The Light in the Empire Series follows the interconnected lives of the members of three Roman families of the senatorial order during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian when the Roman Empire was at its zenith.
To create characters that are true to their times, I happily immerse myself in many facets of that ancient culture, from political affairs to the details of home life. The research I conduct to write this series is the source of the detailed information about life in the Roman Empire shared at carolashby.com.
The eight novels of the series will take you around the Empire, from Germania and Britannia to Thracia, Dacia, and Judaea and, of course, to Rome itself.
Faithful by Carol Ashby
Volume 4 of the Light in the Empire Series
Is the price of true friendship ever too high?
In AD 122, Adela, the fiery daughter of a Germanic chieftain, is kidnapped and taken across the Roman frontier to be sold as a slave. When horse-trader Otto wins her while gambling with her kidnappers, he entrusts her to his friend and trading partner, Galen. Then Otto is kidnapped by the same men, and Galen must track them half way across the Empire before his best friend loses a fight to the death in a Roman arena.
Adela joins Galen in the chase, hungry for vengeance. As the perilous journey deepens their friendship, will the kind, faithful man open her eyes to a life she never dreamed she’d want?
A trip to the heart of the Empire poses mortal danger to a man who follows Jesus, especially when Galen must seek the help of an enemy of the faith for Otto to survive. Tiberius hunted Christians when he governed Germania Superior and banished his own son when he became one.
When Tiberius learns sparing Galen offers a chance at reconciliation with his son, he joins the trio on their journey home. Can his life-long hatred for the followers of Jesus survive a trip with the Christian man whose courage and faithfulness demand his respect?
The Legacy by Carol Ashby
Volume 3 of the Light in the Empire Series
When Rome has taken everything, what’s left for a man to give?
Betrayed by a ruthless son who’ll do anything for power and wealth, Publius Drusus faces death with an unanswered prayer―that his treasured daughter, Claudia, and honorable son, Titus, will someday share his faith. But who will lead them to the truth once he’s gone?
Claudia’s oldest brother Lucius arranged their father’s execution to inherit everything, and now he’s forcing her to marry a cruel Roman power broker. If only she could get to Titus―a thousand miles away in Thracia. Then the man who secretly told her father about Jesus arranges for his son Philip to sneak her out of Rome and take her to the brother she can trust.
A childhood accident scarred Philip’s face. A woman’s rejection scarred his heart. Claudia’s gratitude grows into love, but what can Philip do when the first woman who returns his love hates the God he loves even more?
Titus and Claudia hunger for revenge on their brother and the Christians they blame for their father’s deadly conversion. When Titus buys Miriam, a secret Christian, to serve his sister, he starts them all down a path of conflicting loyalties and dangerous decisions. His father’s final letter commands the forgiveness Titus refuses to give. What will it take to free him from the hatred poisoning his own heart?
Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby
Volume 2 of the Light in the Empire Series
Sometimes you have to almost die to discover how you want to live.
It’s AD 114 in the Roman province of Germania Superior, and being a Christian carries a death sentence. Tribune Decimus Lentulus is on the fast track for a stellar political career back in Rome. When he’s robbed, blinded, and left for dead, a young German woman who follows the Way finds him. Valeria knows it’s his duty to have her and her family killed, but she chooses to obey Jesus’s command to love her enemy and takes him home to care for him.
It’s not his miraculous recovery that shakes Decimus to his core. It’s the way they love him like family and their unconcealed love for Jesus. In spite of himself, he falls in love with the Christian woman Rome wants him to kill. Can Valeria hide her faith to follow him into the circles of Roman power? Or should he abandon his ambition to help rule the Empire and choose to follow a different way?
Forgiven by Carol Ashby
Volume 1 of the Light in the Empire Series
Are some wounds too deep to forgive?
With a ruthless father who murdered for the family inheritance, Marcus Drusus plans to do the same. In AD 122, Marcus follows his brother Lucius to Judaea and plots to frame a zealot for his older brother’s death. But the plan goes awry, and Lucius is rescued by a Messianic Jewish woman. Her oldest brother is a zealot and a Roman soldier killed her twin, but Rachel still persuades her father Joseph to put his love for Jesus above his anger with Rome and hide Lucius until he heals.
Rachel cares for the enemy, and more than broken bones heal as duty turns to love. Lucius embraces Joseph’s faith in Jesus, but sharing a faith doesn’t heal all wounds. Even before revealed secrets slice open old scars, Joseph wants no Roman son-in-law. With Rachel’s zealot brother suspecting he’s a Roman officer and his own brother planning to kill him when he returns, can Lucius survive long enough to change Joseph’s mind?
Second Chances: Sometimes it takes more than love to conquer all.
Coming in November 2018
True Freedom: The chains we cannot see can be the hardest ones to break.
Coming in May 2019