- File Size: 13400 KB
- Print Length: 359 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 7, 2018)
- Publication Date: August 7, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077F3ZV7R
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,838 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Thief of Corinth Kindle Edition
|Length: 359 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The heroine, Ariadne, is a teen at the beginning of this novel, and Draco is a man her grandfather has arranged for her to marry. Ariadne walks in on Draco right after he had brutally had his way with a slave girl who was even younger than Ariadne. The grandfather is nonchalant about the incident and still says Ariadne must marry Draco; Ariadne is outraged over this command and says so; Ariadne's mother is furious at her daughter! for being rude to her grandfather and she strikes Ariadne's face so hard that later it leaves a bruise.
Oh, how I experienced Ariadne's own disbelief, anger, and emotional hurt over that—especially since she was a young teen, at an age when one feels everything 100 times more acutely than an adult. The author continued to make me sympathize with Ariadne, and care more and more about her, as well as several other characters, with each turn of the page. This was most impressive because of the author's brevity.
Afshar has the craft of writing down so well that she only has to use a few paragraphs of narrative and limited lines of dialogue for each new scene in order to make readers feel like they are right there in Corinth, experiencing the same heartbreak, happiness, loneliness, anger, love, fear, uncertainty, excitement, or remorse that each and every one of the characters feel.
The author's beautiful and descriptive writing also helps to create scenes that evoke emotion all throughout this novel. Afshar's poetic voice in Thief of Corinth places her in the same league as lyrical master Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club.
Some of my favorite lines of that type of prose were:
-"My brother … enfolded Father in his arms. They had much to say to each other, those two men. Months of silence and hurt to bridge. But for those first few moments, embraces did the speaking."
-"I looked up at the sailor who had saved us, a man the size of a city gate with a complexion the warm hue of cinnamon bark."
-"Sometimes silence booms like thunder, carrying too many revelations for the mind to absorb. Shock had rendered us immobile."
Depicting emotional scenes isn't Afshar's only talent with descriptions—she also shows skill describing setting. Readers will clearly see the villas and buildings of Corinth, and feel as if they are right there in the first century, walking alongside the characters in this famous Biblical city.
One item to take note of, but something that did not detract at all from this fantastic story, is that the heroine Ariadne isn't a real Biblical figure. Several other people in this novel are though, like Dionysus, the Apostle Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila. There also are some minor characters in the book based on true historical figures, such as a man named Hermesianx who entered his daughters into the Isthmian Games, and Luis the Butcher, who really did have a shop in Corinth.
I think Thief of Corinth is a novel that both believers and those who are not Christians will enjoy, because believer or not, almost everyone can relate to many of the characters in the book, and to several situations such as wanting to please a parent, longing to be accepted and loved, and desiring to do what you think is best.
I was first introduced to Afshar's writing this past summer when my book club read her 2010 debut novel Pearl in the Sand, that is set in the times of the Old Testament. This is a fictionalized story about the real Biblical woman Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute who later married one of the leaders of Israel. Thief of Corinth is set in the times of the New Testament.
Afshar impressed with me Pearl in the Sand, which is why I rated that novel 4 stars, but the author really wowed me with Thief of Corinth, which is why I give this book 5 stars. I will recommend this novel to my family and friends, and I look forward to reading other books by this author.
For Ariadne greatly desires the freedom her father offers. Her grandfather is forcing her into marriage with a brute, and her mother is cold, distant, and critical. Thief of Corinth is a map of one woman’s journey to ultimate freedom. When Ariadne escapes to her father’s home, letting someone else pay the price for her freedom, she finds herself shunned and belittled by the young women of her father’s social circle. But Ariadne doesn’t mope and whine about her fate, she embraces her life as a thief, making choices that could cost her and her father their freedom and their lives. And it may cost the love of a man she’s come to admire. Thieving is the life she has chosen, but it might not be a choice she can live with. It will take time and the help of friends, family, and those she thought were enemies, but Ariadne is going to discover what it takes to free a thief.
Ariadne’s gymnastic skills and fleetness of foot are just a few of the skills needed to inveigle her way into the homes of the high and rich members of society, seeking where their wealth is hidden so that she and her father can return in the cover of night to steal it away. But someone knows that her father is the Honorable Thief and blackmails them. How deep does the corruption go? Can she and her father escape the net of the blackmailer? Are friends closer than she thinks? Can she ever be truly free again?
Through it all, we know that Ariadne takes responsibility for what she’s done and the consequences, and I absolutely love that accountability. As Ariadne says, “Yet the final blame, as you and I know, dear Paul, rests with me. It was I who chose as I did. I could have taken the wounds of my early life and turned them to healing. Instead, they became my excuse to do as I wished.” And admitting responsibility is the start of an incredible journey.
I loved this book so much! Thief of Corinth is an indelibly rich and fulfilling story, the world-building is incredible, and I finished it just wanting to dive into the next book. This is the first book I’ve read by Tessa Afshar, but she’s now on my favorite authors list, and I’ll be reading more. Highly recommended for anyone who loves historical fiction, stories of redemption, Biblical stories, or tales of strong women coming into their own.
Trigger warning: There is a scene of the aftermath of violence against a woman and brief discussion of another instance. Both are brief, not overly graphic, and easily skimmed past; just putting that out there as a heads-up.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
A young woman develops her physical abilities, leading to roof burglary's as she attempts to save her family from ruin.
The relationships of the main characters all ring true - its a beautiful story.
Don't let prejudice keep you from enjoying this one!