GyA[paragraph]rgy SpirA[sup.3] and Tim Wilkinson (translator); CAPTIVITY; Restless Books (Fiction: Translations) 29.99 ISBN: 9781632060495
Byline: Bradley A. Scott
Captivity is an exciting and engrossing historical epic that richly rewards the reader.
Clocking in at over eight hundred pages, Captivity is a sprawling, epic bildungsroman that immerses the reader in a richly detailed world of the past. In the waning days of the emperor Tiberius, with the Eastern Mediterranean world in flux, a callow young man grows and matures, learning to see both what is before his eyes and what he can infer through deduction and experience.
Uri, a young man in Rome's impoverished community of Jewish expatriates, is surprised and shocked to be named as one of the delegates assigned to carry the community's annual temple offering to Jerusalem. As part of this delegation, he is expelled from the familiar Rome of his childhood and cast into a churning cauldron of competing, jostling cultures.
Other authors have explored this time and place, of course, but unlike many of them, Spiro does not focus on the ministry and crucifixion of a certain Galilean carpenter or the machinations of the Imperial court. Uri is from first to last a man of his time, place, and culture: a Roman Jew, an outsider everywhere. His travels bring him in contact with individuals whose names appear in...