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The Magi, or Three Kings, of the Nativity story are among the best loved yet most mysterious figures in all history. The fleeting and sparse account in St. Matthew's Gospel raises as many questions as it answers. It has been so embroidered over the centuries that the original historical context has been almost completely buried. Yet the world of the early first century was as dynamic and intriguing as any legend - and much more perilous.
In his compelling novelization of the journey of the Magi, Roger Thomas draws on Scripture, history, and modern research. This swift-moving tale brings these shadowed figures to vivid life. You meet them as men of their time and culture: learned and noble, yet experienced with a brutal world and even violent when necessary. Come with them as they search for a King they do not understand, and seek for answers to questions lying in the deepest parts of their souls - providing they survive the dangers of the journey.
Roger Thomas is expert in his storytelling, and From Afar portrays the Holy Family as real people, personal and touching and relatable. I have rarely read such well-crafted prose, and plan to reread this and savor it again, the way I savor my favorite foods and the very best fiction. This is the kind of literature I want to have around for my kids and favorite people to read. - Sarah Reinhard, author of Word By Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Using transparent prose, Roger Thomas dives into the cultural and historical currents of the era to bring new depth and freshness to the iconic tale of the biblical Magi. An obvious choice for the Christmas season, this novel can be read and enjoyed at any time of the year. - Michael Nicholas Richard, author of Tobit's Dog
This meticulously researched story about the Magi immerses the reader in the first century Middle East, from Parthia to Roman occupied Israel--cultures, religions and religious texts, kingdoms and empires, political intrigues, and the stars in the heavens which the wise men read like books. These three men come alive as they draw us into the perilous quest they decide to undertake. You may think you know the story, but your wonder and awe will deepen for having read Roger Thomas' captivating tale. - T.M. Doran, author Toward the Gleam, Terrapin, Iota
"Zakkai", a short story by Roger Thomas