About the book:
Set in the turbulent years just before one of the most horrendous events in Jewish history, "The Last Temple" concludes the trilogy of "The Last Disciple" and "The Last Sacrifice." Vitas is reunited with his wife and retires to Alexandria, determined to live a quiet, domestic life. But he can't avoid the debts that he owes to the men who saved him, and he becomes a key figure in the plot to rid the empire of Nero. It sweeps him into the "year of four emperors," when the Roman Empire is nearly destroyed, and takes him back to Jerusalem as Titus lays siege to the great city. Only then, as the prophecy of Jesus begins to unfold, does Vitas discover the true mission set before him and the astounding conspiracy behind it.
This is the first book I've read about the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the only thing that comes close to it was A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. In this novel there is an entire portion of the story devoted to Nero's demise as well as the rebellion in Jerusalem that Rome got involved in. I liked how the author tied it all to the book of Revelation that the apostle John wrote on Patmos. That was an interesting perspective.
It was obvious the book was not the first in a series and it did feel like some things would have touched me more if I had read the first two books, but I still enjoyed this one. The authors did hint at the historical information from previous books. I loved that Vitas had such a powerful role in this story and how he was on a faith journey as well as a quest to destroy Nero. The connection he had to the Ark of the Covenant was awesome, too.
This book was very man-friendly, and by that, I mean it had it's gruesome, descriptive parts. Most guys will love the battle scenes and I know part of the fall of Jerusalem had to do with stacks of corpses, people starving, women consuming their own children, etc. But, um, yuck.
Anyway, I found this story compelling enough to finish it. It was interesting to read about Vitas' love for his wife from his perspective. Oh, and I knew Nero was a sicko, but man, was his behavior gross. Isn't there a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Nero was a prime example of that.
I love how at the end of this book the authors go into detail about history and what is true as well as what they fabricated for the story. It was like getting a mini history lesson about a turbulent time in the world. I didn't realize that after Nero came four more Caesars for a short period of time. It's amazing that Christianity and Judaism survived at all after that. It just shows how God has a plan and it will come to fruition. The question is just how involved do we want to get in that plan. Oh, and I loved the ending, but I don't want to post a spoiler so we'll leave it at that.
The Last Temple was published by Tyndale and released in July 2012.