Friday, October 23, 2015

Valley of Decision {Review}

Valley of Decision (The Carthage Chronicles, #3)
Valley of Decision by Lynne Gentry
The Carthage Chronicles #3
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: September 22, 2015
Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator. 

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today

My Thoughts: 
'Valley of Decision' is the close to a unique trilogy. The series focuses on Lisbeth a doctor in our present day world, who travels back to Ancient Carthage, slowly stumbles into love, fights two raging plagues, and tries to save her mother who fell back in time years ago. As the third book, please be aware this review will contain spoilers for book one and two I can easily say 'thrilling conclusion'. There was so much action, violence, suspense, history, and family ties wrapped up into 400 pages.

This book adds the bonus addition of, now grown-up, Maggie traveling back to Carthage to find her father and convince him to come back with her to the present day. Before he is martyred. Maggie's actions made complete sense with her character and why they would head back in time again. However, I found her so rude and impulsive at first. I was actually dreading reading more of her character throughout this hefty book. Some of her actions/words left me actually wincing. Luckily, the experiences and people around Maggie force her to see reality and grow up quickly.

Lisbeth and her mother Magdalena are of course still very much apart of the story. These two women are some of the strongest characters I have yet met (also up there? Verity). This goes beyond butt-kicking, because let's face it, there is very little 'butt-kicking' fights happening in Ancient Carthage ...mostly just stabbings and beheadings. Off track...Their sacrifices for family, love, and the Church are simply amazing. I struggle to wonder if I could ever do the same were I in their place. Could I push myself to live/survive in that squalor, to face violence and constant fear and yet still stand up for what is right??

If given a chance to travel back to any time period, I don't think it would be this one. What a mess Carthage was! It truly is a miracle that the city survived at all. Two plagues, a famine, Christian persecution, and rich, greedy rulers?? The place was made to implode.

And I have to mention the author's research and care for detail. How much Gentry must have learned about the early Church, Carthage, ancient Roman medicine practices, and The time and effort she put into making these books come alive and yet factual blows me away. I'm excited to hear what Gentry has planned next!

I am giving this one 4 stars and recommend it to those who love to read about ancient history, love, strong women, and tough decisions.

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