Mark of the Lion series

Years ago, I read A Voice in the Wind, the first book  Francine Rivers penned in the Mark of the Lion series.

I was completely captured, enthralled and obsessed with the book. Rivers not only makes you feel like you are there, in ancient Rome, she makes the characters come alive in the most fascinating way.

As soon as I finished the first book, I read right through the next two. If you read one, you have to read them all. You can get all three of them in one print volume now or in e-reader format.

However you read, them I highly recommend you do. Rivers makes it seem like you are there in ancient Rome. You can almost smell the flowers, taste the food, hear the sounds of people at the market or cheering on the gladiators in the arena. You can feel the heartbreak, see the love, experience the emotions right along with the characters.

This series will make you think, feel, and reflect.

I don’t know why, but I really like to read this series as we near the Easter season. Maybe it’s because the first story starts at during Passover. Maybe because the stories remind me of the struggle Christians faced in a dark and hostile world. Maybe because the characters are so real and flawed and wonderful.

Whatever the reason, I have read and reread these stories many, many times and every time I do, I enjoy them just as much.

A Voice in the Wind is the first book in the series. It focuses primarily on a young slave girl, Hadassah, who clings to her faith  despite all else, including her love for the handsome and prideful aristocrat who’s family she serves. We also meet Atretes, a captured warrior forced to become a gladiator. In this story, I think Hadassah shows the readers what is in a true servant’s heart. She is humble, obedient, and so filled with love.

An Echo in the Darkness  is the second book and tells the story of Marcus, the young aristocrat who mourns the death of the girl he loved and the journey he takes that sets him free from the blackness in his soul. I think the theme that speaks to me in this story is hope – “where there is hope, there is life.”

As Sure As the Dawn is  Atretes story and the final book in the series. German warrior. Revered gladiator. He won his freedom through his fierceness . . . but his life is about to change forever. This story has a few moments toward the end that are hard for the reader to embrace, but overall it is a story of love and faithfulness that will tug at your heart, just like the other two.

Give them a read and see if your life isn’t altered, just a little, by the experience.

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