My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Suggested Age: 18+
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
Tracy Higley is one of my favorite authors so I was very honored and excited to review this book for booksneeze!
I thought it was kind of cool that two of the characters in this book were named “Ari” and “Paris” since I have two daughters named Arie and Paris! I thought it was a funny coincidence (and not at all very important to this review other than I thought it was neat!)
Anyway, loved the book and I can’t wait to read more of Tracy’s work!
Ariella is a young girl who has witnessed the destruction and demise of her family. As she tries to flee the war torn land she is taken captive and sold into slavery. Nine years passes by and Ariella seizes the opportunity for escape—cutting her hair and masquerading as a young man she joins the gladiators.
When her troupe finds themselves in Pompeii it becomes increasingly difficult to conceal her true identity. An older Jewish man who is serving as a slave guesses her predicament and befriends her. He begins to share the gospel with her and promises to pray for her safety.
After time she meets Cato; a young man who is determined to stand for right and fight against the evil that plague the city of Pompeii. Cato finds out about her predicament and desires to help her but he is torn and doesn’t know how to help. Especially since Ari views him and all other romans as bloodthirsty killers.
Cato however turns his life over to Christ; despite the threat of death or severe punishment for aligning himself with fellow Christians. This action is the turning point in the story. In the midst of all of this terror there is finally a thin thread of hope—though, Ari is not yet aware and as true life, you only come to the morning through the shadows!
This book had some seriously dark content and I would suggest it for a more mature audience. The vile state of man in ancient Pompeii, especially by Christian standards was very depraved; if not reprobated! Details were not explicit but some may still find the debauchery hard to digest. However, I feel that revealing such depravity was historically accurate and essential to the telling of this tale.
Beautifully written and intriguing; I strongly suggest this book to readers who are fans of Historical fiction. I’ve never been disappointed in any Higley book but I think this is one of her best.
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Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and Isle of Shadows. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com