Friday, March 1, 2013

So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley

From the publisher: On an island teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.
She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.
But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.
The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.
When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything—Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.
This is the third book in Higley's wonder of the world series.  And so far this one has been the best.  
Higley did a great job with the details of Ephesus.  Through her research and travels to the city you could feel where things were located and could picture the character's walking through city.  The details will make readers interested in history and the layout of the cities.
I loved how Higley wrote the Biblical characters into the story.  She had major Biblical characters like Paul, but then she also brought into the story some characters like Alexander and Demetrius that Paul talks about in his letters.  I enjoy reading Biblical fiction because I like seeing the character's fleshed out in a way I had not previously thought of them.
In this book there is a lot of darkness.  Spiritual darkness pervades the book, but this was accurate to the time in Ephesus.  Higley does a great job with portraying the spiritual darkness, and the struggle without making the book depressing.  It was thrilling when she wrote about God's light and presence with the people of the Way.  As a Christian I felt joy in knowing that this is not just fiction but reality.  God is stronger than the darkness.  

And I loved, loved having John do the prologue and epilogue and the references to Revelation.  That was really beautiful and well done.
I would recommend this book to others.
I received this book free form in exchange for my honest review.  

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