A complimentary copy of this book was provided by BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 12th 2013
Source: BookLook Bloggers
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Historical
Daria's new home in Ephesus with Lucas both beguiles and confounds her, until she meets followers of The Way.
Her past has taught her that evil is real, that it can consume a person. She saw it happen with her husband, before he took his own life. Widowed, with no family, Daria becomes a tutor to Lucas, a rich traveling merchant from Ephesus. There she discovers evil has a strong foothold and that Lucas himself seems drawn to evil and sorcery.
As her relationship with her employer grows, she fears that she will be unable to pull him from demonic influence. Tension in the city is about to erupt, as a new sect called The Way continues to draw followers. A man called Paul leads the movement against the economic and political strength of the city, found in its goddess cult.
When she learns more of the ways of the Christians and their ability to defeat evil, she begins to have hope. But then Lucas is arrested and jailed for a brutal crime, and it seems not even the Christians can help.
Tensions escalate in the city until thousands are pouring into the arena to protest the influence of the Christians, and a plot to kill Paul is underway. When Lucas's execution is scheduled, Daria must find a way to prove his innocence, save his life, and help her new friends before everyone she loves is destroyed.
So Shines the Night is in the Seven Wonders series by Tracy Higley. It takes us back to the time of Paul, the apostle and into the heart of the early church in Ephesus. I was so excited to read this book. First off, the cover is just gorgeous and secondly—the author is so inviting and open. I happen to have the honor of being a part of “The Caravan” which is the author’s street team and time and time again have I seen the heart that this author has for her readers. It is a joy and an honor to pick up another one of her works!
Daria left Rhodes in search of freedom from the oppressive sorcerers who wish to harm her. What she was not prepared for was finding just as much chaos and oppression in Ephesus. Ephesus is on the brink of a spiritual revolution and awakening but there are still forces at work that threaten to ensnare the unsuspecting.
Daria is interested in learning of the One True God but as a follower of Artemis she is afraid of being abandoned by the gods and left to her misfortune. At the same time, she fears the dark arts that the handsome Lucas seems to dabble in. Having witnessed haunting experiences which the sorcerers seem helpless to resolve—it is the Christians that catch her interest. Particularly interesting is the power which Paul seems to possess. Can he really cast out demons in the name of his god? Who is this God which he speaks of?
I thought this story was so powerful. Though Daria wished to save Lucas, she must learn a lesson that only the Lord has the power to save and each heart must come to repentance. No man or woman can save those that they love—salvation comes from the Lord. Freedom from spiritual oppression being greater than release from physical oppression –this book takes us on a journey through a great spiritual battle that still wages today in our own hearts and souls.
If you’re looking for Christian Historical Fiction with a view of actual Bible characters and what they may have faced during their time—this book is for you. Darkness and principalities and spirits cannot prevail against the saving grace of our Lord and this book really brings that message home in the lives of Daria and Lucas.
See Tracy in Ephesus|Author Interview