By: Karin Ciholas
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: September 22, 2022
Review Date: November 14, 2022
The Lighthouse is an amazing first book in what is to be a new series from author Karin Ciholas. It is the story of Simon, a very talented physician who tries to take care of everyone while always facing constant danger because he is a Jew living in the first century under the Romans.
As the story opens we meet a young man whose desire is to become the best doctor he can be. This is Simon’s dream but, unfortunately, it does not match the dream that his father has for him. We are also introduced to Simon’s closest friend Valerius and his family. Valerius’ father is headed back to Rome and taking his family with him to what he believes will be wonderful opportunities. Valerius, who is in love with Simon’s sister, does not want to go but knows that he has no choice but to obey his father. We also have Valerius’ sister, Aurelia, who finds herself in love with Simon and not wanting to leave him. With the introduction of Meidias, an escaped criminal who is trying to start a war with the Jews, the reader has their villain and Simon’s journey begins. Meidias kidnaps Simon’s sister and this leads him from Egypt to Italy to Alexandria as he searches for her and contemplates his revenge against her kidnapper.
During this journey, Simon becomes the doctor he wanted to be and develops a reputation for himself in medicine that brings him into contact with those who are poor and suffering, as well as those who are at the highest and most important levels of Roman rule. He must constantly fight with himself over his love for Aurelia and his vow to find his sister and kill Meidias. But how can someone who cares so much for the saving of lives take an oath to end one? Simon is a very strong man who is constantly in conflict with himself and his beliefs as well as the horrible situation that his people are struggling to live through.
The story allows the reader to follow Simon on his journey and we are overwhelmed and awed by what he faces and accomplishes. While this novel is, in part, fiction it is also historically based. We see Simon as he is destroyed by the plight of his people under the Romans, we see him in Jerusalem where a solider of Rome forces him to carry a crossbeam for a prisoner’s execution, and we see him as he works with medical breakthroughs that save many lives. It is a story of truth, family, love, loyalty, and of medical science and it is a story that is well-worth reading.
Quill says: This novel is packed with so much true history intermixed with a wonderful storyline that will thrill any reader. I love a wonderfully written page-turner that the reader does not want to put down, and this book definitely qualifies as such. I’m sure that part two will be just as interesting and well-written and I am anxiously awaiting it.
For more information on The Lighthouse (The Cyrenian, Book 1), please visit the author's website at: https://debeeaff.wpcomstaging.com/
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