A War Within: The Gladiator (A War Within #1)

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Title: A War Within: The Gladiator (A War Within #1)

Author: Nathan D. Maki

Publisher: Word Aflame Press (Pentecostal Publishing House)

Publication Date: January 14, 2013

Format: Paperback

Length: 314 pages


There was a time when Antonius Maximus believed in Christ. That was before his mother died. Before the Roman soldiers raided a church meeting, taking the men to fight as gladiators and the women to die before lions in the Coliseum. Now, Antonius trains in the gladiator school, plotting revenge and trying to balance his lost faith with his love for a Christian prisoner.

Nathan Maki creates compelling and interesting characters in this book, and the journeys they take (both personal journeys from faith to doubt and physical journeys across the Roman Empire) are highly interesting. This is especially true during the various battle scenes, which are described in a way that makes them feel realistic but no less exciting. However, the more personal scenes rely on dialogue that feels a little too cliché to make the scenes reach their full potential. As a result, the book as a whole comes across as good but not incredible. It’s the kind of book one reads a few times and enjoys it, but may not keep on the book shelf.



Rating (1 to 5 stars)

3 out of 5 stars

Intended Audience

Readers interested in fictional stories set during early Christian history, readers who like “sword and sandal” epics or adventure stories.

Christian Impact

Readers looking for solid adventure stories that explore Christian topics will enjoy this book and its insights on finding faith in difficult times.



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A War Within

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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