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True Freedom (Light in the Empire)

By Carol Ashby


The chains we cannot see can be the hardest ones to break.

When Aulus runs up a gambling debt to his father’s political enemy, he’s desperate to pay it off before his father returns to Rome. His best friend Marcus suggests they fake the kidnapping of Aulus’s sister Julia and use the ransom money. But when the man they hired kidnaps her for real, Aulus is catapulted into a desperate search to find her.
Torn from his childhood home by Rome’s conquering armies and sold as a farm slave to labor until he dies, Dacius’s faith gives him strength to bear what he must and serve without complaining. After a deadly accident makes him one of Julia’s litter bearers, he overhears Marcus advising her brother to kidnap her. When Dacius almost dies thwarting the kidnapping, a Christian couple pretend Julia and Dacius are their children to keep her brother from finding them before her father returns.
But pretending to be free again makes returning to slavery more than Dacius can bear, while acting like a common woman opens Julia’s eyes to dreams and destinies she never knew existed. With her brother closing in and her father almost home, can she find a way around Roman law and custom to free them both for the future they long for?

Book Takeaway:

Even when life hits us with a really hard blow, there’s still hope and a future when we stay true to how God calls us to live.

Why the author wrote this book:

I love thinking about how living faithful to God can impact the people around us. Some people get to do big things to help others, but more often it’s the little things in the way we live our daily lives that draw people toward our Lord.

While I was writing The Legacy and Faithful, I learned a lot about the social dynamics of the Roman world, split between free people and their slaves, who were legally “living things” and considered as disposable as a piece of furniture or some livestock. That got me thinking about how someone with no power over their own fate could live a life faithful to God and how that faithfulness could change the ones with power over them.


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