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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pompeii: City on Fire...Review

About the book:
A city shadowed by a roiling volcano
A young politician running from his destiny
A Jewish slave girl with a desperate plan
Are any of them safe from harm?

Pleasure-seeking Romans find the seaside town of Pompeii the perfect getaway. But when the rich patrician Cato escapes Rome, intent on a life of leisure, he is unprepared for the hostility he encounters. In the same place, but at the opposite end of society, Ariella has disguised herself as a young boy to be 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 is immune to it. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy them, even before an ominous mountain in the distance spews its fire.

As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, Cato and Ariella must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love—before fiery ash buries Pompeii, turning the city into a lost world.

A terrific, engaging story.  Ariella is a young slave who escapes Jerusalem only to disguise herself as a young male gladiator. Cato has left Rome for Pompeii, hoping for a quiet life as a vintner. He discovers that Pompeii is a city of depravity with citizens who have too much idle time on their hands. The politicians are corrupt and Cato is drawn into the political arena against his will. A chance encounter with Ariella changes his life forever.

As they work together to save those they love, Cato and Ariella discover the Christians who struggle to survive amidst a pagan society. Because of their examples, Cato and Ariella come to learn for themselves whether they can each, not only find solace and hope through Jesus Christ, but if that hope can sustain them when Vesuvius erupts.

Pompeii has always fascinated me. It's a place I would love to visit. Tracy Higley does a fantastic job taking her readers right into the middle of Pompeii, its setting, its people and its mountain. While I thought the novel lacked the spark of Petra: City in Stone, it is still a fascinating, compelling story.  Tracy's writing is descriptive and vibrant. 

Pompeii: City on Fire is the second book in the Lost Cities series, the first of which is Petra: City in Stone.  I look forward to more.

Thanks to First Wildcard and the T.L. Higley for the opportunity to review this book. You can read the first chapter here. You can learn more about Tracy Higley here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/11

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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