Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley

On an island teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.

She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.

But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.

The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.

When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything—Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley was an interesting and well written novel that I truly enjoyed. The plot line was exciting and contained historical facts and theories that made the novel even more interesting and believable. The story line moved at a quick pace, and it contained elements of romance, mystery, suspense, and religious conflict. The mystery and suspense in this novel kept me glued to the pages, wondering if anything would turn out right in the end. The narration alternated between the perspectives of the main character named Daria, a tutor who has escaped a dark and dangerous past, and Lucas, the wealthy merchant plagued by guilt and thoughts of revenge.

The characters of So Shines the Night were very realistic and well developed. Daria was an interesting and dynamic character who had weaknesses and flaws that were identifiable and realistic. I enjoyed the conflicts that occurred between the different religious groups in Ephesus and how Daria had to decide what to believe. Seeing her having to work through her issues and her doubts made her a very realistic character that was easy to identify with. The other supporting characters were also interesting and well written, and they provided opportunities for Daria's characteristics to be revealed as she grew. My absolutely favorite character, however, was Lucas. He was an interesting man who was extremely conflicted by his past and his present choices, but who sought to keep Daria and others safe at any cost. He had many flaws which became more obvious as the book went on, but his strengths grew more prominent as well as he learned from his mistakes and sought the truth and God.

The themes of this novel included being set free from sin and evil, falling into the grace of God instead of hopelessness when confronted with one's inability to save oneself, and giving over all thoughts of vengeance and revenge to God instead of trying to do it alone. Daria also discovered that strength to defeat darkness and evil comes from God alone, and that she could never combat the darkness of sin and demons by herself.

Overall, I really enjoyed So Shines the Night, and I would highly recommend any of Tracy Higley's novels to those who are looking for well written, exciting novels that have a strong base in actual history.

I received this novel for free from Booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.

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