Friday, December 17, 2010

Guardian of the Flame

Title: Guardian of the Flame
Author: T.L. Higley

Goodreads Blurb:

Guardian of the Flame is book three in the Seven Wonders series of novels transporting readers back to the Ancient World. Characters struggle to find meaning in a pagan society and are confronted by the one true God and His message of redemption. The year is 48 BC. Sophia, a woman hurt by past loss, guards the famous lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, in order to hide herself away from a world she deems cruel and unloving. But there is no escape. Political turmoil swells as Roman general Julius Caesar and his legion storm the city, and Cleopatra, Greek queen of Egypt , fights to retain her country against both Caesar and bloodthirsty rivals within her own household. Sophia is caught in the middle between a loyalty to Cleopatra and her maddening interest in Bellus, the Roman soldier whom Caesar has instructed to overtake the lighthouse.

My Take:

This is one of those stories that keeps you turning pages, biting your lip and holding your breath to find out what will happen next with the characters. It is by no means a simple romance. I love ancient history and all the intrigue, action, and details that make that time period fascinating were so well represented that Alexandria itself became almost another character in the story. 

Sophia is a wonderful character. She's isolated, intelligent, self-sacrificing and has built more than a few walls to protect her heart. As you watch her interact with those around her, you can see the contrasts in what she feels and what she wants to project. She came across as a wonderfully three dimensional woman. 

The romance between Sophia and Bellus is fantastic. They are like fire and ice. They butt heads and are on opposing sides on many occasions and yet they also have a lot in common. Neither one of them is as simple or as easily defined as their roles would have them be. Their romance isn't limited to physical attraction nor is it hindered only by misunderstandings. They have real obstacles to overcome if they are going to have a future.

The story of Cleopatra and Caesar was bonus and not nearly as developed. It was a fun addition though. Although there are a few mentions of the "One God," I thought it was mentioned less often than the other forms of worship and certainly wouldn't be offensive to a non-Christian friend that you wanted to share this with.

If you love fiction set in ancient history, this just might be a book to add to your pile. 

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