Wednesday, June 15, 2011


A city on the eve of destruction
A politician escaping his destiny
And a Jewish slave girl trained to die
None of them will survive unscathed.

Pleasure-seeking Romans find the seaside town of Pompeii the perfect getaway, and when the rich patrician Cato escapes Rome, intent on a life of leisure, he is unprepared for the hostility he encounters.

For Ariella, disguised as a young boy and sold into a gladiator troupe, survival is her only ambition.

But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii and neither Ariella’s secret nor Cato’s evasion are safe. Political corruption, religious persecution and family peril threaten to destroy them, even before the mountain spews its fire.

As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, the two must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love, before the fiery ash buries Pompeii, and leaves the city lost to the world.

Start by reading the first three chapters here.  

Book Review

It is rare to find a book written in this historical time period.   Finding a fiction book written on Pompeii?  Unheard of!   I was equally excited and nervous about reading this book.    If you paid attention in school you remember the Pompeii was destroyed by a volcanic eruption at Mount Vesuvius.    

(Note:  Before you start reading, I highly recommend you look at the photos from Tracy's research trip.   It was amazing to be able to visualize the places as I was reading.)

The story centers around Ariella, a young Jewish woman who has been trapped as a slave with an incredibly evil man.     She seizes the opportunity to escape when she disguises herself as a boy and joins a gladiator troupe.     She manages to hide her gender and trains to fight.    It is ultimately her goal to try to win the approval of the arena crowds and hopefully be able to buy her freedom.   

Pompeii is saturated with every type of corruption you can imagine.     Political, sexual, religious, financial, and social.    There are no holds barred.    While I wouldn't call her descriptions graphic, Tracy definitely addresses the hideousness of people being crucified, burned at the stake, rape, homosexuality among slaves and owners, and drug enhanced rituals.     All those scenarios definitely means that this is a book for adults.
However, if someone were writing a book about today's current events you would certainly say the same thing.

Since what happened in Pompeii is no mystery I will tell you that Higley's story line is a beautiful storyline of God's amazing providence and saving grace even in the midst of life's most horrific and sometimes hopeless situations.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Book Groups.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

Being a slave is hard enough. Trained to die...what's to live for?

Amazing how different time periods have such different mind sets.