A satisfying historical novel with richly drawn characters and vivid settings.
'"A strong debut…" - The Historical Novel Society
I was completely captivated by this story about a noble and victorious Roman General set against the backdrop of the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. What most appealed to me was how the author effectively brought together three powerful human forces: war, faith, and love. I admit that at first I struggled to engage with the protagonist Roman General Marcus Augustus Valerias, who is a highly-conflicted character but I soon became fascinated by his journey to find himself, and by the end of the book, when he finds love I was thrilled. I also found the General's complex relationship with Joseph, the priest, to be very well written. I found the authors writing style to be a bit stiff in the beginning but I was glad that I stuck with it because once I got into the book I really enjoyed it.
This is a sweeping saga that gets off to a somewhat slow start but gradually picks up speed and drives toward a stunning and satisfying conclusion. The principal characters are well drawn and I quickly became an ardent admirer of General Valerias. In particular. I found the yin and yang of the relationship between the General and the Christian priest, Joseph, to be crafted with a deft touch. Moreover. The love story that develops late in the book between the General and Queen Claire is believable and engaging. Similarly, the violence while stark and, at times brutal, is handled well and seems appropriate to the story. I only have two minor criticisms: First, as I said above, the early part of the book could have been cleaned up a bit with rough love content editing. And second, while formatting suffers occasionally from some rather strange occurrences, such as having sentences or even entire paragraphs suddenly appear in bold type with no apparent reason. Having said all that, this is an excellent story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it for a Medallion.
5 out of 5
I was a little hesitant going into this – it sounded interesting, but I was worried it would end up being dry. But this – this was something else. Prill has such a unique style. This wasn’t like watching a movie or reading a book – it was like stepping through a portal to another time and watching everything as both a third party observer and as the General. The descriptions are so vivid you can see, heart, feel and almost smell everything. Before I knew it I was past part one, and not ready to put the book aside for even a brief break. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, (not romance), you’re going to fall in love with this book!
- Liliyana Shadowlyn
How far can friendship be trusted? How much can enemies be tolerated? This is a strong novel full of the strength of the Roman Army, the strength of family, and, ultimately, the sacrifices made to preserve the strength of civilization. The strict organization and strategic intelligence that is a necessary backdrop in planning battles involving thousands is described. There is the last-minute suspense at the very edge of conflict. The beating of Roman swords on Roman shields just prior to engagement, and the crazed heroism that explodes in fighting scenes that inspire victory and, later, the aftermath of the muck of battle. The unclean, harsh times are punctuated by striking bits of beauty as pictured by gently warming sunrises or hazardous sea crossings or the ever-changing seasons of nature. The vine of infant Christianity wends its way throughout, at times rolled by greed and power, at other times blooming with great, courageous belief. You will be thrust into this gritty, powerful, also loving and caring ancient universe in which to live by your strength and wit can be a deadly necessity.
- Arnold Gutkowski
Into The Realm of Time is a fast-moving adventure, packed with many diverse characters (thanks to the author for including a "cast of characters" at the beginning). The complex interrelationships become clear as the story evolves. There are sometimes violent struggles between good and evil, both within and between the characters, as well as a sweet subplot of mature love. This story reveals the dangers and interpersonal power struggles or a fictional ancient Roman Empire.
- Nancy M. Adams
I attended the luncheon at which you spoke about your book. I just finished reading it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It would have been unlikely that I would read a book about early Rome/War, yet when you read about Joseph and then commented that I only needed to read a few chapters to learn if he lived made me think I would read the first Jew chapters and then return to another book I was reading at the time. Needless to say. I am only now going back to that book. I came to the lunch as it has always interested me to meet authors and then to read what they have written. You commented that a publisher would likely not pick up a debut book of a 60 year-old author, but I am not sure I agree. I read many, many books, and I was deeply touched by the characters in your book. The ending was very satisfying (thank you- I hate crummy endings). The story really made me reflect on life and the things we go through. Before reading the book I was slight by concerned about the violence, but I thought you handled it quite well - I knew what was going on, but you did not share every ugly detail. I am still stunned that you simply wrote this without all sorts or planning. I greatly look forward to a second book and seeing what is to come of the characters. I think it is just great you pursued your desire to write a book - having read books written by several people I know, yours is honestly the only one I could see standing toe to toe with some of the bestsellers I read. Thanks for the pleasure of a wonderful read.
- Shannon Davidson
Imagine being asked out to the blue by a longtime friend - one who was trained as an environmental scientist and engineer and whose only writings you\i.e. seen are in technical reports and proposals- to read and comment on his first novel. Given that he never mentioned any interest in writing, and the story involves Roman generals and legions and all matters or things I never had much interest in. you can understand why I said. · sure. rd be happy to do so: after which I made a mad dash to the drugstore for NoDoz.
Day 1: Twenty pages. Only two to three weeks to go.
Day 2: Sixty more pages. My gosh, he knows how to carry a plot along.
Day 3: Done. Amazing.
- G. Buckle
Scott weaves a masterful story where the lives of the characters collide in the crucible of a moment in time. Into the Realm o/ Time is fun to read. Action packed, and well written. At the end I could not put it down as it moved to a climactic conclusion
- The Rev. Dee M. Anderson
The story has something for everyone: love, war, deceit, religion. I enjoyed the character development throughout the story: the honor and pride of a Roman General who serves the Empire: a Christian priest struggling with his faith while journeying ill a land or polytheism: the greed and thirst for power of kings and tribal rulers; and a former queen lo be forced into marriage. All the main characters struggled to overcome their own internal conflicts. The characters kept evolving as the story progressed. It seemed like I was reading three separate stories at once, but subconsciously I knew these storylines would weave together into a climax. Once I was engaged in the book, it was hard to put down.
- Christopher W. Barden
This was a great story and a fast read! The ending is wonderful! This book will make a blockbuster movie!
- Mark and Karen McCluskey
Into the Realm of Time brings to life the clash of kingdoms. Religions, and culture at the end ot the fourth century with a gripping intensity. Honor and Valor, treachery and the lust for power are timeless themes that Prill illustrates through characters that I will remember for a long time.
- Mark Chelmowski, M.D
Totally captivated by the story. It is obvious that the author spent considerable time and effort researching the period, allowing the reader not only to get a historical perspective but also to enjoy a compelling tale built around a very engaging hero. I enjoyed the book immensely.
- John E. Bergstrom
Scott Prill's first novel combines the historian's eye for seeing the details of an era with the storyteller's gilt lo, weaving subplots into a bigger whole. He gives us the by!) names of Roman weapons and armor and military strategies, and he also gives us characters moved by the timeless motives of courage, loyally, faith, and love.
- David G. Hanson
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