Title: Thief of Corinth
Author: Tessa Afshar
Major Themes: Ancient Corinth, Apostle Paul, Biblical Fiction, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: When Ariadne realizes something’s up with her dad, and finds out what financial straits they are in, she must help him and try to bring their family back to the societal position they used to be at.
After hearing good things from a respected blogger about Thief of Corinth, I was interested in reading it when I found it available for review not much later. What an intriguing story! Although I don’t think I could give quite the rave review she gave of the book, I really enjoyed a lot of portions of it.
Two things I ought to note before my review: 1) I don’t tend to appreciate a lot of modern romance books, and 2) when it comes to Biblical fiction, I’m pretty picky that it follows the Bible to a “T”. Okay? Let’s go!
First, I loved that this book took a small portion of the Bible and turned it into a fleshed-out story. I’ll probably never look at those few mentions of Corinth in different books of the Bible the same again. I also loved how some history was woven naturally into the plot, in such a way that it told the story without being too over-emphasized.
One thing I struggled with was how modernized the story was. Although the setting was expertly researched, and felt fairly legitimate, the main plot line and the way the characters acted felt very 21st century. In a major way, I understand—I’m sure my stories, historical fiction though they be, have the same fault. It’s a natural tendency to write things the way we are used to seeing them. There’s also the fact that this book was written for a modern audience with modern expectations. Still, in saying all of that, it was somewhat jarring to be reading about things happening in ancient Corinth and see exactly the same things in other contemporary romance books.
I ended up coming away from Thief of Corinth with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the storytelling, and the historical setting, but I really struggle with how so-called Christian characters were doing things that aren’t Biblical (either historically or morally). I did appreciate the way the gospel was laid out here—it was not a quick change from one belief to another, but a gradual coming to know the truth.
If you’re looking for a historical fiction that has Christian elements and romance, this might be a good choice for you. However, if you value historic authenticity in books, it might not be as good of an option.
I requested a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: In chapter 1, a man rapes a girl (very graphic), and someone punches someone else. Chapter 3 mentions that the “gods had blessed Corinth” (this isn’t the only mention). In chapter 5, a mention is made about not caring how much bare leg was showing. In chapter 7, a man slaps a woman hard. In chapter 12, it mentions a girl’s feelings about a guy carrying her. In chapter 13, it talks about a woman trying to show all her curves. Chapter 14 talks about someone dancing to put her body on display, and the word “bloody” is used. Chapter 15 mentions half-naked slave girls, and someone staring too long at the wrong places. Chapter 17 talks about musicians that weren’t wearing enough. Chapter 21 has a very sensual kiss (I skimmed that part). Chapter 23 mentions someone with a badly broken bone. Chapter 26 has several more kisses. Chapter 30 has lying in it, and chapter 31 has a so-called Christian stealing something. Chapter 31 also has several kisses (somewhat sensual). Chapter 32 uses the word “blast”.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults