Sold into Freedom by Carole Towriss – Book Review, Preview

Posted December 13, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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It is so easy to let yourself be defined by your circumstances. And then to allow them to control you. To make yourself a victim. Yet we have been called to rise above our circumstances – to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and to focus on things that are good.

In what is probably my favorite book of the Bible, Paul writes to the Philippian church from jail where he is soon to die. Oh, and did I mention that he has been there for a long time. Despite his circumstances, or is it maybe even because of them, this letter is full of light and hope and joy. In the upside way that so many of the priorities on the Kingdom of God seem to be, Paul writes

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.

Philippians 1:27-29

Did you catch that? He says it is a privilege to suffer for Christ. And that we should always conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News. No matter what the circumstances!

Sold into Freedom by Carole Towriss – Book Review, Preview

Sold Into Freedom
by Carole Towriss

Series: Planting Faith #1
Published by Four Diamonds Publishing
Publication Date December 12, 2019
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Action/Adventure, Clean Romance
Setting: The Roman Empire Roman Empire - 32BC - 1461 AD
Written for: Adults
Pages: 419


Taught to hear messages from the goddess from a young age, Elantia’s life is shattered when she is captured from her home in southwest Britannia and sold as a slave in Macedonia. She wants nothing more than to escape and return home—after she kills the man who took the only good thing left in her life.

Tossed aside by the Empire, wounded tribune Quintus Valerius ends up in sleepy Philippi to retire. Manipulated into becoming the prison keeper, he vows to return to Rome as soon as possible to reclaim his reputation and his life. He is intrigued by the quiet Jewish teacher who speaks of truth and peace, but is convinced he can never have either.

When Elantia’s shocking actions shake up the town and her life is threatened, Quintus risks what little he has left to save her—only to put Paulos and his friends in even greater danger.

I would like to thank Carole Towriss for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Elantia sought revenge. After watching the destruction of her village and the murder of her family, and being sold as a slave, she was probably justified in thinking that way. At least by the standards of the world. Being as beautiful as she is, the one thing that protects her from the evil desires of her master is the thought that she needs to remain pure to be able to use her “gift”.

I love the way that author Carole Towriss writes such well-researched Biblical fiction and takes a few chapters and fills in details, making the events come alive. And she weaves so much scripture into the story! Being as this story takes place in Philippi when Paulos is there, he has more than a minor role here, and so much of what he speaks is directly from the letters he wrote.

The events in the story play out differently than what I have pictured, especially regarding the timeline – reading this story had me wanting to open my Bible to re-read the events in Acts 16 to see – could this have taken place over a longer period of time? (And yes, I did do this!) I also appreciated the way so many of the people Paul mentions in his letter show up here.

Though this is the story of a captive, a slave, it is also the story of freedom in Christ. And a story of forgiveness. Not just God’s forgiveness toward us but also our need to forgive others.

While there is some violence in it, it is necessary and not overdone. And not everything gets wrapped up in a nice, neat happy ending. Hmm, kind of like our life here on earth. But to quote Goldilocks, it was “just right”.

Carole's Sold into Freedom Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • Sold Into Freedom – Planting Faith #1 | Sold into Freedom is taken from Acts 16, Paul’s visit to Philippi. The main characters are the slave girl Paul freed from the spirit of prophecy and the jailer. We don’t know what happened to either of them beyond that the jailer was saved and baptized, but Freedom is my version of what could have happened.
  • Planting Faith with Paul --  These books will follow Paul on his second missionary journey through Macedonia and Achaia, now modern Greece.
  • Paulos – Paulos is an apostle of Jesus, sent by God to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. He is about 60 years old, with thinning brown hair and a beard. A leatherworker by trade, he often talks with his hands. He speaks softly and has a warm smile. By the time he visits Philippi, he has, among other things, been stoned and left for dead at the hands of the Jews.
  • Quintus/Quin – Quin is a military tribune in the Second Augusta Legion. Prior to his six years in Britannia, he spent eight years in Germania. He is the fifth of five sons and has one younger sister. His father told him to stay in the army and not come home after the standard five or six years a privileged son would spend in battle. He was closer to his tutor, a Greek slave named Attalos, than his father, though his mother adores him.
  • Elantia – Elantia, called Tia, is the daughter of the chieftain of a village located in Southwest Britannia, what is now Devon and Cornwall. The Romans had invaded Britain years earlier but made peace with her tribe and turned north. She has one brother, Tancorix, who although younger is bigger than she is. Daughter of a seer, she has spent her life learning to hear messages from the goddess Brigid. She has blond hair and deep blue eyes.
  • Loukas – a Greek physician and resident of Philippi. He is tall and thin, and loves to talk about the gospel and medicine with equal ease and excitement. He was born in Antioch, where he first heard the gospel.
  • Decimus – the second of the two-man magistracy. He is much older than Gallus but fears Gallus’s constant threats of retribution from Rome. He is kind and thoughtful, and also humble. Unlike Gallus, he does not ear the purple-bordered toga to which he is entitled, preferring his every-day tunic.
  • Gallus – the magistrate of Philippi. Quite young to be a praetor, he used his family’s connections in Rome to win the position. He is short and wiry and very ambitious, seeking to use his wealth and power for his and own gain and not for the good of his fellow Philippians.
  • Silas – A Jewish man, and ministry partner of Paulos. About the same age as Paulos, Silas laughs easily and has white hair and a full white beard. Although chiefly thought of as Paulos’s companion, he is a leader of the church in Antioch in his own right, with a deep knowledge of the Scriptures.
  • Lydia – a woman of Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). Lydia is a former slave and a widow. She took over her husband’s cloth-dyeing business and is now fairly wealthy. Neither Roman nor Greek, she has more freedom as a woman in Macedonia. She has long, brown curls, deep brown eyes, and skin the color of walnuts.
  • Timotheos – Nicknamed Timos, he is the youngest of Paulo’s companions. He has a Greek father and a Jewish mother. When Paulos came through Timos’s hometown of Lystra on his first missionary journey, he shared the gospel with Timos, his mother, and his grandmother, who all eagerly accepted it. On Paulos’s second journey, Timos joined them, just before they went to Philippi. He knows the Scriptures well, having been taught by his mother and grandmother.
  • Quote from Quintus
  • Quote from Quintus
  • Quote from Quin
  • Quote from Quin
  • Quote from Tia
  • Quote from Quintus
  • quote from Tia
  • quote from Paulos

About Carole Towriss

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day.

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