Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pompii (City On Fire) by T. L. Higley

Oh Readers!

What a fascinating book Pompii is! I realized it as a real place, that had a horrible demise, but the title of Pompii City On Fire captured my attention, and this book did not disappoint me at all. This is the first book by T.L. Higley that I have read, and now I would really like to read more of them to see how they compare to this one.

Ariella is a young Jewish girl when she see the temple burned, and her life and family crumble before her in one days time. Before long, she is a slave to a horrible master. Not just one that uses her as a slave, but basically uses her as a sex slave. It makes her heart and soul sick, and she is sure the God of her fathers has left her, and left the Jews to perish. Rome is in great power, and with it many false idols and false god. With these empty religions comes a great deal of debauchery, and just out right excuses for horrible crimes and sins. Ariella can't bear to keep living life like this, so when her time comes, she makes an incredible exit. She becomes known as a boy, and is a member of a team of gladiators. Not an easy life at all, to go from being a beautiful girl to a young male fighter, but Ari is determined to gain her freedom once and for all.

At the same time Cato has moved to Pompii with his mother and sisters. Things in Rome didn't go as he had planned, so he figures he will start over and try his hand at wine. He has a vineyard with good prospects, and a decent store. Surely with this a man can start over and have a good life. And so he would have, had the city not been under the control of Maius. Maius takes an instant dislike to Cato, and that is where his new troubles start!

Meanwhile, Cato can't figure out why  he is so drawn to the young fighter Ari. That is, until he learns he is really a woman! But not just any woman, a woman with both physical fighting skills, and a spirit that is quite untamed in many areas. A woman who has been exposed to the worst things in mankind, who is now starting to see things from God in man as well. Before long Cato's destiny is entangled with Ariella's in more ways than just one, and the mountain that over sees the city they call home, is getting ready to become an active erupting volcano.

A wonderful book, full of many details of Roman life, and beautifully interwoven with the Gospel of Christ, and contrasted with the evil and sin that comes with any god that isn't the One true God. It hadn't been that long since Christ walked on Earth that this story took place. The settings are not dull, the descriptions lack nothing, and the plot and characters are motivating and fascinating. Then there is the mountain herself which is also a vital part of the history of this place. Pompii is a recommended read.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
B&H Books (June 1, 2011)
T.L. Higley

A fiction aficionado since grade school, T.L. Higley, author of Pompeii: City on Fire (B&H Publishing House, June 2011) started her first novel at the age of eight.

Now the author of nine historical fiction novels, including the popular Seven Wonders series, Higley isn’t just transporting readers: She’s transporting herself, too.

“My Iifelong interest in history and mythology has taken me to Italy, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, where I’ve gotten to study those ancient cultures in rich detail,” says Higley. “It’s my desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past, and I figure what better way to do that than to visit the cultures themselves?”

In addition to her accomplished novelist career, Higley is a business entrepreneur and a mother. In fact, for Pompeii, she brought her daughter along with her to Italy for the research trip.

“We gave it to her as a graduation present, not only because Italy is terrific, but because I believe in exposing children to global cultures,” says Higley, who became a student herself again this year. She’s now a graduate student at American Public University, earning her master’s degree in Ancient and Classical Studies.

When Higley isn’t traveling on research trips, writing her novels, or studying for class, she operates four online retail companies, including – a family-run business that began as a way for her oldest daughter to make some extra money for camp. Today, it is a go-to site for parents, children and teachers all over the country, looking for beads and other kid-friendly craft supplies.

Higley lives with her husband and her three other children (aforementioned daughter now in college) just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Pompeii, a city that's many things to many people. For Cato, it's the perfect escape from a failed political career in Rome. A place to start again, become a winemaker. But when a corrupt politician wrongfully jails Cato's sister, he must oust the man from power to save her.

For Ariella, Pompeii is a means to an end. As a young Jew, she escaped the fall of Jerusalem only to endure slavery to a cruel Roman general. She ends up in Pompeii, disguised as a young man and sold into a gladiator troupe. Her anger fuels her to fight well, hoping to win the arena crowds and reveal her gender at the perfect time. Perhaps then she will win true freedom.

But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy Ariella and Cato, who are thrown together in the battle to survive. 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, leaving the city lost to the world.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue of Pompeii, go HERE.

The book link is:

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