I was very intrigued by the concept of this Christian Novel. The first church as described in Acts and the apostle Paul's writings is one of great fascination, awe, honor, and even curiosity. I was excited about the idea of a novel that would place me in that time and place as it is not a common timeframe for fiction.
So Shines The Night is a story that involves rescue and redemption. Two people- Daria and Lucas come from two very different places and yet their paths converge as they seek similar answers in life. Daria seeks a place of acceptance and a way to justify her quest for knowledge with the seemingly unending path towards acceptance with the gods of her religion. Lucas seeks revenge that will give him peace after his failures that money could not make go away. All of these personal trials set in the bustling city of Ephesus in the shadow of the great Temple to Artemis. A spiritual and sometimes physical war is on the brink between the Jews, the followers of the many gods of Rome and Greece, the worshippers of Artemis, and the new group called the Way who follow the teachings of Jesus under the missionary Paul. Lucas and Daria end up in the middle of this battle- a battle not only for their lives, but their souls.
Overall, the storyline and concept was fascinating and the town of Ephesus in the first century did come alive. Higley's writing was descriptive, almost to the gory point with sorcery and dark magic scenes. However, it was a cumbersome book to get through. It was very long, and seemed like it didn't need to be. Higley's writing is not concise as her use of adjectives and descriptive sentences is overbearing at times. I would have enjoyed this book much more if it was more concise and focused on the subjects of the story. It was just a hard read to get through which took a lot of the enjoyment that typically comes along with reading Christian fiction.
I wouldn't put this at the top of my recommendation list, but it is an intriguing read for those really interested in that time period.
*I was given a copy of So Shines the Night by book sneeze and the publisher in exchange for my honest review