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The Bronze Door (The Cyrenian Trilogy), by Karin Ciholas

THE BRONZE DOOR opens to a turbulent time in history when great courage is needed to defy a tyrant.

Unwavering in his mission to save lives, Simon fights for justice for his fellow Jews but faces a new challenge when his wife, Aurelia, and his sons embrace Christianity. Despair and fear grip Simon as Caligula seeks revenge for Simon’s past opposition. Caligula appoints Aurelia’s brother, Valerius, as governor of Syria, and orders him to lead his legions to Jerusalem to erect Caligula’s statue in the temple. To obey Caligula means the slaughter of thousands of Jews who are ready to give their lives to save the sanctity of the temple. To disobey means death for Valerius and his family. Faced with this agonizing choice, Valerius gains strength from his deep love for Rachel, Simon’s sister.

In this story of courage, faith, and love, witness the unfolding drama against the backdrop of a world torn between cruelty and humanity.

“The Cyrenian Trilogy is an extraordinary accomplishment as to the scope of the material, the command of literature, and the balance of judgment. Readers gain insight into an era in which Jewish nationalism, nascent Christianity, Roman power, and Hellenistic culture in the Mediterranean world converged, sometimes violently and tragically. Concentrating on Simon and his extended family, Ciholas adeptly and empathetically describes the tensions and polemics that arose when some family members adopted a new allegiance (Christianity) while others clung to the ancient paths (Judaism). At stake was nothing less than the self-definition of both Jews and Christians.”

– Beth Glazier, author of Malachi, The Divine Messenger: A Critical Reappraisal

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