Book Notes

I have written a novel called Through Fear of Death. It is set in ancient Rome near the end of the first century. This is why I’m using Roman themed images for this website.

Silas Etrurias is one of the most popular gladiators in Rome and the pride of the Ludus Magnus—Rome’s largest and most prestigious gladiatorial school. After trying and failing so many times to buy his freedom, he’s decided to join his wife, Priscilla, in a new cult that is outlawed in Rome: Christianity. This means he can no longer kill. His defiance incurs the wrath of his lanista (head of the Ludus), the Procurator of the Games, and eventually the Emperor.

Marcus Valentinius is a retired soldier who is now the senior guard at the Carcer—Rome’s main prison. Among his prisoners are the gladiator Silas Etrurias, his wife’s godparents, and their two chief household slaves, all charged with being members of an illegal religious sect. Fate seems to intervene, giving him a chance to save them from the Arena. But his friendship with the wrong people could cost him everything he holds dear.

Through Fear of Death is a story of love, faith, betrayal, blood, action and suspense, but it is not Christian fiction in the generic sense. Rome was a seedy culture, and I portray that honestly. However, there are Christian characters and Christian themes. It is set at the end of the reign of Domitian, one of the most intense times of persecution for the church in Rome.

Silas, Priscilla, and their friends hope to remain faithful unto death. Valentinius and his wife, Julia, struggle to understand why their friends and neighbors are willing to die rather than break their ties to a dangerous cult. In the end, these Christians and non-Christians find they have more in common than they ever imagined.