As I have mentioned before, I will sometimes offer to review books in exchange for a free copy. I don't do it often because I tend to be highly critical and--let's face it--no one wants to get a lousy review. I approach every book with a, "Go ahead, try to impress me," attitude. Most of them don't.
I am delighted to say, however, that Lynne Gentry's debut novel, Healer of Carthage, impressed me. It's the first book in her Carthage Chronicles series and is available for pre-order.
Not since Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series have I read anything that so transported me back to the early church and persecution under Roman rule. This book is true to history and, therefore, not for the faint at heart. While there is nothing graphic, it's certainly a PG-13. The basic premise is a modern-day doctor falls through a time portal and ends up in the 3rd century just as a plague is breaking out. I'm not usually a time-travel fan, but in this case it was very interesting to see the Roman world through current glasses.
I did not fall in love with the heroine right away. There were times when I wanted to reach through the pages and slap her upside the head for her selfishness, but she grows on you. The hero, who is based off a historical figure, was a little flat but I liked him. The side characters really shine. The plot is fast-paced with layer upon layer of intrigue, crossed motivations that mess everything up, and a villain worth hating.
This is a "clear your day" book. Once you pick it up, you will not be able to put it down.
Until next time,