This simple story takes place during the first forty days after the crucifixion of Jesus. Jeshua and Flaccus are both on the run from Roman authorities when they take refuge with a community of Christian disciples. The two refugees, who understand that in Judea any new truth is dangerous, find the views of the disciples confusing. The believers speak of one story, but their listeners hear two different meanings. One sees a struggle for power while the other recognizes a commentary on the inherent nature of people. Christians cannot even seem to agree on the fundamental nature of Jesus. Was he a prophet, a rabbi, the Son of Man, or the Son of God?
Are their beliefs a political or a religious threat to the authorities?
Anyone who has read other works by D. S. Lliteras will recognize his riveting literary style. Descent is a thin volume. Its chapters may be long or as short as a half page, but each offers a single scene, titled by a simple phrase from the text. The sentences are short and direct: “A hungry dog growled.” “A man climbed the stairs.” “An owl hooted.” The vocabulary is simple.
But the ideas! Ah, the ideas spiral up and away, leading readers to perceive several different languages, taking them far beyond the events on the printed page.
In short, Lliteras has written a parable. He tells a fictitious story that serves as a protective shell for a moral lesson or a religious conviction. His words inspire rather than declare. They transform his listeners rather than dictating to them. He suggests an interpretation rather than demanding one. On the day of Pentecost, when tongues of fire descend upon the disciples enabling them to receive a Gift of the Spirit, the two refugees will hear two very different messages—and so will the readers of Descent.
Review by Carolyn Schriber (May 2019)
Descent is about Jesus' resurrection and ascension that preceded the descent of the spirit―an event that purportedly made saints of ordinary men and women. This is the historical setting and the spiritual landscape upon which two outsiders intruded: Flaccus, a Roman Legionnaire and deserter, and Jeshua, a Judean healer and rogue. Both men are wanted by the Roman Empire and both men manage to hide within a community of disciples. While they evade Rome's authority, each man responds to this evolving faith in a dramatically different way.
Book Format: Soft cover
Review Genre: Fiction—Literary Fiction
Number of Pages: 197
San Francisco Review of Books—“One of the many aspects of Lliteras' writing is the style in which he places words on a page. His dialogue among his characters is set in the usual novel format but each very short chapter stuns, and opens the window for the next. Moving away from his novels about war and Vietnam in particular (and if you have not read them, do!), Descent takes us into the realm of spiritual aspects of Christianity in a manner that places us wholly in the framework of the significance of the concept of the crucifixion and resurrection and ascension and descent of the Holy Spirit in a manner that is revelatory to all people. This is another work by D.S. Lliteras that provokes a stringent “YES!” from the reader. He sees the world as few are able, and shares the meaning of feeling with us. Quite simply, this is a brilliant little novel—especially for those who struggle with the concept of sainthood and how it happens.”
Booklist—“Fans of Lliteras's earlier novels will enjoy the fast pace of Descent and his insistence of portraying ordinary people.”
The VVA Veteran—“Descent is an exciting return to Lliteras' biblical series. In it, Danny Lliteras shows off his skills with military fiction, and the result is another fine, poetic and spiritual novel. You can feel drama and tension on every page. The military language works well to increase the tensions I felt in the pit of the stomach. I recommend this novel to fans of Lliteras’ biblical books and his military books. He has produced another winner.”
Descent by D.S. Lliteras https://vvabooks.wordpress.com/category/fiction/
D.S. Lliteras is the author of fourteen books that have received national and international acclaim. His short stories and poetry have appeared in magazines, journals, and anthologies. He was an FMF Corpsman & Combat Diver in the U.S. Marine Corps, a Diving & Salvage Officer in the U.S. Navy, and a professional Firefighter in the Norfolk (VA) Fire Department.—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._S._Lliteras
Ist RECON ASSOCIATION: Descent—Sylables of Rain—Viet Man—Flames and Smoke Visible—In A Warrior's Romance
Additional Literary Acclaim About D.S. Lliteras:
Best Biblical Novels on Amazon—http://www.junglefind.com/historical-fiction/best-biblical-novels/
The Thieves of Golgotha
“Best Biblical Novel on Amazon.”—Jungle Find 2016
“Startling, surprisingly successful.”—Booklist
“A sympathetic fictional portrait.”—Publishers Weekly
“A tough, vivid, extraordinary novel.”—Christian Fiction, A Guide to the Genre
Judas the Gentile
“Best Biblical Novel on Amazon.”—Jungle Find 2016
“Top 10 Christian Novel 2000. Subtle, provocative.”—Booklist
“A true work of enduring literature.”—Wisconsin Bookwatch
“So honest and elemental it seems like the truth.”—Christian Fiction, A Guide to the Genre
“Best Genre Fiction 2003. Outstanding biblical novel.”—Library Journal
“A new look at Peter and his anguish.”—Publishers Weekly
The Silence of John
“Outstanding. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“Lliteras sees in women the best humankind has to offer.”—Booklist
“Explores the loyalty and sacrifice of Jesus' female disciples”—Publishers Weekly
The Master of Secrets
“Best Genre Fiction 2007. Mesmerizing story of faith.”—Library Journal
“Lliteras again delivers an imaginary gripping story.”—Publishers Weekly
“Lliteras continues his chronicles of crucifixion...Charming tale.”—Booklist
“Beautifully written. Highly recommended.”—Church Libraries Magazine
“Lliteras answers questions his novel raises with literary skill.”—Presbyterians Today
“Occasionally the text reads like a parable.”—CBS Retailer+Resources