City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by Tracy L. Higley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ariella, a young Jewish slave girl, escapes from her evil master and joins a troupe of gladiators. Disguised as a young man, Ariella learns that if she wants to live she must fight, and fight hard. " I am invincible," she claims. Angry and bitter, she no longer trusts the God of her youth.
Cato, a Roman politician running from past failures, wants to make a difference for good in Pompeii. But evil men threaten him at every turn. He is drawn to Ariella and desires to rescue her, but everything, including Ariella herself, is against him.
As Ariella and Cato search for truth and justice, they little dream of the terror that overshadows their city.
I really hate to review this book because it seems that anything I say about it will not do it justice. This book was absolutely spell-binding. It is so beautifully written and pain-stakingly researched. The characters were so real it felt as if you truly got to know them. I had previously read "So Shines The Night" by this author and was very impressed. But I think this book absolutely blows it away. I think this book makes my top 10 fictional books of all time list, and that is saying a lot because I have read many great books.
This book is definitely for more mature audiences. Although the author keeps references vague, and descriptions almost nil; there are some very disturbing things discussed. For one thing you have the arenas and all that entails. And some very debaucherous tyrants and the evil that they participated in. I do love how this story shows so much of God's love, even against a background of pure evil.
I received a free e-copy of this book through BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.
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