Wednesday, June 1, 2011

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley

Several years ago, I read a trilogy by Francine Rivers, the Mark of the Lion series. It was a story set in Rome and described what it was like during the first century after Christ's death and resurrection. Some people have hated the books because of the detailed descriptions of the decadence and debauchery that occurred in Rome at that time. I personally believe that she did a great job in writing about those things without going overboard. I also think that her books helped me to see how, even though our society has gotten extremely immoral, there have been times and places where things have actually been worse. And first-century Rome was one of them.

Pompeii: City of Fire: A NovelPompeii: City on Fire is another wonderful book set in Rome during the first century after Christ.It had several similarities to Mrs. Rivers' books, but some differnces as well. If you liked The Mark of the Lion, I think you would also enjoy Pompeii.

One of the main settings in Pompeii is the arena where the gladiators fight. Mrs. Higley describes this place this way:

"The national instiution of the games employed millions of people across the Empire, from animal trappers and breeders, to gladiators and trainers, and the entire supply chain that kept the men and beasts flowing into the arena. And in a sense, the games occupied them all, a narcotic that soothed and distracted a people whose slaves and plebeians did the work of the Empire, leaving them free to pursue nothing but leisure. And it kept them out of the affairs of government."

Sounds to me a little like our own "Empire" today. We are people of pleasure, often looking for entertainment and our own satisfaction rather than looking to please God and do His will. We would do well to learn from the Romans and not let ourselves devolve into this kind of sinful self-indulgence.

I am also reminded of a quote by George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". 

Food for thought. 

Mrs. Higley's novel is an interesting look at several unique characters whose lives intersected in different ways. The plot is believable and exciting. I devoured it in just two days. 

Pompeii: City of Fire is a great read. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Kate {The Parchment Girl} said...

I also enjoyed Pompeii. I thought Higley did a great job of presenting the gospel message in a way that wasn't preachy at all. The famous eruption of Vesuvius has always fascinated me and it was fun to read a novel set in the middle of that.