Tuesday, September 3, 2013

City on Fire by Tracy L. Higley

As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice.

In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

City on Fire by Tracy L. Higley was an enjoyable and highly insightful novel that painted a clear and believable picture of ancient Pompeii and the Roman Empire. The descriptions and conversations were well written and showed that extensive research that been completed to write this novel. The plot line was interesting and contained romance, mystery, suspense, and faith in a balanced manner. The story transitioned smoothly from one event or aspect to another and created an easy to follow novel. The narration of City on Fire was third person, but was presented alternatively from the perspective of Cato and Ariella so that the reader had an idea of what both main characters were thinking about each major situation.

The characters of this novel were well written and realistic. I enjoyed the interactions between Cato and Ariella as they struggled to overcome their differences in both personality and life situations and to survive. I thought both characters experienced substantial character growth as the novel progressed and as they learned more about God, faith, and trust.

Overall, I found City on Fire by Tracy L. Higley to be an excellent novel and a wonderful addition to her series on the Ancient Wonders of the World. I would highly recommend any of these novels to readers who enjoy historical romances that are accurate, interesting, and clearly portray the truth of the Gospel.

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

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