He was a laborer and one of questionable birth and I was an educated businessman. But in that moment I felt I had found a thing, a person, worth the resurrection of my every hope. The thought terrified and exhilarated at once.In this Biblical fiction novel, the author tells a tale of Judas Iscariot, the crushing struggles of his childhood, his devotion to Jesus of Nazareth, and the events leading up to his betrayal of his teacher and friend. The main portion of the book recounts the events of Jesus’ life, but from the confused, flawed, and very human perspective of one of his disciples.I don’t know that I can say that I enjoyed this book, but I did find it absolutely heart-wrenchingly emotional and utterly fascinating. I was very skeptical when I picked it up, but once it got to the parts where Judas met up with Jesus, I found myself immersed in the retelling of these familiar stories, seeing them without the hindsight of all that was to come, but through the eyes of one of his followers. The emotion was rather poignant, and I found myself feeling Judas’s anguish and heartache, empathizing with his despair.The book was obviously well researched, from the historical background, the setting, the political strife at the time, and — most of all — Scripture itself. I was expecting to find deviations from and contradictions with the Biblical accounts, but the author managed to add backstory, personality, and motivations to Judas without any Scriptural inconsistencies. Although we obviously can’t know for sure, the events certainly could have played out similarly to what this book suggests.This book certainly is not for everyone. The brutality by the Roman soldiers in the first section of the novel is enough to make anyone’s stomach churn, so it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. There also was quite a bit of politics that played into the story, that fortunately I had enough background knowledge about to follow fairly well, but those unfamiliar with Jewish sects during this time or the political background may find these parts confusing.Heads up: This book contains some disturbing and graphic violence, and references to prostitution and sexualityOverall: An intense look at the (fictionalized, but true-to-Scripture) life of the rash, conflicted, and imperfect, but very human man who betrayed Jesus Christ.