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This book was written in 1952 and was on the New York Times best seller list for 62 weeks. It was also made into a movie starring Paul Newman as Basil. It was Newman's first movie. The story was inspired by the archaeological discovery of a 1st century silver chalice in Antioch. Thomas B. Costain was a leading author of the 1940s and 50's writing in the area of historical fiction, he is famous for his lengthy description fortunately this book had only small descriptions, just enough to make you feel as if you are there. Costain was one of my favorite authors in the 1950's so when I saw this on Audible I jumped at the chance to re-read this book. This one and The Black Rose were my favorite books at the time. The plot of the story has Basil (a Greek) as a child with a gift as an artist. He caught the eye of a rich Antioch merchant who adopted him. When he was a youth the merchant died and the merchants brother defrauded Basil of his inheritance and sold him into slavery to a silversmith. Basil learned his trade and later his freedom was brought by Luke, the physician and was taken to Joseph of Arimathea to create the case to hold the silver chalice. He meets Paul and the apostle Peter and the story was lots of suspense as the zealots try to destroy the chalice and Simon Magus the magician try to destroy the story of Jesus. The story takes place in Israel and in Rome. Costain is a master at building up his character as he propels the story. there is a love story tucked into the main plot as Basil weds Deborah, daughter of Joseph of Arimathea. If you like historical fiction and stories of ancient times you will enjoy this book. David Case does an excellent job narrating this story.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Basil's epic quest to create the silver chalice takes him from Antioch to Jerusalem to Rome where he meets such historic characters as Luke, Paul, and Joseph of Arimathea. The author presents vivid descriptions of everyday life during the 1st century and has obviously done considerable research. David Case does an excellent job providing unique voices for the many characters. I found this story of faith and romance to be delightful.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful