The Third Servant by Michael Billington
The Third Servant is based on a story taken from the Book of Matthew in the New Testament. Based on this story about a servant who fails to make his master a profit and is therefore cast out into the night, Michael Billington has created a rich and colourful tale. The book is set during the time of the Roman emperor Tiberius, The Hebrew king Herod and Jesus. A tumultuous and interesting time historically, and the author has managed to write with a language that fits this period perfectly. First and foremost, this is a great adventure story and the author brings to life vividly the people and the customs of lands that must have been very alien to our hero. Ezra’s journey begins as a boy, cast out into the Judean night. We follow his journey North and East, through the plains into Hindustan. It is as much of a quest for knowledge and wisdom as Ezra tries to find his place in this world and more important, to find his inner self in step with his outer self. The tale of Ezra going from a confused and angry boy, to a wise man is a fascinating one. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Voltaire’s Zadig, a journey and gathering of wisdom might be similar, but the conclusions are very different. I’d also enjoyed Marco Polo’s travels and I think anyone who enjoys an epic adventure story with a profound message will enjoy the Third Servant. Very well written and cleverly constructed, I highly recommend this book. I was provided with a copy for review by the author.