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Titus: A Comrade of the Cross

by Florence M. Kingsley
278 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Nienna

Beautiful, Biblical story with sad overtones.

Plot

Titus is a young Greek lad living in Jerusalem during the first century with his mother, a sorrowful but good woman; his father, a violent criminal; and his brother Stephen, a sweet young boy crippled from being beaten by his father while a baby. This is the story of Titus' growth from a Jew-hating robber to one who would die for Jesus.

Morality

Some of the characters have very twisted morals, but for the most part good is good and bad is bad. In the beginning Titus hates the Jews and this is never directly corrected but he does learn not to hate them, and one is not given the impression that his hatred is right.

Spiritual Content

Greek gods, Jehovah, and Jesus are all worshiped by various characters. Jesus heals various people. A doctor uses snake skin and other such things as healing devices, but the man to whom they are given thinks them worthless. There are many passages taken directly from the Bible.

Violence

A baby is kidnapped. A young boy has been crippled by beating when the story begins. A baby falls off a roof onto rocks and is very seriously hurt. Titus' father is violent and abusive. A young girl dies of an illness. A young man is whipped. The main character is wounded and knocked unconscious. There are some fights where people get injured and killed. Men are scourged. A main character and some others are crucified. None of it is at all descriptive.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine is frequently drunk, by some to excess. A doctor mixes up some kind of medicine for a sick child, but the child's father throws it out the window.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Occasional uses of such phrases as "by the gods."

Conclusion

A beautiful and heartbreaking story, Titus: A Comrade of the Cross helps the reader view the characters of the Bible (such as Caiaphus) as real humans with their own struggles and to see Jesus and his disciples through the eyes of many, from common Greeks to the high priest to Mary, mother of Jesus. This is a beautifully written, Biblical story that I recommend to all families. I would be careful giving it to younger readers, however, because it is very sad, though there is joy in the sadness, if one can see it.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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