FIRST THE BLADE by Drayton Mayrant


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The author of The Sword From Galway and The Running Thread goes further back in history for the story from the Bible. Procla, granddaughter of Augustus, is brought up in island isolation on Pandataria where her mother has been exiled, and gets her first rumors of Christianity through the sewing woman, of Jewish persecution through the shepherd, Yod, and of the world outside through her tutor. With her mother's murder, Procla is sent to Rome, acknowledged by Tiberius as his daughter, and there learns her love for Draco, the soldier, is reciprocated. But Tiberius, in insane vengeance, forces her marriage to Pontius Pilate and sends them to Caesarea to deal with the threat of the new Messiah. Procla watches Pilate's vacillating, arrogant treatment of the Jews, realizes the political cleft fork that holds him, and goes with him into exile after the crucifixion. In Helvetia she nurses him through the tortures of his conscience until he commits suicide and is at last able to find happiness with Draco. The popular treatment again for the Roman decadence, the conflict caused by the new religion, and a heroine who accepts, but does not submit to, her fate.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1950
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts