Colossus: Stone & Steel
Author: David Blixt
Publisher: David Blixt
Imprint: AuthorBuzz
Pub Date: May 25, 2012
ISBN: B007XK66KIxxx

When historical fiction is done right, it leaves you wanting. It makes you eager to learn, you start digging into history, looking up eras, people, places in order to find out more about what you just read. Good historical fiction leaves you hungry for the real story. That’s what I love about it and COLOSSUS: STONE & STEEL is just such a book.

I had no frame of reference whatsoever about the Judean Wars. I had no clue and had never heard of it. By the time I was through the first chapter of Colossus, I was hungry for more. I had fallen in love with the story and couldn’t wait to finish it so I could a) find out what happened and b) get to doing some research of my own to find out the real historical data the story is based on.

The story opens with a small band of Jews fighting the Romans with only slings and spears. Judah, the main protagonist ends up fighting hard and fast and somehow manages to team up with Levi, an experienced fighter and bodyguard for the other side. In the distance, Judah spots the Roman eagle, their standard and decides to take it. Defeated and shamed by the loss of the eagle, the Romans retreat, but retribution is coming. The taking of the eagle is an insult that Rome cannot ignore.

The story follows Judah and his people as they prepare for the eventual war and it is a fascinating one. It explores the politics of the different bands of Hebrews as well as the Romans under Nero. Both Roman and Hebrew culture are illuminated beautifully. You can almost see ancient Rome and Jerusalem as you read. I fell in love with the descriptions of Galilee, the fortifications and the people.

Publisher’s blurb:

An epic novel of the Roman-Jewish War.
Judea, 66 AD. A Roman legion suffers a smashing and catastrophic defeat at the hands of an angry band of Hebrews armed with only slings and spears. Knowing Emperor Nero’s revenge will be swift and merciless, they must decide how to defend their land against the Roman invasion.
Caught up in the tumult is the mason Judah, inadvertent hero of Beth Horon, who now finds himself rubbing shoulders with priests, revolutionaries, generals, and nobles, drafted to help defend the land of Galilee.
Denied the chance to marry where he will, he turns all his energy into defending the beseiged city of Jotapata. But with a general suffering delusions of grandeur, friends falling each day, and the Roman menace at the walls, Judah must brave a nightmare to save those he loves and preserve his honor.
About the author:
Author and playwright David Blixt’s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE’S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, “Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It’s well worth it.”

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

For more about David and his novels, visit

Disclosure:  A free copy of this book was furnished by the publisher for review via NetGalley, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.

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