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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Isle of Shadows by Tracy L. Higley

 
As a courtesan, Tessa of Delos enjoyed unparalleled luxury and influence. But even in the grand palaces of Rhodes, she felt herself a prisoner.
On the island of Rhodes, 227 BC, Tessa of Delos has served for ten years as a hetaira—a high-priced Greek courtesan—to a wealthy politician. In that time, she's lived in luxury, but as a virtual prisoner, serving at her master's whim. Though intelligent and beautiful, Tessa has learned to numb herself to all desires for freedom and love.
But when her owner meets a violent death, Tessa is given the chance to be free—if she can hide the truth of his death and maintain a masquerade until escape is possible. She joins forces with unlikely allies—a Hebrew houseservant named Simeon and Nikos, a seafarer who wants to work in the house of Tessa's owner.
As Tessa seeks freedom for herself and for those she is beginning to love, forces collide that will literally shatter the island’s peace, bringing even the mighty statue of Rhodes, Colossus, to its knees.
A powerful story showing how the love of God can transform and bring back to life a soul jaded by sin and grief.

Isle of Shadows by Tracy L. Higley is a revised and significantly updated version of the original title The Shadow of Colossus, and I found it to be an intriguing and moving read. The story is set on the island of Rhodes and includes many of the politcal battles between the Greek politicians that existed during that time. I thought that the descriptions of the island and the statue Colossus to be very well done, and I definitely felt immersed in the culture of the time period. The plot line was well written and included elements of mystery, suspense, romance, and a whole lot of danger for the characters involved in the cover up plot. There are also clear themes in this novel, such as the importance of asking God for forgiveness and then relying on His overwhelming love and power to transform broken lives. I found that theme to be very prevelant and convicting in this story. The characters are also realistic and well developed. I felt an immediate connection with Tessa, and I was drawn into her feelings and thoughts as she struggled with her degrading and difficult lifestyle. I enjoyed seeing her heart change and watching her begin to move past her mistakes and begin to seek after the one true God as she spent time in the Jewish quarters of the island. I also found Nikos to be a dynamic character as he tried to understand what was happening and how he could get revenge. He also experienced character growth as he was influenced both by the Jews' beliefs as well as by Tessa. Overall, I thought Isle of Shadows was an interesting and exciting book with very realistic and intriguing characters.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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