Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Return to Exile Review

Return to Exile (The Carthage Chronicles, #2)
Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry
The Carthage Chronicles #2 
Visit the author's website HERE
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
Goodreads Summary: 

Dr. Lisbeth Hastings salvaged two things from her accidental trip to the third century: her mother's stethoscope and her child. Making a life for her daughter Maggie back in the present is difficult, but returning to ancient Carthage is impossible. However, when Lisbeth learns her husband is slated to die a martyr's death, she must find a way around the impossible to save him. 
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He's lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. When Ruth, an old friend, proposes he marry her to restore his position and protect his estate, the disgraced nobleman accepts. But when Cyprian's true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church. 
As Lisbeth and Cyprian reunite to battle a new epidemic and save the oppressed community of Christians, the chasm between the two of them seems too wide to bridge. But when Maggie contracts typhoid, Lisbeth must choose: stay and save the man she loves, or return home and save her daughter? 
Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this incredibly compelling adventure of star-crossed lovers will keep you engrossed with every turn of the page.

I received a copy of this book from a giveaway. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today! 

My Thoughts:
***This review will probably contain spoilers for ''Healer of Carthage'', Book one in the trilogy.***

Since, in true me fashion, I have yet to type up my review for book one, a few basics. Lisbeth fell through a time portal in the Egyptian desert that took her to third century Carthage. She is sold as a slave to a Christian, Cyprian, and discovers her long lost mother, Magdalena. Soon she is wrapped up in politics and on the brink of a terrible measles outbreak that will devastate the city. To help out the fledgling Christian church and those affected by the outbreak, Lisbeth and Cyprian wed and ultimately fall in love...

Oh the drama! Lisbeth Hastings heads back to Ancient Rome. It has been nearly six years for her, but just barely over a year for Cyprian. Too much has changed between them. Their daughter, Maggie, was born and raised in the modern world not knowing her father. Cyprian survived exile and is hiding at his estate helping with the overwhelming plague. His heart broke for Lisbeth...yet has he patched up his heart and moved on??

There is SO much tension in this book. It is definitely a 'when it rains, it pours' situation. Everything seemed so bleak! They were fighting each other, evil both political and religious, and the measles in the third century. How on earth could they ever find happiness and be together? All I could do was speed through the pages and see what other things the author would throw at them.

Gentry still does a fine job blending time travel with real historic facts. But if you are looking for a sci-fi read, I'd keep moving on. Gentry glosses over this miraculous event with the characters easily accepting their situation. In most novels, I think this would bother me, but here there was just so much going on that I was able to easily jump in and swim along with Lisbeth and her new world.  Instead, Gentry focuses on the disease,  drama, and history which are definitely her strengths. Two slight warnings: 1. the treatment of females in this book is more third century than 21st century. 2. Things do get a bit ...heated... romantically. Nothing explicit and it is within the context of marriage

Overall, I found it to be an improvement from book one. A fast paced adventure that gives us a crystal clear picture of third century Carthage. 4 stars and I think anyone who enjoys a quick adventure or a factually based historical read would enjoy this series. 

The third and final book, Valley of Decision, has a release date of September 22, 2015. I'm super bummed to have to wait to find out the conclusion, but slightly excited that it seems it will follow Maggie more than Lisbeth! 

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