P.O. Box 1333
Merchantville NJ 08109, USA
A Dazzling Catholic Tale of the Empire's Fall
MERCHANTVILLE, NJ—"For a long time I have wanted to write a Catholic novel," says author and illustrator Justin Swanton, "but the catalyst was a dream I had about ten years ago." In his dream, Swanton saw a man in Roman garb telling passersby that he was the one chosen by Fate to save the Roman Empire, but everyone regarded him as a lunatic. The man in Swanton's dream would eventually become Tarunculus, a late Roman centurion and one of the main characters in the new illustrated Catholic novel, Centurion's Daughter (Arx Publishing, August 2011, paperback, 336 pages + 14 illustrations; glossary, ISBN: 978-1-935228-05-9, list price: $17.95).
Set in Roman Gaul after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Centurion's Daughter follows the footsteps of Tarunculus's daughter, Aemilia. Half Roman and half Frank, Aemilia is torn between both worlds. With its capital at Soissons, Roman Gaul clings to life under the leadership of the general Syagrius though surrounded by enemies on all sides. The Franks and their dynamic young king Chlodovech (Clovis) have sworn to annex the last Roman province and create a mighty Frankish kingdom. The conflict comes to a head at the climactic battle of Soissons in AD 486--among the most epoch-making, yet least-appreciated battles in history.
"The Battle of Soissons helped determine whether Christian medieval society would come into existence in the first place," says Swanton. "It was an exciting time in which everything that happened, mattered."
For all its enthralling attention to historical detail, Centurion's Daughter is much more than mere history retold. Aemilia's struggles as she navigates between the passing world of Rome and the future order under the Franks are eased by her trust in the providential Christian God of her mother.
"If one is looking for a message in Centurion's Daughter it could be not to trust in a purely human social order which is built on sand," says Swanton, "or to realize that the only thing that really matters in this world is to remain true to God and love those near us."
As a citizen of South Africa, Swanton's experience of the post-Apartheid period gives a unique ring of authenticity to the relationships between Romans and Franks. "In South Africa, the old stratification of the races was replaced by a much more relaxed rapport between them," says Swanton. "It became easier to behave charitably towards individuals of other races." This theme shows up clearly toward the end of Centurion's Daughter as the Franks and Romans are fused into a single powerful Catholic nation.
About the Author: Justin Swanton is a writer and illustrator who resides in Durban, South Africa. He has published a book of comic verse and a collection of plays for schools. Centurion's Daughter is his first novel.
Title: Centurion's Daughter
Author: Justin Swanton Page Count: 336 Illustrations: 12 Maps: 2 Release Date: August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-935228-05-9 Binding: Paperback Retail Price: $17.95
Publisher: Arx Publishing, LLC, PO Box 1333, Merchantville NJ 08109, USA
Phone: (856) 486-1310 • Fax: (856) 665-0170 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.arxpub.com