I won a copy of The Lighthouse by Karin Ciholas through an Atmosphere Press giveaway and wasn't sure what I would think of it. Ancient history is not really my thing. However, once I started reading, I couldn't stop thinking about the characters - even when I was supposed to be doing other things. In fact, I read far too late into the night on a couple of occasions so I could finish. (And the best part is that Ciholas is writing a trilogy, so I'm not really done!)
The Lighthouse is set during the days of Christ and seen from the point of view of Simon, an educated Jewish healer, and his best friend from boyhood who eventually becomes a Roman solider. When a thug kills a member of Simon's family and then abducts his sister, he is chosen to avenge them. But how can he both murder Meidias and keep his Hippocratic oath?
Ciholas did a great job describing Simon's struggle to be everything he was meant to be as well as everything he has been asked to be. Despite a setting and time far removed from my own, I think all readers will understand that challenge.
As a #researchjunkie, I stand in awe of Ciholas' tremendous research, and how she was able to bring me into Simon's world. Ciholas shows readers what it was like to be Jewish during Roman rule, whether focusing on family and religious traditions or the fear of those in power.
This is an excellent read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves great character development, historical fiction, and escaping into a story.
Teri M Brown, author of An Enemy Like Me and Sunflowers Beneath the Snow connects readers with characters they'd love to invite to lunch.
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