Shadow of Colossus: A Seven Wonders Novel

Shadow of Colossus: A Seven Wonders Novel

by T. L. Higley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805447309
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2008
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


T.L. Higley holds a degree in English Literature and has written three previous novels and more than fifty drama productions for church ministry.  She is especially passionate about "breaking down emotional and philosophical barriers that people have put up between themselves and Christ." 

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Shadow of Colossus: A Seven Wonders Novel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
zibilee on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Tessa is a hetaera, a courtesan paid to provide company, advice, and favors to the patron who pays her handler the highest price. Though Tessa is a paid companion, she has a unique position in Grecian society. As she is partnered with powerful men, she becomes a sounding board and confidant to them, subtly influencing their opinions on society and the area's politics. Although Tessa has a powerful voice in the community, which is rare for a woman, she doesn't have what she desires most: her freedom. Living with the churlish and abusiveGlaucus, her current patron, Tessa's life is filled with bitterness and anger. After a particularly troubling evening with Glaucus that ends in a violent argument, Tessa is witness to an accident that leaves him dead. Now she must find a way to escape the blame for his death and keep it a secret from the powerful men who rely on him. As she maneuvers these intrigues, she meetsNicos, a servant recently hired by the now-dead Glaucus . As Nikos moves into the household, Tessa finds that she can't hide her secret from him and must decide if Nikos will eventually be a help or a hindrance. But all is not what it seems, as many of the people Tessa must deal with have hidden agendas, malevolent plans, and secret identities. Tessa must navigate a dangerous backdrop of deception and naked ambition to find her way to freedom and a new life. While doing this, she must also learn to free herself from the emotional chains that her profession has placed upon her.Although the first few pages of the story seemed pretty intriguing, I quickly lost patience with this book. One of the reasons was the unrealistically shallow character portrayals. All of the characters were one-dimensional and simplistic. There just wasn't a lot going on with any of these people mentally or verbally, and it felt like I was reading about really rough stock characters instead of people who I was supposed to sympathize with or feel for in any way. Though the story itself was interesting, I never really cared for any of the players.Another thing I wasn't prepared for were the traditional Christian messages and values throughout the book. I read this book not knowing much about it other than the premise, and was a little put off by some of the sentiments expressed throughout the story. Although it wasn't annoying, there was some blatant proselytizing in addition to some very irksome opinions scattered along the story. In one instance, it was posited that it was a woman's highest imperative to produce offspring; if she didn't, her life didn't amount to very much. I found that passage alone left me feeling really uncharitable towards the book. Had I known that this book was a kind of religious platform, I would have probably had a different opinion of it, because I would have been prepared for it. As it was, the religious messages weren't pervasive or preachy, but they still felt cumbersome and stood out blatantly from the rest of the story.Lastly, I thought that the writing style was somewhat unvarnished and simple. The sentence construction in most of the book was very basic andunchallenging . I think a little more weight and artfulness in the prose would have shifted the narrative onto a more complex level. Lacking this, some elements that could have been powerful seemed trivial and lacked depth. Overall, though, I found the plot the most interesting thing about the book. Although it only covered a few days, there was much intrigue and imagination in that respect. Despite my other problems with the story, I found myself drawn to the outcome of the personal and political situations that the characters faced. The author's ability to involve fantastically dramatic elements in the story kept me engrossed with the story itself, despite the other drawbacks. The book had a great premise and the possibility of rich characters, but the mechanics of the writing defeated all that.I think this book would be a good choice for those who enjoy Christian
roquinn on LibraryThing 7 months ago
*SPOILER WARNING**SPOILER WARNING**SPOILER WARNING*While I thought the plot of this book was interesting, I was deeply disappointed in the writing itself. I found the characters to be not only simplistic, but shallow. The political situations portrayed, while they ought to be complex, were portrayed equally simplistically. Most annoying of all were the misogynistic messages that a) a woman cannot be beautiful and influential and single without being cold and lost and empty, and that b) God, the right man, and the promise of baybeez is what every woman needs to feel fulfilled and satisfied with her life. Ugh.Beyond that, the book's backpage summary promised "an enticing portrait of an ancient pagan culture from a biblical worldview". I'm not certain what "a biblical worldview" is supposed to mean (and I'm not certain that whoever wrote the blurb does, either), but the "enticing portrait..." consisted mostly of very brief scenes in places of worship that were used mostly as a backdrop for social and political machinations. There really is very little here about the ancient world, Greek paganism or the political complexities of the time and place portrayed.Finally, the metaphors used to imply personal development of the characters were beyond heavy-handed - I felt bludgeoned by them. I finished the book because it had, as I said, an interesting plot...but several times I had to put it down when the author's overriding messages were being hammered too loudly through the story itself.
greendragongirl on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I agree with the other reviewers that the writing was overly simplistic for the premise. It seemed to be more a YA "teen romance" than the more adult book I was expecting. Also I wanted more historical information. One of the main reason's I enjoy reading historical fiction is it provides intresting information as well as a glimpse into what life might have been like in a particular period. Shadow of Colossus might as well have taken place in the present day, there was very little detail about what life was like in Rhodes or what distinguished that place and time. The charachters were not completely uninteresting, they just seemed to be lacking any depth.The book was a fairly enjoyable if predictable "quick read" It just didn't live up to my hopes for the premis.
Booknose on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I was really looking forward to reading Shadow of Colossus. I love historical fiction and have been wanting for some time to read something set in ancient Greece, so when I received this as an ARC from LT I was really happy (Thanks LT!) I started reading it as soon as it came in and initially I was okay with it, assuming that things would flesh out as I read.. they didn't. This book was so disappointing in it's lack of historical value, very little is told of the period and the customs etc of the people. The characters are one dimensional, single purposed and unbelievable. However, the story is still based on a good premise, it was so promising, I see some people compare this to a YA novel and I think that is appropriate for the level of writing but personally I would want my kid to get more history out of a book like this, than to waste his time reading something of so little value. I hope this goes back to the publisher for some revisions, Higley could expand on the historical aspects of the story and flesh the characters out more, add a little more complexity to the plot and have a decent book.
Agape on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The back cover states, "Shadow of Colossus is an enticing portrait of an ancient pagan culture from a biblical worldview." The biblical worldview is very sparse in the book - a short section on Passover and the last 30 pages of the book. It is a gripping plot. The violence and sex are not dwelt on but are present. The "seven wonders" theme is more a backdrop rather than telling much about the wonder. I know this is an "uncorrected proof" but the number of typos really bothered me.
clamairy on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Shadow of Colossus is set in 227 B.C. so don't let yourself be scared off by this blurb from the back of the book: "Here is a powerful story showing how the love of God can transform even the most hardened person and bring back to life the soul jaded by sin and grief." There really isn't a whole lot of preaching in this book, thankfully. (My apologies to those of you like your books preachy.) It reads almost like a YA book due to its simplicity. I probably would have loved Shadow of Colossus when I was 14 or so, but as an adult I find it to somewhat less appealing. Still, I found myself whipping through it in order to find out what became of the characters. I do wish there had been a little more detail about the aftermath of the great quake. All in all it was a 'barely acceptable' reading experience.
24girl on LibraryThing 7 months ago
On the Greek island of Rhodes in 227 BC, Tessa of Delos is as highly respected as a high-priced hetaera can be. She is the arm candy a wealthy and powerful politician, Glaucus. She is also desired by many others and has the ability to influence the council that rules Rhodes through Glaucus. Despite all this the only thing Tessa wishes for her freedom. Upon Glaucus' abrupt death Tessa learns the truth. She's not to be set free but sold to the next person in line with enough money to buy her, a man even crueler than Glaucus ever was. With the help of one of Glaucus' most loyal servants, Tessa is able to keep his death a secret while she plots her escape but being the most recognized hetaera on the island makes this an almost impossible task. This was a wonderful saga intertwined with a heart-warming romance. On the opening pages Tessa is on the verge of suicide but she sees a light at the end of the tunnel that blossoms into brilliant hope. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read City of the Dead which is out now and Guardian of the Flame due out in October. I highly recommend this for historical fiction lovers.
ruthjoec on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Shadow of a Colussus takes us into the life of Tessa, a courtesan and slave on the Island of Rhodes in the year 227 BC, the week before an earthquake that topples the Colossus. It is a story of political intrigue and the story of how a women who had taught herself to be as unfeeling as a statue learns to trust and love. The author adds a lot of historical detail--we learn about the interior of homes, the public baths and the aquaduct system and the religous practices of the people. I have two criticisms dealing with the faith aspects of the book. Fist, s Jewish characters refer to God as Yahweh, and I know that is against the Jewish faith. Secondly, one Jewish character, and old man, tells Tessa that God told him he would not die until he saw his Redeemer--and this is over 200 years before Christ.
cherryblossommj on LibraryThing 7 months ago
After reading this story, while reading a note provided after the story within the book I found that this really explained what I think as a whole about the tale. "Weaving in and out of actual events, brushing lightly against the lives of characters from the pages of history, the Seven Wonders novels take us beyond man's ingenuity and hubris to explore the Supreme Creator's work in the ancient world beyond Israel. From the fall of the mighty Colossus of Rhodes to the destruction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one thing becomes clear: The power of redemption will never be silenced, and the One True God still desires to draw all men unto himself." This novel might have taken place in 227 BC, but there is no doubt in my mind that it falls within a classification of Christian fiction. Through the characters hearts and mind, the "one true God" makes his love and redemption vision known. The author has used a talent for story telling to educate and to fill the soul with a redemptive tale that is as classic as the story of the woman at the well or the good Samaritan. God loves you, and can use you, and desires you, no matter your past or situation.
elbakerone on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Shadow of Colossus is the story of Tessa of Rhodes, a courtesan in 227 B.C. She serves Glaucus, a member of the ruling council, and although she is well known throughout Rhodes for both her beauty and intellect, Tessa longs for freedom and resents her status as a slave. After Glaucus dies accidentally, she glimpses a chance to escape her life, if she can hide her master's death from the rest of the city. Unused to trusting others, she must rely on two men to help her carry out the deception, Simeon, an elderly Jew also in Glaucus's service, and Nikos, a young Greek with a mysterious secret who quickly falls in love with Tessa.Meanwhile there is political unrest in the city as tensions rise between the Greeks and Jews. While Tessa tries to carry Glaucus's voice for peace another councilman, the power hungry Spiro, has plans of his own. Not only does scheme to take control of the government but he also has plans to take Tessa as his own. This book was entertaining but for the most part, it was quite predictable. It would probably appeal most to high school readers, but the story was not without merit. I liked the way that faith was tied into the novel through the character of Simeon and his family. I found that the presentation of God's love by the Jewish characters was an interesting way to stray from traditional Christian fiction.
Cherylk on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The year is 227 B.C. The place is Rhodes, a Greek island.For ten years, Tessa of Delos has been in Glaucus¿s ownership as his hetaera (an owned woman). Tessa had given up all hope. It seemed like she would never experience freedom again. It looked like the only way Tessa would gain her freedom was to take her own life. The Gods had another plan; they were looking down on her that day. Glaucus befalls a terrible fate, which will ultimately change things for Tessa forever. The next couple of days will be the hardest for Tessa and will require all her strength in order to survive. Tessa had a great personality about her. She was a pillar of strength as well as endurance. I enjoyed reading Shadow of Colossus. I found myself having a hard time putting it down. I felt Mrs. Higley writing really brought a real Greek authenticity to the story. Reading Shadow of Colossus by T.L. Higley is the first time I have read anything by this author. I love discovering new authors especially ones that I can recommend to all my friends. Shadow of Colossus was flawless in my opinion. Shadow of Colossus is the first book in the Seven Wonders series. If all the rest of the books are as amazing as this one was than this series will be a bestseller hit. I look forward to a long successful future to Mrs. Higley and her books.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Reason for Reading: I had been wanting to read it anyway. The Ancient Greece and Seven Wonders angle appealed to me.Summary: Set in 227 BC on the Greek island of Rhodes, Tesa was sold into bondage by her mother ten years ago and has been a courtesan ever since. She holds quite a high position in society as the hetaera of a wealthy politician, but still she must meet his every need in the privacy of his home. When her patrician is accidentally killed Tesa comes up with a plan to finally escape this island and its bondage but at this time she also meets a young man different than all the other men whom she has grown cold towards, this man actually seems to care. And all the while brewing deep beneath the earth the tectonic plates are coming together in what will be an immense earthquake that will destroy not only the Greek town and Jew village but also bring the Colossus statue of Helios to it's knees.Comment: I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I have to say I wasn't particularly in an Ancient history mood when I sat down to read it but the book grabbed me from the first chapter onwards. Tesa is a strong character caught in an ugly life of slavery and prostitution from which she is determined to free herself. Though to have survived so long in this lifestyle she has set aside her joy for life and become a cold, unfeeling person, impossible to reach. When she finds love it is extremely hard for her to set aside the control she has placed on her feelings for so long.The book has an exciting political plot, with people plotting behind one another's backs to become the most powerful one. With three deaths and a near mass murder, one cannot help but be carried away by the fast-paced, exciting plot. Part love story, part political thriller and part examination of the Old Testament Jewish faith this engaging read was a page-turner for me.From a Christian publisher I feel the label "Christian fiction" is a bit of a misnomer as the story takes place 227 years before Christ. Yet one can't quite call it "Biblical fiction" as the events are fictional, not from the Bible. I'm more apt to call this simply "historical fiction" or "historical romance" that mainstream readers would most likely enjoy. There are Jewish characters who believe in God and they introduce Him to a couple of Greek characters. There is one sentence near the end of the book where a Jewish character mentions the coming, one day, of a Messiah. I'd recommend to anyone, regardless of creed, who is interested in the time period. I'm looking forward to reading other books in this series.
24girl More than 1 year ago
On the Greek island of Rhodes in 227 BC, Tessa of Delos is as highly respected as a high-priced hetaera can be. She is the arm candy a wealthy and powerful politician, Glaucus. She is also desired by many others and has the ability to influence the council that rules Rhodes through Glaucus. Despite all this the only thing Tessa wishes for her freedom. Upon Glaucus' abrupt death Tessa learns the truth. She's not to be set free but sold to the next person in line with enough money to buy her, a man even crueler than Glaucus ever was. With the help of one of Glaucus' most loyal servants, Tessa is able to keep his death a secret while she plots her escape but being the most recognized hetaera on the island makes this an almost impossible task. This was a wonderful saga intertwined with a heart-warming romance. On the opening pages Tessa is on the verge of suicide but she sees a light at the end of the tunnel that blossoms into brilliant hope. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read City of the Dead which is out now and Guardian of the Flame due out in October. I highly recommend this for historical fiction lovers.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I have discovered a very special series of books that I'm thinking some of you haven't read yet and I am hoping to help you rectify that very sad situation. For lovers of historical fiction (and even those that may not think they enjoy historical fiction) this series is amazing! Welcome to the 7 Wonders Series by T.L. Higley... each book centers around one of the Ancient Wonders of the World and sets characters and mystery/suspense against that setting. I have read the first two (Shadow of Colossus (set against the statue of Colossus at Rhodes) and City of the Dead (set against the Pyramids at Giza)) and TL actually makes the particular Wonder of the World almost a character in the book. I was attracted to the series because of a fascination with the Ancient Wonders but drawn in by the amazing story lines. I thought the first one was great, and then the second one stepped up the story another whole level... I can't wait to read the third one! I strongly encourage homeschooling moms to get these books for their high school students because it will make ancient world history come alive. I am really hoping that sales are good for this series because I would love for TL to be able to finish all 7 books!
cherryblossommj More than 1 year ago
After reading this story, while reading a note provided after the story within the book I found that this really explained what I think as a whole about the tale.

<i>Weaving in and out of actual events, brushing lightly against the lives of characters from the pages of history, the Seven Wonders novels take us beyond man's ingenuity and hubris to explore the Supreme Creator's work in the ancient world beyond Israel. From the fall of the mighty Colossus of Rhodes to the destruction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one thing becomes clear: The power of redemption will never be silenced, and the One True God still desires to draw all men unto himself.</i>

This novel might have taken place in 227 BC, but there is no doubt in my mind that it falls within a classification of Christian fiction. Through the characters hearts and mind, the "one true God" makes his love and redemption vision known.

The author has used a talent for story telling to educate and to fill the soul with a redemptive tale that is as classic as the story of the woman at the well or the good Samaritan. God loves you, and can use you, and desires you, no matter your past or situation.
harstan More than 1 year ago
By 227 B.C. on the island of Rhodes, Tessa of Delos has reconciled with the belief she will never be free. Instead for the past decade she has been an enslaved hetaeira courtesan to affluent politician Glaucus. Now on the anniversary day, she decides the only escape is suicide. However, fate intervenes when her owner dies violently. --- She sees an opportunity to escape by hiding his death from authorities. She also knows the risk of being caught is probably execution. Others, hoping to develop a kinder society based on democracy, take chances by abetting Tessa on her quest to escape bondage. --- Starting ten days before the ¿quake¿ that leveled the five decade plus old statue, this is an engaging inspirational ancient historical thriller. The story line is fast-paced with a fascinating ¿Christian¿ message two plus centuries before the Christ as told by Jews and compared with local Hellenistic paganism adding depth to the overall visit to this Greek island. However, because of the fascination with the overall theme, more background into this particular one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World would have made this fine tale into a colossal thriller yet this is still a terrific look at Greece over two millennia ago. --- Harriet Klausner