Jaded, yet determined to change his destiny, Roman patrician Quintus Cato, arrives in Pompeii to become a winemaker and avoid any political entanglements from his former life in Rome. Jewess Ariella, torn from her family as she escaped the fall of Jerusalem, is sold into slavery, purchased by the vile and immoral, Valerius. Desperation to be free of Valerius fuels her rash decision to join a passing gladiator troupe disguised as a boy. Hiding her identity, dealing with brutal men and the rigours of training keep Ariella’s mind and body focussed.
A chance meeting between Cato and Ariella results in Cato discerning Ariella’s secret and stirring his heart for justice and compassion. As the evil politician Maius seeks more power and the hand of Cato’s sister, he is urged to reenter the political realm and challenge Maius’ tyrannical grip on Pompeii. Danger and fear abound as Cato and Ariella fight to attain physical and spiritual freedom as Vesuvius threatens all they hold dear.
Pompeii: City on Fire will grab you by the throat, shake you around a little and eventually let go, leaving you enlivened and deeply satisfied. A consummate storyteller, TL Higley’s talent shines in this story of adventure, danger, intrigue and love. From the first page you are plunged into the time of the mighty Roman empire where you will walk the streets of Pompeii, feel the sand of the gladiators’ arena and smell fear and injustice as evil and good do battle. As with all Higley’s books the historical details are impeccable and fascinating, the characters captivating and their trials gritty and real. The love story is not overdone and the minor characters all play a significant role in rounding out the tale and giving the book appeal to men and women. Cato and Ariella’s journey to faith is meaningful and builds up over time with the patience and love of the community of Pompeii believers. Pompeii: City on Fire is an exceptional book by a supremely talented author whose every release is on my must read list. Be sure she is on yours!
With thanks to B&H Publishing for my review copy
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Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Ariella