Tag Archives: religious fiction

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an ebook I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness

Here is the book blurb.

At the height of the Spanish Inquisition a ruthless inquisitor by the name of Bishop Promane tortures a fellow priest, Father Sanchez, for information about the whereabouts of a relic known as the Judas Robe, rumored to be the only piece of physical evidence of God on earth. Promane succeeds in recovering the robe only to lose it to Sanchez’s saviors, knights belonging to The Order of Christ.
In the Present Day, Joel Gardiner, a pre-med student, is attacked by a group of religious zealots after leaving a campus pub. A young woman calling herself Sophia rescues Joel and reveals that he is descended from of the Order of Christ who still has the Judas Robe in their possession. Joel dismisses it as a hoax or farce, but zealots renew their efforts to seize the robe. Joel and Sophia embark on a quest to verify the existence of the so-called relic while trying to elude the murderous cabal.

The story starts back in history at the time of the Spanish Inquisition when Bishop Promane is torturing Father Sanchez in an attempt to discover where the Judas Robe relic is. Father Sanchez gives in when the Bishop releases him and ties one of his young charges to the rack instead. But the Bishop only gets his hands on the precious relic for minutes before he sees his men slain by knights of The Order of Christ. The captain saves Father Sanchez and his young charge but takes the relic and departs.

In chapter 2, we fast forward to the present day, where Joel a medical student, is juggling his time between his studies and a part-time intern research job at the Biopharm lab. But on his way home one evening from the lab he is mugged, however a young woman Sophia nearby tazers the thugs and rescues Joel, driving him to a pharmacy and patching up his cuts. She reveals she has been tracking the thugs who are religious zealots after The Judas Robe, the one physical proof of God on earth.

(Proof reading appears to have skipped the blurb. which says pub rather than lab).

Joel is nonplussed by this, what does it have to do with him? And who is Sophia really? But when his girlfriend Lisa is also intimidated by thugs, he puts two and two together. Is it anything to do with his mother Natalie, a religious fanatic who now lives in a convent?

We get to meet plenty more characters as the story progresses. A real page turner as more is revealed and I certainly couldn’t have predicted the ending.

The Judas Robe is available on Amazon in both kindle format and paperback. A good thriller, with some great twists.

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The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer to review.

The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer

Here is the book blurb.

Jacquie Mouhot and Paaku the Lotus-Born are divided by six centuries but linked by a common curse. In medieval Cambodia, Paaku is an orphan whose community believes he may be a reluctant incarnation of a god, causing sectarian turmoil for the kingdom’s leaders. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather, a famous explorer, to Indochina, where she becomes immersed in the tragedy of Paaku’s history: a story simultaneously unfolding in the intertwined present and past, a story in which she still has a vital role to play.

The book starts with Jacquie’s grandfather Henri, an explorer dying from malaria in Laos in 1861, deliriously talking about The Sea of Milk, before fast forwarding to introduce Jacquie in 1921, who is about to set off from France to follow her grandfather’s footsteps to Indochina by sea, via Singapore and Saigon to Cambodia. We then travel back to The Khmer Empire in 1294 where we meet Paaku and his best friend Jarisi. Paaku heals a monkey that had been bitten by a tiger. The story continues to alternate between 1921 and 1294, interspersed with entries from Henri’s journal. Jacquie experiences several nightmares, including flashbacks to when she was nursing at the Somme.

Back in 1294, the kingdom is ruled by King Jayavarman VIII and religion is divided between Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and other gods. Paaku and Jarisi head to the festival where Paaku ends up being selected by Queen Devi for the test of bending Balarma’s Spear, which is made of gold. Amazingly he does it easily, a feat that hasn’t been achieved for over 100 years. It is declared a miracle, but fate follows a strange cursed path after that. And somehow Paaku’s story is already known to Jacquie. When present and past collide, what will happen?

The Last Gods of Indochine published by Signal 8 Press is available on Amazon, currently priced at £15 in paperback or £6.31 in Kindle format. A fascinating read of a civilisation I knew nothing about.

About the author

Samuel Ferrer is a double bassist and member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the songwriter and bassist for the acid jazz group Shaolin Fez. He holds degrees from Yale and the University of Southern California, and as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, spent a year in between degrees studying in Paris. He is the only non-Asian to be nominated for Asia’s most prestigious literary award, The Man Asian Literary Prize (“The Booker of Asia”). This is his first novel.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.