Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by Tracy L. Higly

In City on Fire:  A Novel of Pompeii by Tracy Higly, Ariella has been taken captive by the Romans after the fall of Jerusalem and made a slave.  Her owner is terrible, so she makes a drastic decision to leave him and change places with a gladiator, disguising herself as a boy.  After being unsuccessful in the ring, she is bought by another owner and her lot seems to improve.  But her friendship with another slave Jeremiah makes her rethink her decision to turn her back on God.  Is He really there?  Does He really care?  Who is this Messiah everyone is talking about?  Then her past resurfaces and threatens to drown her.  And of course, the climax of this book takes place during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

I really enjoyed this book about ancient Rome.  The history it contains seems to be true, and in the afterword, Higly tells how she researched this book.  The story is exciting and suspenseful, keeping one reading.  And the characters are well-rounded and believable.  It's a relatively small thing, but I appreciated that no matter how hard Ariella trains, she is unable to beat any other gladiator.  I hate it when women are portrayed as just as strong as men because we're not.  I'll be looking for more of Higly's books to read.

I want to thank BookSneeze for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

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