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More Than Honor (Light in the Empire)

By Carol Ashby


Duty and honor had anchored his life, but only truth could set him free.

Devotion to duty and dogged determination make Tribune Titianus the most feared investigator of the Urban Cohort. Honor drives him to hunt down anyone who breaks Roman law, but it becomes personal when Lenaeus, his old tutor, is murdered in his own classroom. Why kill a respected teacher of the noble sons of Rome, a man who has nothing worth stealing and no known enemies? Had he learned something too dangerous to let him live?

Pompeia was only a girl when Titianus studied with Father before her family became Christians. She and her brother Kaeso can’t move their school from the house where their father was killed. But what if the one who killed Father comes to kill again? Kaeso’s friend Septimus insists they spend nights at his father’s well-guarded home. But danger lurks there as well. As Titianus hunts for the murderer, will he discover their secret faith and arrest them as enemies of the Empire?

When Titianus gets too close to finding the killer, the hunter becomes the hunted. While he recovers at his cousin Septimus’s house, Pompeia becomes the first woman to touch his heart. But a tribune’s loyalty is sworn to Rome, no matter how he feels. When her faith is revealed, will truth and love mean more to him than honor? Does honor require more than devotion to Rome?

Book Takeaway:

Sometimes it takes a personal disaster to get a person who’s convinced he or she knows what’s right and what’s wrong to reexamine life in view of God’s standards. When we as believers are brave about sharing our faith, we can open the pathway from prideful self-confidence to joyful dependence on what God has spoken.

Why the author wrote this book:

I always ask at the end of each of my novels if there are characters the reader would like to see again. Tribune Titianus in True Freedom was devoted to duty and honor and would enforce Roman law even if it meant arresting his best friend’s brother. He sparked a lot of curiosity about his future. In Honor Bound, 15-year-old Septimus was growing up in a politically powerful family with a father and grandfather who enjoyed manipulating others to get what they want. Brutus’s efforts to get Septimus to value honor above all bore fruit, and readers were asking to see Septimus as a grown up. I combined these in a story that explores how a man devoted to duty and honor and enforcing the law would respond when faced with friends breaking Roman law by being Christians.


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