A responsible, well researched, if occasionally doctrinaire historical novel dealing with the Jewish uprising against the Romans led by Simon Bar Kochba c. 132 A.D. Under the despotic rule of the degenerate Procurator, Rufus, the Judeans organize the many Jewish factions--including the Jewish followers of the Nazarene--for revolt. Although the greatly respected Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph attempts to persuade Simon away from immediate violence, the excesses of Rufus' repressive measures lead Akiba to appoint Simon leader of the guerrilla forces, with the title, Simon Bar Kochba, ""Son of a Star."" Reasonable Romans would avoid conflict but the determination of the Jews to be free, and the Emperor Hadrian's desire to control this most sensitive area of the Empire, result in a terrible and costly war, which drives the Jews into exile, where they perpetuate a ""nation"" of ideas, laws and dreams of Israel. Love and marriage, Maccabean courage, and theological dialogues along with bloody battlefields and terrible tortures are regrettably often set forth with some modern cliches. However this is an efficient, reliable reconstruction.