Tyndal House recently re-released the classic novel, A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Originally released in 1993, A Voice in the Wind has undergone many changes in the last twenty years. Nonetheless, the message and true-to-life characters remain the same. A Voice in the Wind is the first book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy.
A Voice in the Wind is a sweeping story of a young Christian slave girl, Hadassah. The story takes us from her childhood through her adult years. We also follow the lives of important people in her life. The real story is in how she lives her faith in first century Rome. At that time, Christians were routinely fed to lions as they were seen as a threat to the Emperor. The other characters include a German warrior, Atretes, who is captured and turned into a slave-gladiator; Julia, Hadassha’s immediate owner; Marcus, Julia’s brother; and Phoebe and Decimus, Julia and Marcus’s parents. All of these characters make choices based on their values system and Hadassah moves about them all as the most enslaved, yet the most free because of her faith. Not a single character fails to miss her peace, grace, and personal sense of freedom, despite being enslaved to her masters. The climax of the story occurs when Hadassah must live out her faith in the most real way possible.
Though I couldn’t seem to put the book down, A Voice in the Wind was a very difficult read for me. It is incredibly well written with a perfect balance of necessary description and dialogue to move the plot along. Yet, the gladiator scenes were outright gory. I struggled reading through them. Yet, I’m a pretty G-rated mom right now! I’m sure to more worldly readers this won’t be a problem. Even though the story was set in the first century, and originally written twenty years ago, there were so many obvious parallels to today’s society. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It would seem that Francine Rivers is making that claim in this novel. I caution you, however. In the beginning, Rivers is setting up the entire story and many characters are introduced. Reading becomes confusing and somewhat tedious, but leveled out for me about page 90. After that I was engrossed and couldn’t put down the story.
I think my heart needs a break before I choose to read the next in the series (“An Echo in the Darkness“). I recommend this book for the wonderful story, as well as the lessons it imparts. A Voice in the Wind is available at Amazon for $10.87 paperback and $8.63 Kindle.