Daria has been running from evil for as long as she can remember but it seems to pursue her everywhere she runs. Then she meets Lucas, a man haunted by a dark and mysterious past. Daria is determined to help him but finds that she to is facing dark and oppressive spirits as well. Then she meets a man named Paul who claims there is a power higher than all the gods she fears and more powerful than the evil that haunts her every step. But with people being possessed by strange powers and sorcerers watching her every move she doesn't know who she can trust or what she should believe.
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be.. BEAUTIFUL! The cover is beautiful, the story is beautiful, and the message is beautiful!
This is the first book I have read by Tracy L. Higley but it most certainly won't be the last!
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone! On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is a 12!!!!
I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review!
So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley is her latest novel in the Seven Wonders of the World series and deals with the Temple of Artemis. The main theme for the story is based on Biblical scripture found in the nineteenth chapter of Acts. Tracy has a unique gift for writing historical, Biblical novels and that is plainly seen in this novel that takes place in Ephesus around the year 57 AD. Daria, a widow, is a very unusual woman in that she is very well educated in several languages, philosophy, history, and other subjects. After meeting Lucas, a wealthy merchant, in Rhodes in an unusual and somewhat funny situation, he invites her to come to Ephesus with him to be his personal tutor so that she can teach him the Persian language. Daria has discovered secrets in Rhodes that endanger her life so she eagerly accepts the offer from Lucas. Daria and Lucas are both searching for a second chance at happiness and love and at the same time searching for truth and freedom, but they go about it in entirely different ways. Lucas changes when they reach Ephesus and begins to sink into the world of the evil sorcerers. The danger escalates when Lucas is thrown in prison and Daria is afraid for his life and sanity and puts herself in danger to try to help him.
Daria and Lucas encounter Paul and his Christian followers and are drawn to the people of The Way but they seem to be unable to accept the fact that there is only One God and that He forgives everyone of all their sins. In their search for God, Daria and Lucas are helped by Paul, Timothy, Aquilla, Priscilla, and other members of the Christian group known as The Way. Daria is given a place to live with Aquilla and Priscilla and their loving ways help her to accept God's love and forgiveness.
There was a lot of spiritual darkness in the book but this was typical of this period of time in Ephesus. One of the most frightening scenes was the struggle between the Christians and the sorcerers in front of the Temple of Artemis. Also, the description of the shop owned by the leader of the sorcerers where unsuspecting women were given mind altering potions gave me goosebumps but even that did not seem quite as frightful as the prison where Lucas was being held. There was a good deal of suspense throughout the story but especially near the end during the trial of Lucas and the events following the trial as he was on his way to be executed.
As in all her other books, Tracy did an excellent job with the plot, characters, dialogue, and the description of all the scenes. The story became so real to me that I felt as if I were traveling the roads in Ephesus and meeting with Paul and the early Christians and being a part of all the action. I found the message of the book to be quite inspiriting and it inspired me to want to do better in my Christian walk with God. I was definitely entertained by the book even though at times I was shaking in my shoes due to all the horrible things that were taking place. The ending is so gripping that I was sitting on the edge of my seat and found myself holding my breath at times. Tracey certainly has a gift for writing suspense into a story. In spite of all the suspense and danger taking place, there was still enough romance in the story to keep the relationship between Daria and Lucas interesting.
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who like historical, Biblical novels that deal with faith and the power of God interwoven in a great story and also based on historical facts. This is the third novel that I have read by Tracy Higley and I think it is the best of the three. In fact I will go so far as to say that this is the best Biblical novel I have read by any author.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Once I find an author I like, I read everything I can find by them until I have to move on to a new author or wait for them to come out with a new book. I was very excited when I read and loved the book So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley because now I have a new author's books to devour.
So Shines the Night is set in Bible times in Ephesus, after Jesus has walked the earth. While it is a fictional novel, much of the story is based on biblical writings, the writings of Ephesians. The main character, Daria, is an educated widow, trying to find a way to support herself using that education and her intellect. She faces, not only the challenge of the time period when women were not respected or honored in educational settings, but also the intense darkness that followed her from the last city she fled.
The characters in this book were intense and intriguing, the setting was fascinating, and the story itself drew me in. I love the time period when much of the New Testament was written and I really liked the fact that Higley elaborated on the scriptures in Ephesians to write the story. It gave me a much greater context for what life in that time was like, the culture and what the Ephesian church was facing. The way she portrayed Paul, Timothy, Pricilla and Aquilla and several others helped me to understand better many of the things Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
I have already finished another of Higley's books, Pompeii, and I fully intend to find more of them at my library. I highly recommend her books.
I was provided a copy of So Shines the Night by Booksneeze. My opinions are all my own.
So Shines the Night is a tale of intrigue, danger, and romance set in the ancient city of Ephesus. Daria is a female tutor on the Isle of Rhodes, something that makes it difficult for her to find work. In the midst of a crisis, she is saved from danger by Lucas, a stranger who gives her refuge on his boat, then insists she return with him to his home in Ephesus. He is in need of a tutor to teach him languages, he says, and can also get her a job at a school.
Daria hopes that she has escaped to a place where she will find peace. Instead she finds herself in the middle of an escalating conflict between sorcerers and Christians, the people of "The Way." Her mysterious master/pupil seems involved with sorcerers, Christians...and the murders that continue to happen in the city. But no matter the evidence, Daria finds that she simply cannot think ill of him.
Her soul is in as much turmoil as the city. She longs for peace and to be able to understand the gods and how to please them so that her life will be better. But the people of The Way teach her things that go against all she has ever believed. What is true? What should she believe now?
Lucas, meanwhile, is also troubled. He is a man bent on revenge for a wrong done to him, even if accomplishing that revenge means his own destruction.
As the book escalates to the conclusion, Daria becomes a far more important piece in the puzzle than she could ever have imagined. She may be the only hope that Lucas has for staying alive.
This was a well-written story with an engaging plot and likeable characters. It also paints an accurate portrait of life in Ephesus at the time of Paul. I would highly recommend this book.
It did arrive in good form and I did look at a few pages in the front and being I am reading another book I had to put it down but I am sure once I get started reading it I will not be able to put it down.