This week’s book is the first in the ‘mark of the lion” trilogy by Francine Rivers. It was set from the take-over of Jerusalem by roman emperor Vespasian and his son Titus. The story revolves around two main characters and their eventual interaction with an aristocratic family (the Valerians). Hadassah, daughter of Hananiah and only surviving member of her family after the fall of Jerusalem. Atretes, leader of the Chatti tribe in Germania. He was captured in battle by the Romans and eventually became one of their famous gladiators. Hadassah was a girl who considered herself lacking in the strong faith her family shared. But after the death of her family, she found herself desperate for God and the peace he gave during the march to Rome. This first instalment concentrates on her relationship with each member of the Valerian household. Her love for them, her unwavering faith in God and her lack of courage in the face of death. It talks about her struggles with all the temptations around her and with herself when she realised she was in love with Marcus. A stubborn man who placed her on a pedestal where God should have been. Eventually, she came face to face her fears and triumphed over them. If you are interested in historical themes, long, vivid and expanded descriptions then you would definitely enjoy every page of this book. Francine Rivers narrates stories without leaving out any detail which is probably the reason I skipped a few pages. All in all, it’s one of my favourites. It would make you feel conflicted, disappointed but mostly sad so get a box of tissues ready.