Sunday, December 23, 2012

Isle of Shadows

After reading Tracy Higley's previous novel Gardens of Madness, I was eager to read the next book in her series focusing on the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Set in the shadow of the Colossus of Rhodes days before the earthquake, Tracy focuses on Tessa, the heteara of a professional politician. As a trained courtesan, she has rare authority, even the ability to speak in the assembly, but her life has left her like Athena--beautiful, but cold as marble.
Unlike Tia, the heroine of Gardens of Madness, I didn't find Tessa to be a well-written character. Her motivations were consistent and understandable, but she seemed to be a stock character, another Hooker with a Heart of Gold and a tragic backstory. One element that might have helped develop Tessa more would be exploring her relationship with her owner's wife and daughter. The wife seems to have gone insane at some point, and Tessa hints that she might be responsible.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program and was not required to write a positive review. As a causal read, it's fine--despite the protagonist's profession, there are no graphically explicit scenes. But it's somewhat predictable for those familiar with the genre.


  1. I haven't read "Isle of Shadows", but I own a copy of "Shadow of Colossus", the title the book was originally released under, so I know it well. I've got to be honest, it's my favorite T.L.Higley book of all the ones I've read so far. I absolutely love it. I think part of what appeals to me is that Tessa's change of heart at the end feels so real, so natural and believable. But the entire book was just fantastic, in my humble opinion. ; )

    1. I can see how it would be enjoyable, but I still think hooker-with-a-heart of gold is overused in Christian fiction. Redeeming Love, Isle of Shadows, The Scarlet Cord...