This book is rather different from other books you’ll read.
It’s the third novel in a series that began with Barabbas and The Sibyl.
Ahasuerus is mentioned in certain Old Testament books such as Esther and numerous scholars have proposed theories as to who Ahasuerus represents – most identify him with Xerxes I. However the Ahasuerus of the title of this book is meant to represent the Wandering Jew, a mythical immortal man who in the original legend taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion. Ahasuerus was then cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming.
In this novel the pilgrim Tobias, bound for Jerusalem / The Holy Land meets the mysterious title character in a pilgrim’s hostel where there’s also a former lover of Tobias’s called Diana. After some painful reminscing between Diana and Tobias and a night’s rest, the three set off on the remainder of their journey.
Diana saves Tobias’s life but is herself killed by an arrow. Ahasuerus and Tobias arrive at a port where the last ship of the year has just sailed for The Holy Land. Tobias uses the last of his money to pay his way on a yawl crewed by a bunch of villains which is sailing to The Holy Land. Ahasuerus remains behind and finds shelter in a monastery.