Sword of the Scroll
The year is 585 B.C., when kingdoms vied for world domination, and religion played a key role, just as it does in our day. On one side is the Old Testament Prophet, Daniel. On the other is the prophet of a new religion, Zoroaster, who wages Jihad to spread Zoroastrianism world wide. These two historical figures meet when Daniel, an emissary from Babylon, proposes a marriage of political convenience between the warring kingdoms of Lydia and Media following what history records as “The Battle of the Eclipse.” Set against a backdrop of astrological events, international war and political intrigue, the two are pitted against each other in a spiritual battle not fought with human weapons, but with The Sword of the Scroll.
Exerpt from The Sword of the Scroll
The Spring Equinox. It was the time of renewal for so many pagan religions; when Baal, the god of the Underworld came back to life. When Osiris, the Egyptian god, was reborn. In Babylon, when it was the time for the annual Feast of Akitu and the rebirth of Marduk. Daniel reflected on the fact that even the Passover celebration of the Jews fell near this date in the celestial calendar. And now, Zoroaster would see “The Rising of Ormazd” coincide with the rising of the New Moon following the Spring Equinox. Daniel looked to the north and found the Constellation Draco, the snake, as it coiled about the pole star Thuban. Suddenly, Daniel’s thoughts turned to his Greek friend, Troas. How had he faired this day in his battle with Kurg’s army? Like himself, Troas had no doubt faced his own nemesis this day.
Troas … Greek.
A thought flashed through Daniel’s mind. Quickly, he searched out the constellation of the Greek god known as Hercules. There! Yes, there it was, above Draco on the horizon and to the Northwest. Daniel’s thoughts returned to the Psalm of David:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
“Mag! Mag!” Daniel called excitedly, his mind struggling to comprehend the meaning of God’s message in the stars as he spurred his horse up along side the Babylonian captain.
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“The Sword of the Scroll is an enjoyable and intellectually intriguing read for any reader. David Lantz adds to the intrigue with the extensive use of hyperlinks to take the story beyond the book and into the vast depth of public knowledge surrounding several prominent characters, their environments, and even their tools. These hyperlinks make the construction of the various settings extremely smooth.
Biblically inspired but also adapted to an entertaining purpose, Sword makes effective use of the conflict between Daniel and Zoroaster as a vehicle to discuss biblical concerns such as the individual’s relationship with God, submission, and ego. The war for the future of Babylon is covered throughout the expanse of the empire and even beyond its borders – Lantz is quite capable of taking the reader on an adventure with an extensive cast of characters without any confusion or break in pace. At the same time, given that the book is at its heart a political intrigue, the dialogue – an essential component of any book in this category, contrasts Daniel’s conversational style with that of Zoroaster to make the nature of the conflict more than one in which actions take place – it is nothing less than a war of wills which will fly off of the page. Whether the reader seeks a new approach to studying the Babylonian exile or a fun way to spend an afternoon, the Sword of the Scroll is sure to please.”