City on Fire by Tracy Higley is a re-release of an earlier title. While I’ve not read that book, I’m happy to say that not only are this book and the cover visually appealing, but the story is gripping as well. One of my favorite genre’s to read is Christian fiction. Tracy Higley is a fantastic author whose extensive research adds a level of depth and clarity to her novels that few authors can achieve. In City on Fire, we are introduced to Ariella, a Jewish girl who was in Jerusalem when it fell. Taken slave by the Roman’s she’s sold to a particularly cruel master who almost erodes her belief that God can exist, because if God existed, why would he allow that? Reasoning that death is better than her current circumstances, she runs off and joins a gladiatorial troupe, shearing her hair to hide her gender. We are also introduced to Cato, a disillusioned politician from Rome that comes to Pompeii to start anew, but it seems that his past follows him still. What follows is an excellent story with a strong heroine, a disillusioned hero, and the love of a God who never gives up all set to the backdrop of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
What I enjoyed most about this story was the character of Ariellia, like other heroines from Higley’s novels, she’s a strong female who knows what she wants rather than allowing herself to react to what surrounds her. The journey that Ariella takes to get to God and become whole again is a magnificent story. Her journey coincides with that of Cato’s. Seemingly, Cato has everything, but life still feels empty. When he came to Pompeii, it was with the hope that he could make a new start, without all the complications that he had in Rome. Cato runs afoul of the political intrigue in Pompeii, and before you know it, he’s back in the running for a local leader, exactly the opposite of what he wanted.
Both Cato and Ariella have a long path to learn where true strength comes from, not inside, but from God. I am sure that readers who have read previous books of Tracy Higley will enjoy this book. Also if the genre of Christian Fiction appeals to you, or ancient Rome you will enjoy this book. For this reason, I’m happy to give City on Fire 4/5 stars for a great book! I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.