Blood of a Stone
by Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Tuscany Press, 2015
Reviewed by Laura, age 13
I received a review copy of this historical fiction (sword and sandals era) but found it too hard to get into. It seemed to me that a younger reader would probably be the best reviewer, so I passed it on to thirteen-year-old Laura, an avid reader, for her impressions.
Some background, first:
The story follows the path of Demetrios, the rejected son of a brutal father who had sold him into slavery—a condition he escapes through violence and, he believes, the power of a stone idol he begins to serve. Finding a partner in the Jew Elazer, Demetrios becomes something of an entrepreneur—and a slave owner himself. Then business matters make him aware of the Rabbi Jesus...
Now it's Laura's turn. This review is an edited transcript of a phone interview:
It was a good book; I liked it. It took me about a week to read it, but I had another book to read for English. It was very interesting, “catching”: it had a good hook to it. The storyline was pretty good, too, but there were two or three times where I found myself getting lost. I had to reread part of it to figure out what was happening.
The ending could have been more satisfying.
There are some things I wish had been done differently. I wish Demetrios and his father had a better relationship. And I wish that Jesus had brought Rufus back from the dead. That felt like a lost opportunity. If it had happened, that probably would have changed how the story continued. But as it was, that part of the story got a bit too heavy for me.
My favorite parts were when Demetrios refused to beat his slave. And how Jesus healed the girl. She was my favorite character. I liked the way she stood up to her father in the first couple of chapters. She was a strong person.
Even though the book was set in ancient times, I was able to follow along. I also learned some new things about history.
I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.