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Thursday, February 4, 2021

[Kinda Book Report] Le Troisieme Testament: Julius Book IV

After a third installment in the second cycle that was a slow point in the series, now we get to the action. The story starts with a battle, with the Romans getting whipped in a nice plot device. From there, the situation just gets bigger and bigger, with the situation going from good for the rebellious Jews to band. Betrayals, revelations, and victories.

I really like how Julius' own story ties into the Roman and Judean politics of day. When Julius returns to Judea, we are introduced to a mosaic of factions and characters. His personal transformation from an unbelieving Roman continues. Here we see a man who has been fundamentally transformed into a completely different person (on the inside).

The art is tip-top and the story advances towards what promises to be an explosive conclusion. There are so many elements in play already. The Sar ha sarim, Julius, Nero, the Third Testament, the Romans, the sicarians, the zealots, and the most traditional faction of Jews.

Through him, we again visit the Jewish communities of the East, seeing how their situation changed since we last saw them in the second album. Good bit of storytelling.

There are so many vignette scenes in there: from the battle of Cesarea, the meeting of the Sar Ha Sarim and Julius, assassination attempts. The dark cave where the raven-knights were summoned in book 2. The implications are terrifying and oh-so-exciting.

One of the things I had to do was to go back to the first cycle and read the parable of Julius of Samaria. See how things are remembered twelve centuries later. So far, It sets up the story for one absolutely crazy finale. I have that album over there, but I want to pace myself. The table is set. The cards are dealt. The world will catch on fire.

So the rating? On first reading, I would have settled on a strong 4/5. However, on a second read, I spent more attention to some of the details and boy does this book tie up so many things. I waffled between a strong 4/5 or a weak 5/5. The latter best represents this book. I am shaking from self-imposed chills from waiting for the series finale. A weak 5/5.

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