Valley of Decision, by Lynne Gentry

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

My Take:

It’s been over a decade since Lisbeth last saw her husband, Cyprian. She has been raising their daughter in present day Texas, all the while knowing Cyprian was executed in the year 258 and resisting the temptation to stage one last rescue of him. But her daughter has other ideas and is determined to bring back not only her father but Lisbeth’s mother as well. Lisbeth and Maggie’s grandfather go after her but are too late to stop her from diving into the time portal in the Cave of Swimmers.

I had been waiting to read this book since Return to Exile came out and I wasn’t disappointed by the conclusion to Lynne Gentry’s series. The impossible relationship between Lisbeth and Cyprian had captured me. It must have been tempting for Gentry to change history, but if you’re looking for a happy ending you’ll be disappointed.  I knew how it had to end but, even so, I howled during the final scenes. According to historical sources, Cyprian died with a dignity a fraction of which I could only hope to have in such a circumstance. In Gentry’s book, we get to witness the last time he and his (fictional) wife are together.

Valley of Decision is probably the best of The Carthage Chronicles, but you do need to read the other two books before approaching this one. Such is the writing in book three that I found myself immersed in third century Carthage. I could picture the surroundings of the characters whether they were in a nobleman’s house or at the Forum. We don’t learn how there came to be a time portal between the two centuries or how it takes you from modern day Egypt to ancient Carthage (in modern day Tunisia), but I think it’s insignificant to this story of early Christian persecution.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and Howard Books for my complimentary copy of Valley of Decision, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read Valley of Decision? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Publisher: Howard Books (a division of Schuster & Schuster)

Publication Date: 22 September 2015

Page Count: 400

Read more on:   Lynne Gentry’s Website   Howard Books’ Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million

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