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The Bard of Bethlehem

by David James Trapp

      The Bard of Bethlehem is an exciting new novel by David James Trapp, the author of Dog Days in Bedlam. A history professor, Trapp is able to create authentic detail in an unusual twist to the Bethlehem story. Here, Terentius, a Celtic harper, and his bride, Bridicia, find themselves in Tarsus in what is now Turkey at the appearance of a mysterious star in the night sky. Trappís relating of Gauls and Britons in the area is unusual but not unexpected since the Roman Empire had spread throughout Europe. Most of us expect to see Romans everywhere in the region during that time, but few of us think about the fact that commerce would bring those from the outlying regions to Roman and other Roman territories. The portrayal of Celts in the Middle East is quite telling, showing the persecution of Druids and the corruption prevalent within their ranks.

Terentius and Bridicia find themselves targets of Corvus, the corrupt Druid leader, and are sought by the local governor. They escape to Jerusalem, but do not escape trouble. It only gets worse. Through all of their experiences, Terentius is intrigued by the mysterious star and creates a melody to match its rhythmic pulsing.

The Bard of Bethlehem is a great read. Having taken four years of Latin and thereby learning about Roman culture, I found this new information about Celts in Judea quite arresting. The degree of accuracy that Trapp has put into the book to paint a portrait of the age is quite telling. The characters are vivid and deftly drawn. This is an exciting adventure story. I canít wait to read other books by Trapp.

The Book

October 2006
Trade Paperback
ISBN-10: 1424133130
ISBN-13: 978-1424133130
Fiction, historical
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!, Relaxation Techniques for Children, Relaxation Techniques for Adults; Co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book. Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook, Get Rich on Love, and Sacred Breath (a sound recording of relaxation meditations).
© 2006