A Crown of Life: A Novel of the Great Persecution

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A Crown of Life is an epic romance spanning ten pivotal years in the history of the world, beginning in 303, when churches were closed, books were burned, and Christians were forbidden to assemble and later forced to prove their loyalty to the empire by offering a sacrifice to the government’s gods. Thousands chose death instead, in what has been known since as the Great Persecution. 

Vividly written, with surprising twists, heart-pounding drama, a colorful cast of endearing characters good and bad, and profound insight into life’s deepest mysteries, A Crown of Life is an inspiring tale of Christian faith in the face of death.  You will cheer. You will weep. You will fall in love. You will learn why they believed and why they died.

"Wow, what a great novel! … suspense and excitement (battles! romance! martyrdom!) … It's not only a great story, but also a great survey of the history of the Roman empire at that time, down to the details of clothing and food. Highly recommended."

—Frederica Mathewes-Green

“As a professor of New Testament and early Christianity, I began reading this book with a bit of skepticism: would it be just another cheesy sword-and-sandals tale? However, I was soon won over by the characters, the plot, and the evident care given to placing known historical people and events into context. ... I recommended Mitchell's book to my students.”

“What a magnificent book! Cannot recommend enough. Don't be afraid of the number of pages. Every one draws you farther and farther into the story.”

“From the first page to the last, I was mesmerized by the compelling stories of faith and love that unfold in this beautifully written sweep of history. … At once exciting and informative, uplifting and inspiring, A Crown of Life is nothing short of a fantastic read.”

“I rank this among my very favorite novels, of all time. Superbly written, with compelling characters, this is an epic novel that is both historically accurate and extremely relevant to our own time. It's a page-turner that also gives you much to think about.”

"I could not put this down! It was such a vivid description of the times and places and predicaments early believers experienced. The contrasts between pagan and Christian thinking, between life in Roman cities and the village or the mines made reading that much more compelling. Add all the drama, action, intrigue and plot twists and you have a really, really great book."

“The drama of the romance never lets up. ... The first sentence pulled me in and after a few pages, I was hooked. These characters come to life, and the plot keeps moving, so that I couldn't put it down.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BRIAN PATRICK MITCHELL has a PhD in theology from the University of Winchester and is a protodeacon of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. He has been a cabinet-level speechwriter, the Washington bureau chief of Investor’s Business Daily, a spokesman for a major oil-and-gas company, and an infantry and counterintelligence officer. He is also the author of seven books on politics and religion, including a work of political theory that has been used to teach politics at Yale, entitled Eight Ways to Run the Country; an epic historical romance set in the early fourth century, entitled A Crown of Life; a scholarly analysis of the place of deaconesses in Christian tradition, entitled The Disappearing Deaconess; and, more recently, Origen’s Revenge: The Greek and Hebrew Roots of Christian Thinking on Male and Female. He has appeared on scores of television and radio shows, including CBS’s Face the Nation, ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Today, and CNN’s Larry King Live, and he has been a guest speaker at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the University of Connecticut, the University of Pennsylvania, George Mason University, Catholic University of America, Rose Hill College, and Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary. He has also spoken often at annual meetings of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters, of which he is a member and former board member.