This was one of the best books I have read in a really long time!
I've discovered with this book, that I have a love for historical fiction. The book takes place in a few different areas, but starts out in Jerusalem. I admittedly, didn't know much about this era besides the basics, and I learned a lot from this book. The main character is a Christian girl named Hadessah who grew up in Jerusalem. (I'll try to sum this up as quickly as possible!) The Romans are coming in and invading, killing most of the Jews and taking lots more to be slaves. Hadessah's entire family is killed besides her and her sister. Prayer saved them from being shot in their home and she is taken to become a slave in Rome. She goes to serve an important and rich family and in particular is there to serve a young troubled girl, Julia. Hadessah is different from the rest of the slaves, as she is not particularly pretty and really actually cares for and loves the family she is serving. The book follows her and this family, along with a German who was captured to become a gladiator. There are so many twists and different story lines that we would be here forever if I went into detail of it all. It involves Roman history, gladiator stories, forbidden love, and having to hide the Christian faith.
I probably did a horrible job explaining why I loved this book so much and didn't even touch on 1/2 of what this amazing story entails, but trust me, you HAVE to read this book! I have the follow-up book in this series, An Echo in the Darkness, waiting to read, but have to read a different one first (it's due back at the library sooner), but I cannot wait to start it and see what happens with these characters! Who's going to finally let themselves fall in love with the other? Will she finally find happiness? Will any of the characters see that they are worshiping false gods and finally see what Hadessah has been trying to show them all along? I can't wait!