Item description for To the Ends of the Earth: A Novel of the Byzantine Empire by Davis Bunn...
Overview The bestselling author of The Quilt weaves together a tale of political, religious, and personal conflict during the rise of Christianity. A Carthaginian merchant journeys to Constantinople to find riches and power, but finds a ruthless government ruling in the name of Christendom.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.93" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date May 19, 1997
Publisher Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN 0785272143 ISBN13 9780785272144
Availability 1 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 01:25.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Davis Bunn
Davis Bunn is the award-winning author of numerous national bestsellers with sales totaling more than seven million copies. His work has been published in sixteen languages, and his critical acclaim includes three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. He and his wife, Isabella, divide their time between England and Florida. Learn more at www.davisbunn.com.
Davis Bunn has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about To the Ends of the Earth: A Novel of the Byzantine Empire?
An Average Adventure But An Excellent History Lesson Feb 1, 2007
When one deals with historical fiction, the author has two jobs. The first, as with any other story teller, is to give you an interesting story with memorable characters. The second job is to give you a better understanding of the era of the story than you had when you started it. Depending on my mood, I would give Bunn (the author) a B- or a C+ for the first part. He deserves an A+ for the latter.
I am the fifth reviewer of this book. Often, I avoid reading other reviews first so my review is based on my views alone. Or I'll glance at the most recent one or two. I read all the previous ones of this book (only having four others helped). Two were positive, and two were negative. I thought all four were honest and helpful. I can understand why some felt the book was too slow moving. I liked the characters, but they did not leap out at you enough for this to be across the board. In other words, this book could have been better. But I still enjoyed it okay as a novel; I have put down two other novels recently so I can do it if the novel is too boring or not my type.
Now, to the history lesson. This book describes itself as a Novel of the Byzantine Empire. Let me pinpoint it even closer. This book deals with time immediately following the death of Constantine, where three of his sons were vying for to be Caesar. Besides the political tensions, it points to the theological debate between orthodoxy, which says Jesus is God, and Arianism, which denies Christ's deity (though this is not as important to the story, in spite of the fact that it aids to the development of one of the characters).
There are some things I want to comment on from a church history point of view. It deals with Donatism, an exclusivist group that was considered by some to be orthodox theologically (Catholics disagree and consider them heretics) but were separatists and would not welcome those who denied Christ during persecution into their folds. Bunn did a good job of treating the Donatists views with respect while at the same time refuting them. He also alluded to another group considered heretical, the Montanists, though this was not as developed.
One thing I disagree with Bunn was whether Constantine was a positive or negative influence for the church. Bunn is very positive, seeing Constantine as a hero of the faith, and using a fear of renewed persecution as part of the setting. I have more misgivings about Constantine than he does.
Do I recommend this book? I would as far as learning about this period of time. I found the arrival of our characters to Constantinople to be exciting as well. Some will struggle with the story, as some of the reviewers have; others will enjoy it as, again, some of the reviewers have.
Let me conclude. This is basically a Christian novel. If you have no interest in Christianity, you won't be interested in this book.
Constantine's Byzantine Era, pirates, romance and faith Feb 3, 2004
I love a well researched historical novel which makes you come away from it with a little more knowledge of the times in which it was written (here, A.D. 338). All the better if it can be slipped in amidst a riveting novel with well developed characters and a sense of living life on the edge. From the opening pages where we meet with the young heir Travis and his trained guards and servants aboard a ship at sea as they wait for the pirates to strike; through intrigues, past soldiers, slaves and monasteries, the characters and times live so vividly one can see it unfold as a movie in the mind.. Informative as well as entertaining, with faith and love woven into the fabric of this work, it was an artistic gem which I enjoyed immensely.
Just pass it by Aug 28, 2002
Not worth reading. This is tortured reading due to the plodding storyline that is never developed nor are the characters developed. The only positive thing about the book is that the descriptions of the cities do have a third century feel to them (Much as the very enthusiastic reviewer states.) But, after having started the book, I was determined to finish it. The storyline concerns a young man who must leave the estate of which his retired warrior father is the caretaker. The young man seeks to "set his family" up in a Constantinople amid much turmoil in the latter stages of the western Roman Empire. There are several adventures along the way none of which are fully explained and are deliberately cryptic so that there will be some unexpected plot twists. However, the reader (this one at least) didn't care about the twists because we don't like the protagonist or anyone else in the book. By the end of the book, if you make it that far, you close it feeling that you could have better spent your time doing almost anything else.
A very difficult read. Jul 17, 1998
This type of fictional literature has always appealed to me and I was anxious to read the book after recieving it from a friend. But I was really disappointed with T. Davis Bunn's overuse of cliches and trite phrases. I found it very difficult to enter into the action and have all of my senses enticed by the novel. For an excellent series on first century Mediterranean life, I highly recommend Francine Rivers' "Mark of The Lion" series, even though they are classified as "Historical Romance".
Well-crafted tale of Fourth Century Roman world. Dec 19, 1997
If only the subject of History could always be so palpable, or the genre of Fiction so substantive. T. Davis Bunn has achieved both in his novel, "To the Ends of the Earth." History aficionados and devotees of drama both will appreciate Bunn's melding of historical fact with personal spirit and individual perspective. Bunn states is his acknowledgment, "Inspired by my interest in Byzantine history, this novel was developed over several years of research and reflection." Bunn's research and reflection are evident with every page turned. The Roman cities of Carthage and Constantinople become more than archeological interests; the fetid smells and dry, prevalent dust are sensed as if actually there. Moreover, the agony wrought by the mixing of political intrigue with religious faith following the death of Emperor Constantine is expressly shared with Hannibal the Merchant. Whether riding aboard captured pirate vessels on the Mediterranean or worshipping in the first public church buildings of a young religious faith, Bunn expertly crafts a sense of the places and times and people of the Roman Empire in A.D. 338. "To the Ends of the Earth" is sure to satisfy any thirst for entertaining historical fiction.