Read Colossus: Stone & Steel by David Blixt Online


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 himselfJudea, 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....

Title : Colossus: Stone & Steel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780615783178
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 342 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Colossus: Stone & Steel Reviews

  • Karla
    2019-03-30 21:30

    A great example of historical fiction that takes historical events and blends it with religious history and ideas without being the slightest bit preachy.Judah is a mason who finds himself in the middle of a sudden riot-turned-battle between Jews and Romans when the local Roman governor pushes things too far. He becomes the hero of the battle when he captures the legion's eagle, but he also gets his share of resentment and jealousy from all the squabbling factions within the anti-Roman movement. Cue the People's Front of Judaea and the Judean Popular People's Front, etc. :D Judah's also got a hankering for Deborah, but her battle-ax of a mother doesn't think any number of eagles would ever make him worthy of anything. And his brother's off in Alexandria, where there's been a recent massacre of Jews, and dad's got a bad attitude about both of them, so Judah has a lot on his mind. He tries to ride out the rocky waves of the inevitable retaliation by Rome.I'm far more acquainted with Republican Rome and the early early Empire period, so this was very new to me and Blixt laid out the political situation in such a way that I never got lost, but it didn't feel dull and cribbed from Wikipedia, either. He struck a nearly perfect balance. The story veers between the Jewish and Roman sides - I really loved the scenes with Vespasian and his son Titus - as each camp tries to get the edge on the other. The final third of the book is the tense siege at Jotapata, with a focus on the character of Josephus - a historian-turned-general Benedict Arnold - and the eventual fall of the city into Roman hands. But not after lots of action and cagey strategic moves by both sides.The characters' voices reminded me a lot of the way Colleen McCullough portrayed her characters in her Masters of Rome series. There is no overlap between this story and her series, yet Blixt had his characters display that same very engaging chattiness that makes me sit up and take notice of what they both say and think. His Author's Note validated this impression by giving huge thanks to CMC and her series, of which he is a huge fan.If you've got a passing interest in the period, this is worth picking up. It's written in a way that should easily hook one into the story and history and characters both factual and fictional.I'm only dinging it a star because of proofreading issues. There were quite a few instances of dropped words (a, an, the, etc.) Other than that, solid.

  • Jane
    2019-04-11 21:33

    I almost didn't read this novel because of the cover--evil expression on the statue's face--foolish reason. I am very glad I finally did read this page-turner though. Well written and very informative, it's the story of the Jewish War of the mid-first century AD from the beginning, a successful Jewish revolt against Florus, the venal Roman procurator of Judea, up to and including the siege of Jotapata by three Roman legions bent on brutal reprisal, under Vespasian and Titus, his son. We follow a Jewish stonemason, Judah, and his twin brother, the scholar-stonemason Asher, and the ambitious Jewish priest turned general, Yosef ben Matityahu [aka Flavius Josephus]. The Judeans form an army organized on the Roman model, with preparations for battle. We also follow the Roman army in alternating sections.I liked the two brothers but Josephus left me cold, knowing what the latter did and was, historically. Here in the novel the author tried to soften his actions and motivations for them although he was still filled with hubris. The author conveyed the time and place to me perfectly. I learned a lot about Jewish customs of that time period and about that War. This was an excellent portrayal of Vespasian, a favorite historical figure. Of the action, the siege and Jewish defense were very well told. Especially I admired the actions of Eleazar, nicknamed Atlas, a giant of a man, who gave his life in bold defensive action. Both armies respected him for his bravery and quick-thinking exploit; Romans considered him a worthy foe. I thought interesting the discussion between Titus and Nicanor about certain parallels in Judaism and the Roman religion, one example being Man's disobedience of God and evil coming into the world and Pandora's disobedience in opening her jar and letting evils come into the world. I never felt like I was being preached to. This is the first volume of a projected tetralogy. I am eager to read the upcoming volumes. Highly recommended!

  • Shinjini
    2019-04-11 17:25

    Set in Judea in 66 AD, Colossus details the Judean uprising against Nero’s Rome through the eyes of two brothers – Judah and Asher.Judea has been suffering under the greed of its Roman Consular General, but when their temple is desecrated, an angry mob rises up against and defeats the Roman legion. They know that this act of rebellion will set the stage swift and merciless action by Emperor Nero, and must prepare to defend themselves against the Roman invasion. Almost unwillingly caught up in the middle of all this turmoil is Judah, a stone mason and hero of the uprising at Beth Horon. Since he is unable to win approval to marry the woman of his dreams, he and his brother Asher devote all their energies to defending the besieged city of Jotapata.This is the second book by David Blixt that I tried to read. The first, Her Majesty’s Will, left me cold – I couldn’t get past 50 pages. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The story drew me in, painting the cities and the people and the setting vividly in my imagination. The plot is taunt – it’s not a fast-paced book, but it will keep you engaged and eager to turn the page. When the book came to an end, I was a little sad to be leaving the brothers in Jotapata and coming back to my everyday life! He’s built up the characters and the time period very well. The story is set around the time when Christianity was still starting – it had few takers, and most followers of Christ had to be careful about when and where they would meet as the clergy at the time was not convinced that Jesus was The Christ that was spoken of in prophesy. Blixt brings to life the city of Judea and Emperor Nero and his court, as well as the customs and daily life of people during that time period through his vivid descriptions. The characters, especially the key players (but even the smaller cast) are well crafted – you know their motivations and their fears and hopes and dreams.This book is supposed to be the first in a series of books on Rome and the rise of Christianity, but it starts “small, almost intimately, with two Judean brothers at the siege of Jotapata.” Author David Blixt hit upon the idea for this novel after a visit to St Clement’s in Rome, where they have excavated and created a tour through the history of the city.Blixt will widen the scope out in the next several book, keeping Judah and Asher as the central points, exploring how drastically the world changed in a short period of time.I have to say that I’m looking forward to the rest of this series, though the book does excellently as a stand-alone novel as well.

  • Rebekah
    2019-03-25 18:24

    This was a free loan from the Kindle Lending Library. I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. I was worried when I first started it that it was going to turn into Christian literature, but it stayed pretty firmly in historical-fiction territory. There is no preaching here! The story is set during the times of early Christianity, when Rome is ruled by Nero, and the Jews in Judea are under attack. It is a very detailed and interesting part of history. However, the book reads like a thriller, with dynamic characters, who are nuanced and depicted realistically. I particularly liked the story of the two fictional twin brothers, one a warrior and the other a scholar. The story follows both perspectives, those of the Judeans and the Romans, and explains different sects of Judaism. There are some disgustingly graphic depictions of war during this time period, which might make some squeamish, but is historically accurate.

  • Robin Levin
    2019-03-26 15:41

    Yis’gadal, v’yit’kadash sh’mei raba. . . . May his great name grow exalted and sanctified. . . The Jewish mourner’s Kaddish, spoken in every Jewish prayer service. Unlike other prayers which are in Hebrew, the mourner’s Kaddish is in Aramaic, the language spoken in Judea at the time of the Roman conquest. I always assumed that this was because the Romans gave Judeans many thousands of opportunities to say it.David Blixt’s Colossus: Stone and Steel brings the struggle between Rome and Judea vividly to life. The fictional heroes of the story are twin brothers Judah and Asher ben Matthias, both master stone masons. The twins are identical but have very different personalities: Judah is a warrior while Asher is a scholar. Judah remains in Jerusalem with his father while Asher goes off to Alexandria to pursue learning. Judea is governed by Gessius Florus, a Roman equite whose rapacity and brutality are extreme even by Roman standards. Florus has provoked the Judeans to arms by profaning the Temple of Solomon. Judah has taken up arms to avenge his brother, whom he believes has perished at the hands of the Romans in Alexandria. A battle takes place at Beth Horon, and Judah heroically manages to capture the Roman eagle, the sacred standard of the 15th legion. Judah wishes to marry Deborah, the brother of Phannius, another mason, but even the capture of the eagle doesn’t persuade the girl’s mother, who thinks Judah’s family beneath hers.Ancient Rome might occasionally lose battles, but it did not lose wars. When Caesar Nero gets word of this rebellion while on his concert tour of Greece, he appoints his general Vespasian to bring several legions to Judea to put down the rebels. Vespasian is only too happy to comply because he knows he has deeply offended Nero by falling asleep during one of the Caesar’s performances, and if he doesn’t get a command his days are numbered. This also gives him a chance to promote the career of his son Titus by giving him command of a legion.The Judeans are profoundly disunited. There are several factions, each at odds with all the others. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Nazarenes. The people of Jerusalem have little in common with the rough-hewn peasants of Galilee. An ambitious priest, Joseph ben Matityahu, known to history as Josephus Flavius, is assigned to the command of a Judean armed force in Galilee. Although wounded, Asher has somehow survived the conflict in Alexandria and returned home. He and Judah answer the call to arms and join Joseph in Galilee. The struggle between Rome and Judea has a sort of David versus Goliath quality to it, but it is very clear that, in this instance, David has no chance to win. Nevertheless, you have to admire the zeal and courage of Judeans who fought the colossus of stone and steel. David Blixt’s fine novel makes it all real.

  • Viviane Crystal
    2019-04-16 15:40

    The year is 66 A.D. Rome rules over Israel but it isn't a peaceful coexistence between Romans and Jews. There are Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and other rebels who think that their brief skirmishes against their enemy will go unnoticed and naively be successful in ousting the Roman soldiers. In the middle of this critical situation live Judah and Asher, two mason brothers, the former a physically muscular man and the latter an academic type who has actually studied in Rome and returned for a secret reason he at first will not reveal to anyone. He returns severely bruised and broken.Right before Asher's return, Judah finds himself inadvertently involved with a violent fight with Roman soldiers. It is his first brush with men outside his trade, some who are natural soldiers, others who are priests, former slaves, generals, and more. Their success in severely decimating the Roman soldiers makes them momentarily drunk with victory until they realize that the act of taking a Roman Eagle standard guarantees that Rome must respond. So they begin to prepare for what seems like the end of Israel. Judah is hailed as a Jewish general, even though this hardly deems him more worthy for the hand of the woman he adores, Deborah.The rest of the novel covers the planning for the great war and the first representative battle at Jotapata. Here there are parallel scenes depicted of the leaders and the brilliance or devastation of these plans in each skirmish. What is unique about the story is the refusal of Blixt to fall into stereotypical characterization. Military campaign strategy is discussed and tried in between the quoting of poetry or the explanation of the complex Jewish faith and its beliefs and sects. Academic excellence is as revered as battle skills. The need for different levels of society to not only interact but cooperate is painstakingly described, with the private thoughts and feelings of every side adding to the tense and relaxed dialogue that is never repetitive or tedious, never stodgy but instead an adventuresome and informative read.David Blixt is definitely a master of creating vibrant, credible, exciting, and accurate historical fiction. His style is not only easy to read but also immensely engaging; the reader will be unable to stop reading once he or she begins any novel by this very talented writer. Colossus is no exception and thankfully will be followed by another novel continuing the critical days that will perhaps be Israel's last stand against the Roman Eagle! Stunning, David Blixt!

  • C C Cedras
    2019-04-16 15:34

    I've read and enjoyed every one of David Blixt's novels, particularly the Star-Cross'd (Master of Verona) series, and I had a fairly superficial understanding of the events and personages of the historical period covered in the Colossus novels. Once again, Blixt brings history to life with a hearty blend of actual historical figures and some fictional, illuminating actual events and locales in a way no history class or text ever could. His use of language, dialogue and geographical description immerses the reader in the time and place; his characterizations, including breathing life into the real historical actors, makes the reader feel like they are walking in the shoes of the characters, whether protagonist or antagonist. Few novelists (none better in my estimation) write such compelling action sequences -- so riveting it's like watching them on film.This first novel introduces the fictional Judah and Asher ben Matthias, identical twins who are masons by trade (Asher is a scholar as well), but who become warriors in the heroic defense of Judea against the oppression of Nero's legions under the direction of Vespasian ... more about all of them in book 2 of the series: The Four Emperors.These novels have it all: political and personal intrigue, internecine struggles to maintain religious and secular control over nations and people, loyalty, love, betrayal, riveting action ... when this book ends you'll want to immediately pick up where it leaves off with book 2 in the series and hope that Blixt has book 3 coming quickly down the pike!

  • Guy
    2019-04-17 15:35

    Well, what a fantastic read. By the end of the book I could smell the Jasmin growing in Judea. David Blixt really captures the feel of the time and his characterisation is excellent. The story moves along at a great pace and treats both sides, Hebrew and Roman, pretty evenly. Blixt’s research has been excellent and it gives the story a real sense of authenticity. I was not surprised to read him saying that when it comes to Roman writing, Colleen McCullough was the person! Well David, I think you are very close to Ms McCullough. Well done a great book. I cannot wait for the others in the series.

  • Kerri
    2019-04-10 17:43

    This is a very well-written book that interweaves history into a compelling story. Characters are developed in a way that makes you care about them and want to follow their journey into the next book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

  • Grace
    2019-04-20 15:16

    This book is very interesting and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

  • Ashley
    2019-04-07 17:13

    It is 66 AD when a legion of Roman warriors suffers a catastrophic defeat at Beth Horon; a defeat handed to them by an angry band of Hebrews armed only with slings and spears. The Judean warrior, Judah, also succeeded in taking the Roman eagle which dealt the ultimate blow to the Roman legion. The Judean’s, knowing that Emperor Nero would certainly bring a swift and merciless revenge, must now decide how to protect their lands against the inevitable Roman invasion. Colossus: Stone and Steel is a historical fiction about the Roman and Judean war. The war details were intense and gripping. The opening battle sequence, the one at Beth Horon, is vivid and sharp immediately drawing the reader into the action and building a relationship between reader and the characters. The battle scenes may be too much for some readers but they are strikingly accurate and fully necessary to the development of the story. The plot develops outside of the war as well taking place both throughout Judea and in Rome. The story alternates between the Judean preparation for war and the Roman preparations for revenge. Blixt does a great job of alternating between the two perspectives and providing insight into the beliefs and cultural aspects of between the two sects. Judah ben Matthais begins the story as a simple mason. His brothers are dead, his twin brother Asher believed to be recently perished at war, his father dying of a stroke and Judah’s request for the hand of his beloved Deborah has been denied yet again. All hope for a happy life seems lost when Judah throws himself into the tumultuous action at Beth Horon. His bravery during the battle, and his capture of the Roman eagle, has him declared the hero of Beth Horon. A simple mason soon finds himself in the midst of war fighting alongside priests, revolutionaries, generals and nobles. The character development of Judah is the highlight of the book. All of the characters are well-scripted but Judah rises above all others as the best character in the novel. The others – Levi, Yosef and others that won’t be mentioned due to the possibility of unveiling spoilers – are all multi-dimensional and complex. The issue with this book is the amount of errors, misspellings and omitted words. For example, at one point it is written that, “…sister had died just recently died.” and at another, “but Titus knew she was the moment the dinner was finished, she and her father would…” and at yet another, “…noting the neighborhood they were entering entered.” There isn’t an overwhelming large number of errors but the errors that are present are glaring and disrupt the flow of the storytelling. These errors are the only real flaws in the book. This review is based upon the Kindle version of the book and therefore statements regarding the typography errors may not be applicable to print versions or later releases.In the end, Colossus: Stone and Steel is a great historical fiction and one that is recommended for readers who enjoy a brutally accurate depiction of the Roman-Judean war. While this novel does relate to the Judaism and there is mention of the Lord in relation to the Lord’s protection, valor, favor and guidance it is not to be considered a Christian fiction or certainly does not preach faith to the reader. It captures and presents a time period and a specific moment in history rather than pushing religion. It is the story of a culture fighting for their own protection and honor. Overall, a great novel. Review by Ashley LaMarClosed the Cover

  • Vicki Kondelik
    2019-03-23 18:17

    This is the first volume in an exciting series set in ancient Rome and Judea, by David Blixt, whose Star Cross'd series is among my favorite historical novels. Colossus: Stone and Steel tells the story of two Jewish brothers, Judah and Asher ben Matthais. Identical twins, both stonemasons, Judah and Asher have very different personalities: Judah is a warrior and Asher is a scholar and a traumatized survivor of the massacre of the Jewish community of Alexandria. Judah inadvertently becomes a hero when, during a skirmish between Romans and Hebrews, he captures the eagle of a Roman legion. But even his heroism is not enough to convince the mother and brother of his love, Deborah, to allow him to marry her. Deborah also comes from a stonemason's family, but they have a drop of noble blood, so they think Judah isn't good enough for her. Meanwhile, Emperor Nero's revenge for the destruction of his legion is swift and merciless. Judah and Asher join the defenders of the besieged city of Jotapata, where the Hebrews, led by the priest-general Yosef ben Matityahu, who will become known in history as Josephus, hold out for forty-nine days against the Romans under Vespasian. Blixt's descriptions of the siege, and the battles between Hebrews and Romans, are harrowing. His battle scenes are among the best I've ever read. Alternating sections are told from the point of view of Vespasian and his son Titus, who is having an affair with the Judean queen Berenice. I enjoyed Colossus: Stone and Steel so much, I began the second in the series, Colossus: The Four Emperors, as soon as I finished this one.

  • Helen Haste
    2019-04-16 16:33

    Read 10%. Can tell its written by a guy ! The graphics of killing are horrid and I can't be bothered with. This story has not captured me. Maybe I will go back to it one day