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Faithful (Light in the Empire)

By Carol Ashby


Is the price of true friendship ever too high?

In AD 122, Adela, the fiery daughter of a Germanic chieftain, is kidnapped and taken across the Roman frontier to be sold as a slave. When horse-trader Otto wins her while gambling with her kidnappers, he entrusts her to his friend and trading partner, Galen. Then Otto is kidnapped by the same men, and Galen must track them half way across the Empire before his best friend loses a fight to the death in a Roman arena.

Adela joins Galen in the chase, hungry for vengeance. As the perilous journey deepens their friendship, will the kind, faithful man open her eyes to a life she never dreamed she’d want?

A trip to the heart of the Empire poses mortal danger to a man who follows Jesus, especially when Galen must seek the help of an enemy of the faith for Otto to survive. Tiberius hunted Christians when he governed Germania Superior and banished his own son when he became one.

When Tiberius learns sparing Galen offers a chance at reconciliation with his son, he joins the trio on their journey home. Can his life-long hatred for the followers of Jesus survive a trip with the Christian man whose courage and faithfulness demand his respect?

Book Takeaway:

Even in the hardest situations, when failure seems almost certain, one person’s choice to trust in God and persevere in trying to set things right can change the course of events and the lives of others in ways they never expected.

Why the author wrote this book:

I love writing stories of forgiveness, agape love, and transformation. Those are the themes of my Light in the Empire series, and the Roman Empire around AD 120 is the perfect location and time for such stories.

My beta readers told me they loved the teenager, Galen, in Blind Ambition so much I simply had to give him his own novel as a grown man. I was happy to comply because I loved Galen’s quick mind and quirky sense of humor, too. He grew into a man of solid faith who’ll do whatever it takes to rescue someone, even if it might cost his own life. (It almost does.) He trusts God to show him the way to something good even when things go bad. I want to live out my faith that way, too.

Faithful also let me pick up the story of Decimus, the tribune who abandoned family wealth and political power so he could follow Jesus. At the end of Blind Ambition, his father Tiberius banished him for that decision and faked Decimus’s death so no one would ever know what he’d done. Galen goes all the way to Rome trying to rescue a friend, and I loved exploring how Galen’s courage and faithfulness could open the way for Tiberius to reconcile with his son.


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