Sunday, June 2, 2013

Salome's Conversion by Rohn Federbush

Decius Invictus, a Roman guard in Herod’s palace, is devoted to the beautiful fourteen-year-old Princess Salome, who, unbeknownst to him, is equally smitten with him. After the infamous Dance of the Seven Veils, where, as a finale, to please her mother, Herodias, Salome demands the head of John the Baptist, Decius spirits the disgraced princess out of the palace to save her life.

The only one who is willing to offer Salome shelter is Jesus’ mother, Mary. Decius readily embraces Jesus as the Messiah, but Salome has her doubts until that fateful night in the Garden of Gethsemane when Salome is blinded but regains her sight in time to witness the miracle of The Resurrection.

I've always been fascinated by the character and motivations of Salome, so I’m always pleased when I happen upon a novel about her. This one, however, was rather disappointing. This Salome is a little too bland and agreeable, too accepting of the obstacles Fate throws in her path. Somewhat too easily, she makes the transition from pampered royal princess to the humble, anonymous working person’s lifestyle. Perhaps I’m being overly practical, maybe I should have read this novel in a fairy tale or more escapist mindset, but it’s hard to believe that a princess, who would have been a valuable pawn in the royal marriage game, would have just been thrown to the wolves despite public opinion over the death of John the Baptist, and have just been allowed to quietly disappear, surely she would have been protected until the storm blew over, she was after all only doing what her mother wanted.  And when Salome is blinded, and also when she regains her sight a few pages later, her reactions are lacking in the kind of intense feelings one would expect going through these dramatic, drastic life changing events.

If you’re interested in Salome, I think this one of those times when you’re better off using your own judgment instead of being influenced by mine. If you’re at all intrigued by the plot I’ve described pick up a copy and see what you think, and feel free to let me know in a comment attached to this post.

One further note, I know some readers find certain things distracting, like an overabundance of italics for instance, so I wanted to mention that in this book every time the name “Jesus” is mentioned it is in red type. I believe this is customary in some bibles, but I have never seen it before in a novel, so I wanted to mention it.

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