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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson So Shines the Night

Thomas Nelson So Shines the Night

She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.

But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.

The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas's exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She's drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.

When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul's God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything-Lucas's fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

Average Customer Rating:
4.667 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
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11 out of 1292%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for So Shines the Night
Review 1 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

BEAUTIFUL!!!

Date:May 10, 2013
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Beth
Location:N.C
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Daria has been running from evil for as long as she can remember but it seems to pursue her everywhere she runs. Then she meets Lucas, a man haunted by a dark and mysterious past. Daria is determined to help him but finds that she to is facing dark and oppressive spirits as well. Then she meets a man named Paul who claims there is a power higher than all the gods she fears and more powerful than the evil that haunts her every step. But with people being possessed by strange powers and sorcerers watching her every move she doesn't know who she can trust or what she should believe.
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be.. BEAUTIFUL! The cover is beautiful, the story is beautiful, and the message is beautiful!
This is the first book I have read by Tracy L. Higley but it most certainly won't be the last!
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone! On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is a 12!!!!
I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review!
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Review 2 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent book

Date:April 10, 2013
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deanna13
Location:Jonesboro, LA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley is her latest novel in the Seven Wonders of the World series and deals with the Temple of Artemis. The main theme for the story is based on Biblical scripture found in the nineteenth chapter of Acts. Tracy has a unique gift for writing historical, Biblical novels and that is plainly seen in this novel that takes place in Ephesus around the year 57 AD. Daria, a widow, is a very unusual woman in that she is very well educated in several languages, philosophy, history, and other subjects. After meeting Lucas, a wealthy merchant, in Rhodes in an unusual and somewhat funny situation, he invites her to come to Ephesus with him to be his personal tutor so that she can teach him the Persian language. Daria has discovered secrets in Rhodes that endanger her life so she eagerly accepts the offer from Lucas. Daria and Lucas are both searching for a second chance at happiness and love and at the same time searching for truth and freedom, but they go about it in entirely different ways. Lucas changes when they reach Ephesus and begins to sink into the world of the evil sorcerers. The danger escalates when Lucas is thrown in prison and Daria is afraid for his life and sanity and puts herself in danger to try to help him.
Daria and Lucas encounter Paul and his Christian followers and are drawn to the people of The Way but they seem to be unable to accept the fact that there is only One God and that He forgives everyone of all their sins. In their search for God, Daria and Lucas are helped by Paul, Timothy, Aquilla, Priscilla, and other members of the Christian group known as The Way. Daria is given a place to live with Aquilla and Priscilla and their loving ways help her to accept God’s love and forgiveness.
There was a lot of spiritual darkness in the book but this was typical of this period of time in Ephesus. One of the most frightening scenes was the struggle between the Christians and the sorcerers in front of the Temple of Artemis. Also, the description of the shop owned by the leader of the sorcerers where unsuspecting women were given mind altering potions gave me goosebumps but even that did not seem quite as frightful as the prison where Lucas was being held. There was a good deal of suspense throughout the story but especially near the end during the trial of Lucas and the events following the trial as he was on his way to be executed.
As in all her other books, Tracy did an excellent job with the plot, characters, dialogue, and the description of all the scenes. The story became so real to me that I felt as if I were traveling the roads in Ephesus and meeting with Paul and the early Christians and being a part of all the action. I found the message of the book to be quite inspiriting and it inspired me to want to do better in my Christian walk with God. I was definitely entertained by the book even though at times I was shaking in my shoes due to all the horrible things that were taking place. The ending is so gripping that I was sitting on the edge of my seat and found myself holding my breath at times. Tracey certainly has a gift for writing suspense into a story. In spite of all the suspense and danger taking place, there was still enough romance in the story to keep the relationship between Daria and Lucas interesting.
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who like historical, Biblical novels that deal with faith and the power of God interwoven in a great story and also based on historical facts. This is the third novel that I have read by Tracy Higley and I think it is the best of the three. In fact I will go so far as to say that this is the best Biblical novel I have read by any author.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
+2points
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Review 3 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

So Happy to Have Found This Author!

Date:April 9, 2013
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hanni2
Location:Deland, Fl
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Once I find an author I like, I read everything I can find by them until I have to move on to a new author or wait for them to come out with a new book. I was very excited when I read and loved the book So Shines the Night by Tracy Higley because now I have a new author's books to devour.
So Shines the Night is set in Bible times in Ephesus, after Jesus has walked the earth. While it is a fictional novel, much of the story is based on biblical writings, the writings of Ephesians. The main character, Daria, is an educated widow, trying to find a way to support herself using that education and her intellect. She faces, not only the challenge of the time period when women were not respected or honored in educational settings, but also the intense darkness that followed her from the last city she fled.
The characters in this book were intense and intriguing, the setting was fascinating, and the story itself drew me in. I love the time period when much of the New Testament was written and I really liked the fact that Higley elaborated on the scriptures in Ephesians to write the story. It gave me a much greater context for what life in that time was like, the culture and what the Ephesian church was facing. The way she portrayed Paul, Timothy, Pricilla and Aquilla and several others helped me to understand better many of the things Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
I have already finished another of Higley's books, Pompeii, and I fully intend to find more of them at my library. I highly recommend her books.
I was provided a copy of So Shines the Night by Booksneeze. My opinions are all my own.
+1point
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Review 4 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Of book

Date:April 5, 2013
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birdie
Location:Apple Valley MN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It did arrive in good form and I did look at a few pages in the front and being I am reading another book I had to put it down but I am sure once I get started reading it I will not be able to put it down.
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Review 5 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

In ancient Ephesus, an educated woman is a novelty

Date:March 23, 2013
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Dana McNeely
In first century Ephesus, an educated young widow struggles to find a place in a man's world of philosophy and rhetoric. An expert in the languages of Rome's far flung empire, Daria convinces Adelphos of Rhodes to give her a position in his school because she is a novelty that might attract business-an educated woman. But her habit of questioning everything immediately lands her in trouble, when she finds herself confronting a nest of sorcerers who are forcing secret powders and potions upon a young girl. Her attempts to rescue the girl lead her to the docks of Rhodes. There she makes an impulsive choice-to flee with a handsome young merchant aboard his ship to Ephesus.
But when they get to Ephesus, all is not as it seemed. The smiling, carefree stranger has a darker side. Though Daria's heart tells her he is trustworthy, she finds evidence that he is meeting with sorcerers. Also, he has not made good on his promise to get her an introduction at the city's school, instead asking her to tutor him in languages-but he never finds time for the lessons. Mystery, intrigue, and a strange new sect of Jews give Daria plenty to investigate in her quest to save this man from the occult forces that killed her husband.
Fast paced and full of unexpected twists, 'So Shines the Night' is richly textured with the sights, sounds, and smells of the ancient world, including cameo appearances by the apostle Paul and a young Timothy. Higley has given us a fun read full of thoughtful insights relevant to our modern day.
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Review 6 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great story of freedom from spiritual oppression

Date:March 13, 2013
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A Simply Enchanted Life
Location:North Carolina
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
So Shines the Night is in the Seven Wonders series by Tracy Higley. It takes us back to the time of Paul, the apostle and into the heart of the early church in Ephesus. I was so excited to read this book. First off, the cover is just gorgeous and secondly--the author is so inviting and open. I happen to have the honor of being a part of "The Caravan" which is the author's street team and time and time again have I seen the heart that this author has for her readers. It is a joy and an honor to pick up another one of her works!
About the Story:
Daria left Rhodes in search of freedom from the oppressive sorcerers who which to harm her. What she was not prepared for was finding just as much chaos and oppression in Ephesus. Ephesus is on the brink of a spiritual revolution and awakening but there are still forces at work that threaten to ensnare the unsuspecting.
Daria is interested in learning of the One True God but as a follower of Artemis she is afraid of being abandoned by the gods and left to her misfortune. At the same time she fears the dark arts that the handsome Lucas seems to dabble in. Having witnessed haunting experiences which the sorcerers seem helpless to resolve--it is the Christians that catch her interest. Particularly interesting is the power which Paul seems to possess. Can he really cast out demons in the name of his god? Who is this god which he speaks of?
I thought this story was so powerful. Though Daria wished to save Lucas she must learn a lesson that only the Lord has the power to save and each heart must come to repentance. No man or woman can save those that they love--salvation comes from the Lord. Freedom from spiritual oppression being greater than release from physical oppression -this book takes us on a journey through a great spiritual battle that still wages today in our own hearts and souls.
If you're looking for Christian Historical Fiction with a view of actual Bible characters and what they may have faced during their time--this book is for you. Darkness and principalities and spirits cannot prevail against the saving grace of our Lord and this book really brings that message home in the lives of Daria and Lucas.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Review 7 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Hard to Get Into But Good Ending

Date:March 7, 2013
Customer Avatar
Karen1356
Location:NYC
Age:25-34
Gender:female
So Shines the Night by Tracy L. Higley is a story of escaping the past only to find that its secrets begin to unravel in the present and threaten to destroy the future.
The story is centered on the competing forces of the worshippers of Artemis, a group of sorcerers, and the followers of The Way for the city of Ephesus. Lucas and Daria find themselves at the center of the conflict as they try to overcome their own dark pasts in order to secure a future free from the evil that surrounds them.
Daria's initial goal of survival quickly turns into one of salvation, but not for herself but rather for her employer, Lucas. Lucas on the other hand finds himself beyond redemption and bent on justice which has morphed into an all consuming vengeance. Where will the two ultimately find salvation?
This is their story--Lucas' and Daria's need to let go of the past evils and cling to the truth of salvation found in Jesus.
The first one hundred pages were a difficult read. The various names, obscure scenes, and terminology seemed to drag on. The constant inner battle within Lucas, Daria's uncontrollable quest to save him through knowledge, and the dark and dismal characters of Demetrius and Hektor caused boredom at times making it difficult for the reader to be drawn in and take interest in the characters and plot. Not until Paul's arrival did the story become intriguing although the depiction of Timothy's character in the story was not credible.
As the story progresses, Lucas and Daria interchange roles, leaving Lucas no longer her rescuer but as the victim of the vengeance he seeks to unleash.
He was everything that terrified her, this. And everything she needed. But she could not be part of his vengeance or it would annihilate them both. Perhaps he was the antidote for her disease, but it would kill before it cured. p.275
Ultimately, Lucas and Daria come to the realization that salvation can not come through human effort, but not before the unfolding of mysteries, suspense, and drama centered around the Biblical account in Acts 19.
Overall, though the author sought to paint a clear and descriptive portrait of the time and places, it seemed to drag on just a bit, undercutting the ability for the reader to become engaged in the story. Efforts may have better directed into developing the characters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 8 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Suspenseful and Great Reading!!!

Date:March 7, 2013
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Lora
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
WOW!!!! I got "So Shines the Night" in the mail this afternoon, and I read it STRAIGHT THROUGH (8 hours!!!) with just a few small breaks.
It was a lot darker & suspenseful than I expected--which grabbed me and wouldn't let go; I totally loved the main character Daria--she's my type of heroine!; and I certainly didn't see the unpredictable twist at the end. Whew!! Once I got into the book, I could NOT put it down!!! I just HAD to have the mysteries solved & to know what would happen to all of the characters. Tracy Higley is such an *awesome* writer!! :-)
Of course, I also learned vast amounts of history on one of the 7 Wonders of the World--the Temple of Artemis--and the culture and life of Ephesus in 57 AD. I'm so tired now...I've been running through the streets and going through all the experiences with the characters...but it was worth it to reach the end. :-)
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Review 9 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very enjoyable until the last third of the story

Date:March 1, 2013
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Debbie from ChristFocus
Location:Harrison, AR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"So Shines the Night" is a Christian historical romance set in 57 AD in Rhodes and Ephesus. As usual, Higley expertly wove historical and setting details into the story so that I felt like immersed in the story, transported to Ephesus in 57 AD.
The romance was a sort of Gothic romance with two hurting people who were trying to fix tragic mistakes they made in their past marriages. But they find that they can't overcome the evil powers that are against them (demons). Yet Paul can cast out demons, so Daria becomes interested in his God. The story was full of action and high suspense as Daria and Lucas went from one dangerous situation into another, and nearly everyone seemed at odds with each other (except the Christians).
I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book, but I had two problems with the last third of the story: it departed from what is actually stated in Acts 19 (by adding significant events, people, and time gaps to the stated events) and her Paul was not the man I know.
The Paul that I know from Acts and his letters is a zealous man who thought he was righteously destroying blasphemers (Christians), but who realized Jesus really was divine when he encountered Him on the road to Damascus. After that, he was zealous for preaching this wonderful, good news--no matter the price--out of gratitude and joy.
The Paul of "So Shines the Night" says that he was angry that Christians taught that there was no need for sacrifices anymore and that they departed from the Law. Even after he realized that they taught the truth, he wanted them dead out of pride. Then he met Jesus, which somehow made him stop, but now he's a guilt-ridden man. He believes that the suffering he endures in preaching the gospel is God's rightful punishment for his past sins, and that all other Christians are innocents who only suffer as an overflow of God's punishment on him. The only thing Paul seems to learn in this story is that he can't protect others from getting hurt for being Christians, and he shouldn't be surprised by suffering that comes when sharing the gospel. It's like he doesn't understand forgiveness, grace, etc.
Paul gave a number of short sermons in the story, and I generally agreed with what he taught in them. Some were quotes from the Bible. However, I just couldn't get past the wrong theology that Paul preaches about his own situation including how God views sinners and who qualifies as a sinner. And I seem to have missed Daria's acceptance of Jesus (which is not the same as her rejection of the Greek gods). Not to mention that Paul could be a "fortune-teller" himself with how much knowledge God gave him about Daria's future over the course of the story.
Also, I was disturbed by how the baby's mother was killed at the end. The woman finally showed a glimmer of selflessness despite her terror, yet she's brutally killed to get her out of the way, and she probably died unsaved. That rather ruined the "happy ending" for me.
There was no sex. There was a minor amount of "he cursed" style of bad language. Overall, I probably would recommend this novel because of its historical immersion aspect, but keep in mind that the ending might leave you disturbed instead of happy.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through Booksneeze.
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Review 10 for So Shines the Night
This review is fromSo Shines the Night - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A very good read

Date:April 8, 2013
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An Avid Reader
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
So Shines the Night is a tale of intrigue, danger, and romance set in the ancient city of Ephesus. Daria is a female tutor on the Isle of Rhodes, something that makes it difficult for her to find work. In the midst of a crisis, she is saved from danger by Lucas, a stranger who gives her refuge on his boat, then insists she return with him to his home in Ephesus. He is in need of a tutor to teach him languages, he says, and can also get her a job at a school.
Daria hopes that she has escaped to a place where she will find peace. Instead she finds herself in the middle of an escalating conflict between sorcerers and Christians, the people of "The Way." Her mysterious master/pupil seems involved with sorcerers, Christians...and the murders that continue to happen in the city. But no matter the evidence, Daria finds that she simply cannot think ill of him.
Her soul is in as much turmoil as the city. She longs for peace and to be able to understand the gods and how to please them so that her life will be better. But the people of The Way teach her things that go against all she has ever believed. What is true? What should she believe now?
Lucas, meanwhile, is also troubled. He is a man bent on revenge for a wrong done to him, even if accomplishing that revenge means his own destruction.
As the book escalates to the conclusion, Daria becomes a far more important piece in the puzzle than she could ever have imagined. She may be the only hope that Lucas has for staying alive.
This was a well-written story with an engaging plot and likeable characters. It also paints an accurate portrait of life in Ephesus at the time of Paul. I would highly recommend this book.
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Review 11 for So Shines the Night
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

strength

Date:February 19, 2013
Customer Avatar
cici
Age:25-34
Gender:female
So Shines the Night by Tracey Higley was inspiring. Daria is a women on the verge of altering her life and that of those around her. Daria escaped a dangerous situation to only have it follow her but that enabled her to confront it and overcome it. I enjoyed the strength Daria has eventhough she is struggling with her own beliefs, like any one else. I wish this were a series that could showcase other women struggling and coming to grips with her inner strength and capabilities.
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Review 12 for So Shines the Night
This review is fromSo Shines the Night - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Another Good Read from Tracy Higley

Date:February 28, 2013
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StoryGirl
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Though this book had some very sinister undertones from dealing with all the sorcery that plagued Ephesus, I never felt that it got too dark. Of all of Tracy Higley’s books that I’ve read, this included the most Biblical figures, including Paul, Timothy, Aquila, and Priscilla. Though I wasn’t totally interested for the first few chapters, it got exciting in the last half, and I couldn’t put it down! The author states that despite being set in such a different time, she was inspired by Jane Eyre and other classic Gothic novels (and there was one scene that totally reminded me of Beauty and the Beast!), which I thought was interesting.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, probably more than her last book Isle of Shadows. I’ve really enjoyed reading Tracy Higley’s books, and I look forward to reading more of them in the future!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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