the battles of the gladiators, (and horrifically disturbingly the way Rome treated Christians and slaves.) I guarantee that you will find yourself in many of these characters, Marcus, the quick witted, and playboy brother to Julia, Phoebe and Decimus, her parents….and as they change, so will you.
In this passage, Marcus has just stumbling their new slave Hadassah praying in their garden, (thinking she would not be seen). After a few probing questions, he explains that the purpose of life is pursue and grasp happiness wherever you can. Hadassah replies, “I don’t believe the purpose of life is to be happy. It’s to serve. It’s to be useful.” Marcus replies, “For a slave, perhaps that is true.” Hadassah returns, “Are we not all bond servants to whatever we worship?”
As I mentioned earlier, this is the first book of three, in this series, “Mark of the Lion.” I can promise that once you pick it up, you will be transported into 70 A.D., and will never be the same again. Thank you so much Francine Rivers!!!!