The Anathemas by Victor E. Smith – A Visionary Fiction Alliance Book Review by Robin Gregory

A complex, time-tripping tale that explores the past lives of a 19th century father, Richard Strawn, and daughter, Jennifer, who were once the corrupt Roman Emperor Justinian 1 and Empress Theodora. The author provides meticulous, well-researched evidence of the 6th century AD, the era when Justinian and Theodora prided themselves on erecting what was considered the world’s largest cathedral, a monument to God, while waging war and terror throughout the land. As well, there is evidence of the royal couple’s systematic eradication of reincarnation from sacred teachings, and the subsequent cost to humanity, a campaign which may have plunged the world into the Dark Ages.

It is a somewhat ambitious and daunting story. At times, I found the shifting narrative disorienting. Transitions are indicated by italics, and settings are distinguished by annotation of historical circumstances rather than setting. The method of time traveling is not clear.

Historians, visionaries, and religious and spiritual teachers may find this story controversial or consolatory. The questions for both Richard and Jennifer Strawn are: Will they prove through experience that reincarnation is real? Will they be able to transcend their past lives or will they chose to repeat them and settle for an unenlightened existence? How must they go about transformation? Either way you go about it, this is a well-informed and timely story that will get you thinking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.