Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

"Bah," Paul said, waving a hand. "Physicians. They are only men, after all. What is to them an unsolvable case is to God a simple matter.  We shall ask Jesus to touch your father."  He gave me a lopsided smile full of mischief. I wanted to grin back, like a carefree child, as if I were not carrying a millstone around my neck."
-Ariadne, Thief of Corinth

"First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Be transported back in time by this gripping tale of adventure, bravery, and redemption, and discover why Debbie Macomber says, “No one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar."

-Book Description, Tyndale House Publishers

I really enjoy Biblical fiction, and it is safe to say that it is my favorite genre.  In the story, Thief of Corinth, Tessa Afshar's latest Biblical fiction novel, she has created a plausible story using a fictional character, Ariadne, and places her in a Biblical setting surrounded by other people that are found in the Bible. She uses descriptive detail about the time period, and the setting of Corinth and Athens to draw you into the story.  Lovers of this genre and stories of the Bible will enjoy the way the author weaves well known, and not so well known persons of the Bible into the story, and gives them a voice. I won't share their names because it will be fun to be surprised!

I enjoyed Thief of Corinth.  The first half of the book was the back story of Ariadne and her family, created from the author's own imagination. We do see one person from her family, during the back story, that is mentioned in the Bible, Dionysius, found in Acts 17.

But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.-Acts 17:34

My favorite parts in Thief of Corinth were when we got to people actually found in the Bible, and she started connecting the dots in Corinth. Dionysius was the one Biblical figure that existed from beginning of the story,  but then she gets to Paul and we see many more people found in Acts 17 & 18.

One thing I need to mention is that because of the setting in Corinth and Athens, there are some references to different kinds of sexual immorality, because it was prevalent in that city, during that time. The majority of it is discreet with the exception of a rape at the beginning of the book.  It was not extremely explicit, and we do not go through the rape itself, but the aftermath contains some descriptive wording about the condition of the woman after.  I thought it was necessary to mention that, well, because it is there, and it might bother some people.  I myself did not enjoy reading that part. I would have liked to have seen her redeem the situation and the girl involved, to bring the healing God has for people who have had their innocence disturbed.

Overall this was an intriguing novel, that I feel like readers of Biblical fiction will appreciate. Thief of Corinth is a story of redemption, complete with the overwhelming love of God and is picturesque of what I believe will be many stories we hear when Jesus returns. Many blessings to you as you live out your own story of redemption,


Disclosure Statement:  I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for my review.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

To learn more about the author, visit her at tessaafshar.com.

To hear Tessa's testimony watch this 700 Club interview. 

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