Ariadne flees Athens with her adopted brother, Theo, to Corinth after years of living with her controlling mother and grandfather. Ariadne is more at ease in Corinth, yet still feels out of place at home with her father, then she discovers the secret that drove a wedge of separation between her parents.
Ariadne is loyal to her father and brothers, but she struggles to fit in with the other young women of Corinth, instead distinguishing herself as an athlete, and educating the younger girls. She is stubborn and knows her mind, she carries the burden of her broken family, and is incredibly loyal to her family. I loved her friendship with Claudia the Younger, and her devotion to her father and brothers.
Ms. Afshar brings the First Century to life, showing the customs common in Corinth and Athens at that time and the contrast that it cast with Christianity. It's so easy to not think about how different life would have been back then and what it might have been like culturally and the preconceptions they carried due to their background and worldview, Ms Afshar realistically brings that world to life so that we can understand today what they were up against.
Ms. Afshar brings the characters to life so realistically, with little details and subtle body language that gives them complexity and depth. Theo was one of my favorites, deeply bonded with Ariadne as a child, he becomes a man with a complex unknown history, beating the odds of the situation of his birth. I was thrilled to find out that the next book is his story!
Overall, a masterful tale set against First Century Corinth before Paul's visits, showing how Christ changes everything. Ariadne struggles with her burden of guilt and worthiness, along with her family's financial woes and brokenness. Ariadne is a strong heroine, stubborn, courageous, vulnerable, I connected with her instantly. The story was riveting and eye-opening, it helped me understand just a little of what First Century Corinth might have been like, I didn't want to put the book down. Filled with friendship, family, danger, drama, adventure, thrilling acts, faith, romance, and more, it is an utterly enjoyable read. Highly recommend!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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