Daria’s new home with Lucas in Ephesus both beguiles and confounds her, until she meets followers of The Way.
Her past has taught her that evil is real, that it can consume a person. She saw it happen with her husband, before he took his own life. Widowed but well-educated, Daria becomes a tutor to Lucas, a rich traveling merchant from Ephesus. There she discovers evil has a strong foothold and that Lucas himself seems drawn to evil and sorcery.
As her relationship with her employer grows, she fears that she will be unable to pull him from demonic influence. Tension in the city is about to erupt, as a new sect called The Way continues to draw followers. The man Paul leads a movement against the economic and political strength of the city, found in its goddess cult.
When she learns more of the ways of the Christians and their ability to defeat evil, she begins to have hope, but when Lucas is arrested and jailed for a brutal crime, it seems not even the Christians can help.
Tensions escalate in the city until thousands are pouring into the arena to protest the influence of the Christians, and a plot to kill Paul is underway. When Lucas’s execution is scheduled, Daria must find a way to prove his innocence, save his life, and help her new friends before everyone she loves is destroyed.
I had the privilege in 2011 to visit Ephesus, it was a wonderful experience. When I heard about this book I knew that I wanted to read it. Having walked down Marble Street, standing in the theater really helped bring this story to life. The third book in the Ancient Wonders of the World series, the author has woven together historical facts in a story that was very dark at times. I enjoyed reading this book, the story was interesting, I was able to visualize what life was like for Christians in 57AD, also a picture of what Paul's life could have been like.
I recommend for those interested in Bibical historical fiction.
Tracy has answered a couple questions that I asked about this book.
1. How has your writing, research, and travels affected your spiritual life?
Great question. All of it has definitely given me a larger sense of the world and what God is doing in it, both now and through the past. It’s made me realize, as I’ve studied God’s work in the nations throughout history, that He has always been calling all people to Himself, and that He still is. It’s also given me a desire to see the kind of Christianity that was born in the fires of Roman persecution become part of our experience now – a living, breathing faith that radically transforms our lives.
2. While visiting modern day Ephesus, could you really get a "feel" for what it was like in Paul's time?
Yes, the streets and buildings are in ruins, of course, but there is plenty there to know what the different buildings were used for and to picture the streets full of townspeople and the shops and temples being used. You can see mosaics and writing and all kinds of “daily life” things that make it easy to picture the city in its heyday.
3. Can you share anything about your future projects?
The best way to get a sense of what I’m working on now would be to visit this page: http://tracyhigley.com/books/work-in-progress/ Although, don’t hold me to all those thoughts about the book I haven’t started yet – who knows where that will go!