Isle of Shadows

Isle of Shadows
Tracy L. Higley
Thomas Nelson

 Revised and updated from the original, Christy-award finalist Shadow of Colossus.
Enslaved in a World of Money and Power, Tessa Dares to be Free.
Raised as courtesan to wealthy and powerful men, Tessa of Delos serves at the whim of her current patron, the politician Glaucus. After ten years with him, Tessa has abandoned all desire for freedom or love, choosing instead to lock her heart away.
But when Glaucus meets a violent death in his own home, Tessa grasps at a fragile hope. Only she knows of his death. If she can keep it a secret long enough, she can escape.
Tessa throws herself on the mercy of the Greek god Helios, but finds instead unlikely allies in Nikos, a Greek slave, and Simeon, Glaucus’s Jewish head servant. As Simeon introduces her to a God unlike any she has ever known and Nikos begins to stir feelings she had thought long dead, Tessa fights to keep her heart protected.
As an assassination plot comes to light, Tessa must battle for her own freedom—and for those to whom she has begun to open her heart—as forces collide that shatter the island’s peace.
I was a little apprehensive coming to this book, due to what I knew of the Greeks: they, my friends, were incredibly immoral. Like with Garden of Madness, I really appreciate the author’s writing style. She doesn’t downplay the awfulness of the sin around the characters, but she doesn’t elaborate on it. As the main character, Tessa, has an occupation that is basically that of a prostitute, the novel could have been pretty sordid. Thankfully, it was not graphic. We know what Tessa does, but we never see her doing it.

Tessa’s pain was incredible, and I liked how the statue of Colossus mirrored Tessa’s own journey. At the beginning, she is like the statue: a stone and unfeeling image of what she could be. And then, as the statue cracks and tumbles, so does the wall around her heart.

My favorite part was the Passover scene with Simeon and his family; I celebrate Passover myself, so I always enjoy reading about it.

I wouldn’t say I liked Isle of Shadows as much as Garden of Madness, but I did enjoy reading it, and I found it educational about Ancient Greece. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book about the wonders of the ancient world: So Shines the Night, which takes place in Ephesus around the Temple of Artemis.

Rating: 8

Objectionable content: Tessa is a hetaera: basically, a glorified prostitute. Woman are pretty much bought and sold; a man is poisoned; there are some murders. I would recommend this book to at least 16 and up.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.


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