Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Jewish slave girl, Hadassah, has come to Rome after watching her family die and being captured during the fall of Jerusalem. When she’s brought to Rome, she is purchased by the Valerian family to serve their daughter, Julia. Being a devout Christian, Hadassah throws herself fully into the service of her selfish and spoiled mistress. Julia’s brother, Marcus, is a worldly person as well, constantly attending the gladiator fights and using women for his own pleasure. But Marcus is a shrewd businessman and knows how to place himself in the presence of those that can help to bring him a profit. Slowly, Marcus realizes that he has fallen in love with Hadassah, but doesn’t know she is a Christian. Knowing the penalty for her religion is death, will Hadassah stand up for her beliefs at the most crucial time?

Atretes, a young warrior from Germania who is captured by Roman soldiers, soon finds himself training to be a gladiator in the games to entertain the people of Rome. But for Atretes, it’s all about revenge and proving to the Romans that he can’t be conformed to their ways. Alone in his concrete cell, he finds himself dreaming of home and his family, depressed that he’s stuck here fighting to the death. He’s not proud of all of his kills or the fact that the Romans cheer for him when he comes into the arena, but with every kill he is closer to realizing his freedom and his chance to get away from these blood-thirsty Romans.

When Julia’s father insists that she marry an older man, she behaves like a child and refuses to be a proper wife to him. Claudius, her husband, accepts her ways but grieves over her decision. After some time, Julia finds herself on her third marriage, friends with a twisted woman name Calabah, and doubting the love and concern of her family. In the end, Calabah convinces Julia to take drastic measures that completely alienate her from her family.

Francine Rivers has included so much history in this book about Jewish customs, the life of a slave, and the ways of Rome. This is the 20th anniversary of the writing of A Voice in the Wind and in it Francine has added things like a map of the Roman Empire during that time and a glossary of terms used in the book. The amount of research that went into this book (and in the end, this entire series) is truly astonishing but also provides a glimpse into the heart and life of Francine Rivers.

Francine Rivers’ books have always been favorites of mine and are on my “keeper shelf,” meaning I don’t ever give them away. Whenever I read one of her book, I know I’ll never walk away from one of them unchanged in some profound way.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Also by Francine Rivers: Her Daughter’s DreamHer Mother’s Hope and Lineage of Grace

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tyndale House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received