I’ve been eagerly awaiting Pompeii: City of Fire by T.L. Higley ever since I read Petra: City in Stone last fall. Petra was the first title I’d read by T.L. Higley and I LOVED it! I promptly got copies of all her previous novels and devoured them. She quickly became one of my new favorite fiction writers! So, needless to say I was thrilled when I received an advance copy of Pompeii to review, but frustrated that I couldn’t find the time to sit down and read it for a couple of weeks after it got here! When I finally had a chance, I devoured it in less than two days.
Pompeii is the second in Ms. Higley’s new series about “Lost Cities”. It tells the story of Ariella, a young Jewish girl who is sold into slavery in Rome after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and Cato, the son of a successful Roman politician. Ariella escapes her master and, through a series of events, finds herself disguised as a young gladiator in Pompeii. Cato arrives in Pompeii to make a fresh start as a vineyard owner after an unsuccessful stint in politics in Rome. Neither is prepared for the evil they encounter there in the person of Maius, the duvoir (city magistrate), or the impending disaster Mount Vesuvius is about to launch. Readers of Petra will be excited to make the connection that Ariella and Cato are Julian’s parents.
I had high expectations, and Pompeii does not disappoint! It follows what seems to be a recurring theme in Ms. Higley’s novels: damaged, broken young men and women coming to terms with their past and discovering God’s glorious grace. It’s a beautiful, compelling tale of redemption woven into an incredible blend of history, adventure, suspense, and romance. Ms. Higley is an exceptional writer. Her attention to historical detail and her ability to create realistic, well-developed characters is fantastic.
While I can’t say that Pompeii surpasses Petra for me, it’s definitely a close second or third (City of the Dead being my other top choice). If you’ve never read a T.L. Higley novel, I suggest you choose one of those two to read while you wait for Pompeii‘s release on June 1! I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy then! You’ll be glad you did.
Thanks so much to Julie Gwinn at B&H Publishing for providing me a preview copy of Pompeii: City of Fire. All opinions expressed are my own.