Stone and Steel (Colossus #1) by David Blixt: 5*****

If you have never read David Blixt you are in for a real treat with his Colossus series. This is the first novel of the set, and he deals with the beginnings of the Judean war, lays out many of the characters who I think will appear in later volumes of this series, and gives us a tremendous historical lesson in this fictionalized book. Some people get five star ratings due to th beauty of their writing, others because of the genre they write in, and this historical fiction novel gets my highest rating because of the detailed research that went into the book, the history that’s behind the book, and how Blixt is able to incorporate all of that into a highly readable novel.

We meet many characters in this book, but I think the three main characters are the twin brothers Judah and Asher, along with the newly appointed general Yosef, who general Vespasian gave the Romanized name of Josephus, a name many people are familiar with due to his histories of the Jewish faith and Jewish wars. While the twin brothers are no doubt the center of the novel, and heroes of the novel, Josephus comes off as both a dreamer who thinks he may be the Messiah, as well as an opportunist, and a rather unlikable character who is more concerned about his future glory than about the siege and the overall course of the war.

We also get many supporting characters who Blixt is able to flesh out for us, one of the most impressive is Eleazar whom everybody called Atlas. He is a giant of a man, a person who does incredibly heroic work and is a favorite of his fellow Judean warriors as well as myself. Yes, there is a lot of history in this but it is a fascinating read, it is a read that moves along quickly and to be honest I could not put the book down. I have read other works of Blixt which are very good, but which tend to be extremely lengthy and are a bit difficult for me to read in there paperback version. Here I decided to go with a Kindle version of the book and I found it much easier to follow and read.

If you like historical fiction, that is fiction based on true history in which most all the characters are realistic historical figures, then this is a book you should read. It does a very good job of outlining the beginning of this war, the siege that is the center of the book as well as preparing us for what’s to come in the future novels. Just an excellent work and I look forward to the second book of the series, as well as digging into the other works of this author

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