Book review and Kindle sale: City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, by Tracy L. Higley

October 1, 2013

I recently had the chance to read City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, by Tracy L. Higley. This fiction book was just re-released September 17, 2013 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice. In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

My Verdict:

I love historical fiction, and Tracy L. Higley’s Christian fiction novels have not disappointed me yet. (I previously reviewed Isle of Shadows, and have read a number of her books.) I love how accurate and well, researched her novels feel, which isn’t a surprise since her author’s bio says that “Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels.” This book reminded me of The Mark of The Lion books by Francine Rivers (one of my favorite series), as it is set in around the same time period and has the same types of interactions between Jews and Romans. It differs in its female-slave-masquerading-as-a-male-gladiator angle, which was really interesting. The test for me is always whether I have to finish the book in one reading, or am able to put it down to read later. This was a finish-in-one-night book! City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii would be a great read if you’re heading on vacation for Fall Break next week, as you’ll be entertained, and will feel as if you have learned a little more about life in Pompeii before and after the erupting of Vesuvius. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 38% off. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $13.81. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Entry filed under: Books, Reviews. Tags: .

Sam Houston Fall Carnival tonight, 9/13 Library Quarterly Book Sale October 17-19

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