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.
I have greatly enjoyed Lynne Gentry's Carthage Chronicles—and I'm sorry the series has come to a close! Before I get into my review, a caution: If you have not yet read the first two novels in the series, you'd be better off reading those reviews, rather than this one, as I can't help but mention some of the things that happened in those books. (Healer of Carthage, Return to Exile)
Valley of Decision picks up 13 years following the events of Return to Exile ... at least that's how long Lisbeth and her daughter Maggie have been back in our time. In Carthage, mere hours have passed, which leads to a lot of confusion when a grown up Maggie appears.
Maggie, having Googled her father Cyprian, knows his fate, and she's determined to save him. Lisbeth and her father follow Maggie to Carthage, determined to bring Maggie and Lisbeth's mother Magdalena home for good. The question is, is it possible to change history? Can Cyprian be saved from certain death?
It's difficult to review this novel without including spoilers, so I'll just say that Valley of Decision features a sweet, budding romance, heart-tugging family moments, and look at what it really means to stand up for your faith. (Now I'll include some info that could be considered spoilerish if you don't know anything about the real-life Cyprian.)
SPOILERS BELOW (if you're not familiar with 3rd Century Carthage)
Because Cyprian was a real person who really was martyred for his faith, I didn't doubt where the story would end (though I did kind of hope Gentry would find a way around it). But I did not expect how emotionally connected to Cyprian's story I would become. Gentry wrote Cyprian's final scenes in a way that made me want to simultaneously cheer and sob ... and I did a little of both!
I began reading The Carthage Chronicles because I love time travel romances, but what really kept me engaged was reading about Christians in the third century. These novels have vividly brought third-century Carthage to life, and it's definitely a time travel journey worth taking. 5 stars.
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