Publisher- B&H Books 2008
Pages- 390 pages
Genres- Young adult, Action, Romance, Politics, Ancient times
Reviewed by Kate
In 227 B.C. in the ancient Greek islands of Rhodes Tessa of Delos has been in bondage, a courtesan or female companion, to a wealthy politician. Over her years in slavery she has become as hard as a stone and given up what she desires most, love and freedom. But when her patron is accidentally killed, Tessa sees her chance at freedom but she needs to hide the truth and keep up a masquerade until she can escape. Now she will fight for everything she believes and desires.
All I can really say about this book is wow! I thought I'd like it but I never expected it to be one of my new favorite books, in fact I kept telling myself that it was a good book but it wasn't going to end up on the shelf with all my favorite books, but I was completely wrong. It kept me reading through the night and into the morning more than once. It was amazing.
Now for the actual review. The first thing and the main reason I wanted this book was because the setting was ancient times and it wasn't just about history but an actual fiction and romance novel. I've been looking for an ancient times romance for, well, forever. I don't think I've ever read a ancient times romance. So that was the main reason that I got this book besides the intriguing summery. So I started the book, like I said before, thinking that it be good but only good. The book started up almost immediately. The whole book is full of action. It's a great story and was written beautifully.
I fell in love with the characters not immediately but very quickly after learning more about them and how they got to where they are. I really loved how the characters, mainly Tessa, grow and change throughout the book. She was so well written. I could feel all her emotions and could relate with her in some ways. She was such a strong and beautiful character. I loved her. I also loved the other characters so much! Nikos was just a sweetheart and a great guy. He's a dream to a lot of women and he grew on me very much over the story. One thing that really bothers me about some books is the unrealistic growth and change in characters. This book was not like that at all. Tessa, who has the most growth and change, moved a great a realistic pace with the help and guidance she got, even with only 7 or 8 days of the story.
Okay now for all the other stuff. This book does have to do with a lot of politics, which can get boring for some people. Usually I get really bored with politics but it kept my interest and kept me reading, those weren't my favorite parts though. The other thing that may bother some people a little is that there is some talk of God and Christianity. It doesn't really get into it that much but redemption is mentioned a lot at the end. And this book definitely supports God and Christianity. But I don't think those are really big deals, while it may bother some people, neither bothered me at all.
Overall this book was so good. I was so pleasantly surprised. If anyone is looking for a ancient times romance novel pick this book up. This is also a series called The Seven Wonders series. They each are about one of The Seven Wonders, the first one being the statue of Colossus. I'm not sure what all of the wonders are off of the top of my head but you can find them at T.L. Higley's website. Oh and the characters and settings are not related at all. This is the first book followed by The City of the Dead which takes place in Egypt and has to do with The Great Pyramid of Giza followed by the third instalment Guardian of the Flame whose wonder is The Lighthouse of Alexandria. They all sound really good and I can not wait to get my hands on the next two, unfortunately there's going to be a bit of a wait for the next book in the series but T.L. Higley has another series coming out about ancient lost cities and you can look for her newest book Petra: City in Stone is coming out soon! So all I can say to finish this review up is read this book!
"The death of her body was long overdue. Her soul had died ten years ago."
"The wealthy island of Rhodes,
Desired by the Ptolemies of Egypt.
Coveted by the Seleucids of Syria,
Admired by the Romans, now birthing an empire,
Rhodes, last stronghold of democracy,
Patron of arts, center of learning, pride of Hellenism,
An island of people awaiting their destiny,
Shifting even now beneath their feet."
"It does not work, this trying to become stone. You are left refusing the joys of life in order to refuse the pain. Yet the pain remains even when joy has been denied. You have rejected the best of life to avoid the worst, and still you are unhappy."
She closed her eyes. Do not make me feel. Please, stop.
"You are not a marble Athena, thinly veiled in flesh, Tessa. In truth you are the opposite-a passionate, spirited woman trying to encase yourself in stone." He squeezed her hand. "You will never be made of stone. And death is the coward's way out. You must live. And to live, you must risk. You must trust."
"Your skin is so much warmer than marble."
Tessa drank in his smile, his eyes, his warmth, and responded with only a whisper, spoken from a place of such fear it was barley audible. "I think somehow, Nikos, the marble dissolves under your touch."