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Hope's Reward (Light in the Empire)

By Carol Ashby


Must the secrets we hide destroy our hope for a future?

For a gladiator slave, each time you step on the sand, it’s kill or die. When Ursus decides to follow Jesus, he must choose to die the next time he’s ordered to fight…or run away. He runs, taking again his childhood name, Matti. But he isn’t just trying to escape. He’s running to Thessalonica, where he hopes to find other Christians like the woman who led him to faith.

When Felicia’s new husband, Falco, almost kills her in a fit of rage, her uncle won’t help her end the marriage with his business partner. He will send her to her sister in Thessalonica, but only if she tells no one she plans to divorce Falco and demand her dowry back before she gets there. When Matti interrupts a robbery too late to save Felicia’s money for traveling by sea, he offers to bodyguard and escort her overland to their mutual destination.

After Matti risks everything to save her from Falco’s assassins, Felicia fears taking the danger to her sister’s family. When his Christian friends take them in, she discovers the deepest desires of her heart. But will the secrets of Matti’s past make a future together impossible?

Book Takeaway:

No one is unimportant to God or beyond His reach, and even someone new in the faith can lead others to want to follow Him, too. The most unlikely person might be the one to show the way to a future filled with hope, forgiveness, and love.

Why the author wrote this book:

In Hope Unchained, Ursus, a gladiator belonging to a legion commander, was lent to serve as bodyguard for Ariana, a Christian Dacian who was trying to catch up with her brother and sister and buy them out of slavery before they were shipped where she’d never find them. The kindness she showed to her former enemy touched his battle-hardened, cynical heart and opened him to receive the message of God’s love from Ariana. Rather than return to a life where it was kill or die, he decided to run. When readers kept telling me they wanted to know what happened to Ursus in his new life as a Christian, I decided to pick up his story where it ended with him


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