In The Bronze Bow, much of the plot revolves around the injustices that Daniel and his fellow Jews suffer under Roman rule. In particular, Daniel's father was among a group of prisoners that Roman troops killed, and his mother died from grief and illness soon thereafter; the eight-year-old boy was left an orphan. Daniel tells this story in chapter 7.
Their deaths were related to a problem with tax collection concerning his uncle and aunt. His uncle made an unwise decision to use the family's tax money for an elaborate purchase. When he could not pay the taxes, he was arrested. On the way to the quarries where he would do hard labor, Daniel’s father and other men tried to free the prisoners but failed. After their capture, the Romans crucified them.
Daniel’s mother could not bear to leave her husband's body and contracted a fatal illness while waiting at the site.