Book Review for “As Sure as the Dawn” by Francine Rivers

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As Sure as the Dawn is the third and final book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers. I’ve reviewed the first book, A Voice in the Wind, and the second, An Echo in the Darkness, and I recommend reading those first. I’ll give you the synopsis and then my thoughts. This review will have slight spoilers.


Following A Voice in the Wind and An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure as the Dawn continues the chronicles of Hadassah, a Christian slave woman living during the height of the Roman Empire. She has saved the life of the scorned child of a disreputable Roman woman and the Germanic gladiator, Atretes. For her faith, Hadassah now languishes in condemnation, awaiting death in a dungeon beneath the arena. Atretes, who holds fast to his dreams of revenge for the slaughter of his people, wants his son back. So he seeks out John the Baptist, who is the key to finding the custodian of his son, and brings his war-weary soul closer to redemption.

My Thoughts

This book is all about Atretes and his journey back to his homeland. In the first book we were introduced to Atretes as he became a Roman captive and forced to be a gladiator. In the second book Atretes is not really mentioned so I was curious if his storyline would be concluded in the third book and I’m glad that it was. I really enjoyed his character in the first book but in this one he grated on my nerves. That’s not the fault of Francine Rivers because the story was well written, it’s just how Atretes character developed. He’s very stubborn and headstrong to the point of stupidity. He does change somewhat as the story progresses and he becomes a Christian but I still found him annoying most of the time, haha. However, I did really enjoy the story and characters.

I did have one minor complaint from a Christian and just a reader’s standpoint but of course, this is just my opinion. When Atretes, Rizpah and Theophilus make it to Atrete’s German home village miraculously Rizpah and Theophilus can speak German. They claim that it’s miracle from God so that they can witness and communicate with the villagers. As a Christian, I do believe that God can do miraculous things, however, this seemed just unnecessary. God isn’t a magic genie, and not that He can’t, but I don’t think He would suddenly make someone fluent in another language. This seemed like lazy storytelling as a way to easily make Rizpah and Theophilus be able to communicate with the others.

I did really like this trilogy overall but I feel like the last two books couldn’t keep my interest as well as the first one. However, if you enjoy Christian, historical fiction I recommend it. Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it or any other books by Francine Rivers? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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