by Gloria D. Miklowitz
As the Roman army marches inexorably across the Judean desert towards the fortress of Masada, Simon and his family and friends prepare, along with the rest of the Jewish Zealots, to fight and never surrender.
In the year 72 C.E. after a four-year war between Rome and Judea, only one fortress remains to be taken: Masada, high above the Dead Sea in what is now Israel. In this eloquent and unforgettable novel, historically based, we meet 17-year-old Simon ben Eleazar, son of the Jewish leader of the Zealots. As Simon records the relentless siege of the Roman legion, he tells the moving story of the Jews' last stand on Masada. We also meet Flavius Silva, commander of the Roman Tenth Legion. When the Jews refuse to surrender, he begins to attack the fortress with a vengeance--an attack that will last for seven terrifying months. Simon, apprenticed to Masada's only physician, learns to help victims of the enemy's onslought even as he struggles with his feelings for young Deborah, the beloved of his best friend, and with the painful decision he must ultimately make. Can he take a difficult stand that will change his life just as he is truly beginning to live it?