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One of my all time favorite classics. The character development in this novel is rich, emotionally raw at times but more than anything else, heartbreaking. The backdrop of this novel takes place at the time of Christ but scene from a distance. Lucanus is the character that captures the readers heart and doesn't let go. This is one of those books I read over and over again - each time hoping for a different outcome, twist or turn in the plot. The agony expressed by some of the characters make it real. On my top 5 favorite books of all times. Can't imagine anyone who likes historical fiction not loving this beautiful story!