web site hit counter Chasing the Lion - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Chasing the Lion

Availability: Ready to download

From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise. For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise. For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who tends the wounds on his body and the hidden ones on his soul longs for him to return to his faith. What Jonathan wants is simple. Freedom. But God wants something from Jonathan too—something more than anyone would ever imagine. The young warrior’s journey will push him to the limits of human endurance and teach him that true freedom is found within. The greatest battle Jonathan must ever fight will not come in the arena, but deep within himself as he is forced to choose between vengeance and mercy—with the fate of an empire and the life of the woman he loves hanging in the balance.


Compare

From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise. For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise. For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who tends the wounds on his body and the hidden ones on his soul longs for him to return to his faith. What Jonathan wants is simple. Freedom. But God wants something from Jonathan too—something more than anyone would ever imagine. The young warrior’s journey will push him to the limits of human endurance and teach him that true freedom is found within. The greatest battle Jonathan must ever fight will not come in the arena, but deep within himself as he is forced to choose between vengeance and mercy—with the fate of an empire and the life of the woman he loves hanging in the balance.

30 review for Chasing the Lion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara Ella

    I'm an avid YA reader. Give me dystopians, fantasies or angsty teens any day. It's rare I am inclined to read a historical novel. I have to really be in the mood for one and even then I always choose books with a female as the main protagonist. Suffice it to say, "Chasing the Lion" is not the kind of read typically found on my shelf. I wasn't sure what to expect. Little did I know I was in for a massive, jaw-dropping surprise. I absolutely loved this story. I could gush all day about it, but let's I'm an avid YA reader. Give me dystopians, fantasies or angsty teens any day. It's rare I am inclined to read a historical novel. I have to really be in the mood for one and even then I always choose books with a female as the main protagonist. Suffice it to say, "Chasing the Lion" is not the kind of read typically found on my shelf. I wasn't sure what to expect. Little did I know I was in for a massive, jaw-dropping surprise. I absolutely loved this story. I could gush all day about it, but let's get right into the review, shall we? The Characters... "Chasing the Lion" has the strongest male lead of any book I've ever read, and I've read a lot. Jonathan Tarquinius is complex, wounded, broken, swoon-worthy, handsome, brave, flawed. This guy has it all. I loved being a part of his journey from beginning to end. The transformation that takes place within those pages is, in a word, life-changing. I was in tears several times throughout the story. Nancy Kimball writes Jonathan in such an intimate way. I was so deep within his head and point of view I had to keep reminding myself that the author was female. This make's Jonathan's story even sweeter. It's obvious Nancy Kimball put a ton of blood, sweat and tears into Jonathan's story. I also have to mention Nessa. Oh I love Nessa. I could read a whole book just about Nessa (novella anyone?). Her beauty radiates from the page in her quiet spirit and forgiving heart. She's the kind of woman I aspire to be, but she's also relatable. My favorite scenes from "Chasing the Lion" were the ones with Jonathan and Nessa together. They have such a chemistry. Theirs is the kind of love I'd like to see on the big screen someday. The Plot.... Wow. This story really has everything. It's similar to the Biblical story of Joseph, but if you think that means you have "Chasing the Lion" figured out you're wrong, just like I was. I hate spoilers, so I won't give anything away, but Nancy Kimball puts twist after twist in there. I was so not expecting what happened between a certain someone and a certain someone else. If you want to know who I'm talking about, you'll just have to read the book. (READ THIS BOOK!) In the end her pacing was right on as was the way she tied everything together in the end. The Setting... As a reader I truly appreciate when an author does her homework. It's clear from page one Nancy Kimbal spent hours researching this time and place. I felt like I was there in the arena with Jonathan. I could hear the roar of the crowd, see the sweat dripping from Jonathan's brow. And oh my word, the fight scenes! I have to hand it to this author because the fight scenes were so visual, a man could've written them. That is a true compliment. I would not have expected so much detail in sword play and hand to hand combat coming from a female author, but Nancy Kimball pulled this one off above and beyond my greatest expectations. Bravo! Recommendation.... Yes. I highly recommend this book. It has something for everyone. Love, passion, revenge, forgiveness, redemption, action, suspense. It's all in there. Maybe you're like me, and historical gladiator stories aren't really your thing. I urge you to give "Chasing the Lion" a chance anyway. Nancy Kimball has created a true masterpiece. Think "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers meets "Gladiator" with Russel Crowe. You won't want to miss it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Knight

    Right off, let me tell you Chasing the Lion has made it to the number one spot of my historical fiction favorites, and is my third all-time favorite book after Lord of the Rings and Books of the Infinite by R.J. Larson. There are few books I’ve enjoyed quite to this extent. I also want to make a note that I recommend it for older teen and adult readers. It does not shy away from the rampant immorality of Roman society, though I felt Nancy Kimball handled it well without unnecessary details. It a Right off, let me tell you Chasing the Lion has made it to the number one spot of my historical fiction favorites, and is my third all-time favorite book after Lord of the Rings and Books of the Infinite by R.J. Larson. There are few books I’ve enjoyed quite to this extent. I also want to make a note that I recommend it for older teen and adult readers. It does not shy away from the rampant immorality of Roman society, though I felt Nancy Kimball handled it well without unnecessary details. It also contains violence and extreme cruelty (most scenes cut away, but you still have to read about the aftermath). I have a pretty high tolerance when I read, but I caution more sensitive. That said, I devoured this book in a little over a day. I first came across it a couple of weeks ago on one of the ebook sale websites I follow. I never spend more than 99 cents on an ebook I’ve never heard of before. I just have too many to read right now. This one was $3.99. Normally, I would have passed it up, but when I saw it involved gladiators, I just couldn’t. (I have quite an interest in gladiators since that became part of Jace’s backstory in Ilyon Chronicles.) I am SO glad I bought it. Chasing the Lion has a very Joseph-like storyline in the beginning, though Jonathan is not quite Joseph in character. He spends a good portion of the book driven by hatred and desire for revenge, yet, was so noble. I completely fell in love with his character. He was so easy to relate to, and my heart just ached with all his hardship. I don’t remember the last character who pulled at my emotions like he did. My heart would just be pounding sometimes as I was reading. The book sucked me right in. The writing was so good that I completely forgot I was reading. I was just right there in the story. And it wasn’t only Jonathan who made the book. It had a very diverse cast of interesting individuals and points-of-view. Though historical, it had just enough description to lay out the setting, but not so much as to draw you out of the story itself. A perfect balance, in my opinion. But I think what set this book apart from most was the spiritual aspect of it. Most fiction is just entertainment and relaxation for me. For more, I read non-fiction. It has to be a special book to touch me spiritually, and this one did. I feel like God brought it into my life at just the right time. Reading about how the believers in the book endured their trials and clung to their faith encouraged me to do the same in the trials I’m facing. The theme of forgiveness was also very powerful. I can’t say enough good things about this book, and I can hardly wait to read more by Nancy Kimball. This is the first time I’ve wanted to start reading a book again immediately after I finished it. I even went and bought the paperback right away just so I could grab it off my shelf and easily flip to my favorite parts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leah Good

    If you're looking for a book that will break your heart for about 350 out of 375 pages, this is the way to go! Poor Jonathan just couldn't catch a break! Suffering is a pile of stones. You can carry them, let them lay upon the ground, throw them at others, or you can build an altar. Build an altar, my son. Always. Chasing the Lion starts out like a retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph. Twelve-year-old Jonathan has always been subject to bullying because he doesn't have a father, but his life If you're looking for a book that will break your heart for about 350 out of 375 pages, this is the way to go! Poor Jonathan just couldn't catch a break! Suffering is a pile of stones. You can carry them, let them lay upon the ground, throw them at others, or you can build an altar. Build an altar, my son. Always. Chasing the Lion starts out like a retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph. Twelve-year-old Jonathan has always been subject to bullying because he doesn't have a father, but his life is about to change. It turns out his father not only lives but is a high-standing Roman official who very much wants to be part of Jonathan's life. Unfortunately, his older half-brother doesn't share the sentiment. Sold into slavery by the men hired to kill him, Jonathan eventually ends up in a gladiatorial ludus where gentle slave girl saves his life. From there, his story departs from that of Joseph's and becomes one of a wrongfully treated young man fighting for his life, for the life of one he loves, and for the dignity routinely striped from him. I've read few books that go from bad to worse to even more worse as consistently as this one. Just when you think things can't get worse for Jonathan, they do. Again. Yet he perseveres. Despite turning his back on his mother's God at a young age, Jonathan retains his honor and integrity throughout the book. This is not the story of a "bad boy" won back to grace by a "good girl." Instead it's the story of a boy who turns his back on faith because of difficult circumstances, not realizing that faith is his best way through the hardship. Jonathan clings to the dignity left to him, trying to protect others while holding to the conviction that God turned away from him--failed him. Will he eventually learn that God's hand has preserved him all along? This book kept me up till 2AM two nights in a row. That's as good a recommendation as any in my book (unless you're neck-deep in finals or something)! NOTE: In keeping with the "Joseph" theme at the beginning of this book, Jonathan's mistress attempts to seduce him early on the book. He's periodically humiliated by being forced to strip. Later on the book, a couple's preparation to consummate their marriage is described. Definitely at least a PG-13 rating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fans of Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series will enjoy this gladiator tale. Jonathan is a great character, and the book is full of twists and turns that will keep the reader staying up way too late to finish. Fans of Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series will enjoy this gladiator tale. Jonathan is a great character, and the book is full of twists and turns that will keep the reader staying up way too late to finish.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathrese

    The story of Jonathan will get under your skin and nestle into your heart. Ms. Kimball stepped out of the "historical fiction" box and onto the historical epic stage when she wrote "Chasing the Lion." As far as main characters go, Jonathan is one you won't easily forget. The people in the book will live on in your mind, too. When you're reading the story, an epic movie begins in your head, and you can't put the book down. The world building in this book rivals the level found in "The Silver Chali The story of Jonathan will get under your skin and nestle into your heart. Ms. Kimball stepped out of the "historical fiction" box and onto the historical epic stage when she wrote "Chasing the Lion." As far as main characters go, Jonathan is one you won't easily forget. The people in the book will live on in your mind, too. When you're reading the story, an epic movie begins in your head, and you can't put the book down. The world building in this book rivals the level found in "The Silver Chalice" and "The Bronze Bow." Better than any other book I've read, this one brings the Roman world to life, from the lofty homes of the senators to the dingy back alleys and into the gladiator ring. There's even romance, but the romance transcends the usual formula. Gritty and tender, horrific and hopeful, "Chasing the Lions" is a brilliant debut novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    The life of a gladiator Jonathan was the illegitimate son of a Roman Senator. When his father learns of him he is immediately adopted. Jonathan's half-brother is furious and plots to kill him. The scheme fails and Jonathon is sold into slavery. He ends up becoming a gladiator and falls in love with a slave girl who introduces him to Jesus. The life of a gladiator Jonathan was the illegitimate son of a Roman Senator. When his father learns of him he is immediately adopted. Jonathan's half-brother is furious and plots to kill him. The scheme fails and Jonathon is sold into slavery. He ends up becoming a gladiator and falls in love with a slave girl who introduces him to Jesus.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marion Ueckermann

    Jonathan Tarquinius will steal your heart from the moment you meet him as a fatherless boy of twelve trying to escape the village bullies, to the sixteen-year-old son of a nobleman sold into slavery by his cruel step-brother, and finally as the brave gladiator destined against all odds to become the champion of Rome. As you read Jonathan’s story, you’ll share in his resentment and fury toward those who have wronged him, tortured him, used him—from the lust-hungry wife of his master, to his greed- Jonathan Tarquinius will steal your heart from the moment you meet him as a fatherless boy of twelve trying to escape the village bullies, to the sixteen-year-old son of a nobleman sold into slavery by his cruel step-brother, and finally as the brave gladiator destined against all odds to become the champion of Rome. As you read Jonathan’s story, you’ll share in his resentment and fury toward those who have wronged him, tortured him, used him—from the lust-hungry wife of his master, to his greed-filled owner, and the blood-thirsty crowds that throng the auditorium. You’ll weep for him. You’ll love with him. But will he ever find his way back to his father and home? To the woman he loves? To freedom? Amongst the injustice, hatred, envy, and lust, Award-winning author, Nancy Kimball, weaves the beautiful story of redemption. The scarlet thread is intertwined in the narrative and dialogue of Jonathan’s childhood memories; through the love of a young slave girl who fight after fight faithfully tends his injuries and pours salve onto his wounded soul; and in the sacrificial death of a worthy opponent. No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for a friend. Set in ancient Rome in the era of gladiators and slaves, Chasing the Lion is an epic novel written in beautiful prose. For me, every word has been a sumptuous feast and I’ve not wanted this banquet to end. Well done, Nancy. I’m so proud to call you my friend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kevinity

    In Chasing the Lion, debut author Nancy Kimball adeptly blends the gritty history of ancient Rome with the insprational message of embracing faith. A fully realized hero is born as the harrowing journey of Jonathan Tarquinius explodes like a spray of hot sand from the gladiator's arena off the pages of this expertly written, independently published novel. The genre defying story is engaging as a reader of historical fiction, sword-and-shield fantasy, and Christian inspiration with a respectable In Chasing the Lion, debut author Nancy Kimball adeptly blends the gritty history of ancient Rome with the insprational message of embracing faith. A fully realized hero is born as the harrowing journey of Jonathan Tarquinius explodes like a spray of hot sand from the gladiator's arena off the pages of this expertly written, independently published novel. The genre defying story is engaging as a reader of historical fiction, sword-and-shield fantasy, and Christian inspiration with a respectable dash of romance to emphasize it all. Kimball spends just enough time on each setting and character, whether a lavish senator or a lowly slave, to immediately produce a strong mental image without drowning in details. She clearly knows her time period, but allows the reader to experience it with her rather than trying to teach a history lesson. While some of the violence is rather graphic, and the ending mildly convenient, this book caught my attention, inspired me, and deeply impressed me. Nancy Kimball is an author on the verge of shattering the conventions and expectations of her genre. I cannot wait to read the sequel, though the first book is entirely self contained. Highly recommend!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Rhode keck

    this is an absolutely awesome book! I love books set in this time period. this was reminiscent of the "Mark of the Lion" series by Francine rivers. if you liked those books, you will like this one. a friend recommended it to me. it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I read the audible edition, and I really hope that more books in this series will come out on audible. jonathan is raised in poverty by his mother and a woman from Jerusalem, Deborah. his father, a roman senator, fi this is an absolutely awesome book! I love books set in this time period. this was reminiscent of the "Mark of the Lion" series by Francine rivers. if you liked those books, you will like this one. a friend recommended it to me. it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I read the audible edition, and I really hope that more books in this series will come out on audible. jonathan is raised in poverty by his mother and a woman from Jerusalem, Deborah. his father, a roman senator, finds out about his existence, and even though he was an illegitimate son, his father decides to do the honorable thing and claim him. his mother dies, as she is very sick, and his father raises him. also, his mother is a Christian, a believer in Jesus, the messiah. After she dies, and especially after his half-brother unjustly tries to get him killed, Jonathan turns away from his god. he is unjustly sold into slavery. the story moves on from there, and I won't give away any more, except to say that I loved the way his coming back and devotion to God was orchestrated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angi G.

    Chasing the Lion – The Story of a Hero! I LOVED Chasing the Lion! To say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year is an understatement. Nancy Kimball is a new author who has had the story of Johnathan Tarquinius burning on her heart for quite some time. We are taken on a journey as Johnathan grows from a young boy into a young man within just a few chapters. Tragedy and disappointment find him at a very young age and follow him into manhood where he is forced to face the biggest cha Chasing the Lion – The Story of a Hero! I LOVED Chasing the Lion! To say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year is an understatement. Nancy Kimball is a new author who has had the story of Johnathan Tarquinius burning on her heart for quite some time. We are taken on a journey as Johnathan grows from a young boy into a young man within just a few chapters. Tragedy and disappointment find him at a very young age and follow him into manhood where he is forced to face the biggest challenges of his life in the arena of the Gladiator. All while trying to save the life of the woman he loves. The message of the Gospel is beautifully woven throughout the story as Johnathan struggles to find his way, leaving no doubt where true strength lies and where one’s faith is deepened. Chasing the Lion is the powerful story of testing and trials where one can come through the fire with the heart of a champion! I give this book 5 stars and 2 thumbs up!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Nancy Kimball has an unmistakable gift with words and storytelling. Chasing the Lion is an INCREDIBLE story of courage, sacrifice, heartache and LOVE. I am not usually a fan of the historical fiction genre, but this remarkable story set me straight :) A great book is a great book, no matter where it's set or what the characters wear (or don't wear!). Jonathan is truly an amazingly written character. Talk about hardcore. He is a man's man. NO doubt about it. And he's a man you'll want to follow in Nancy Kimball has an unmistakable gift with words and storytelling. Chasing the Lion is an INCREDIBLE story of courage, sacrifice, heartache and LOVE. I am not usually a fan of the historical fiction genre, but this remarkable story set me straight :) A great book is a great book, no matter where it's set or what the characters wear (or don't wear!). Jonathan is truly an amazingly written character. Talk about hardcore. He is a man's man. NO doubt about it. And he's a man you'll want to follow into the Lion pit. A gorgeous tale of redemption awaits you... Pick up this book! It will be one of your forever favorites!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carla Rossi

    I had the pleasure of reading Chasing the Lion before its release. I am a huge fan of historicals, but had not read many from this time period. I was totally blown away by Nancy Kimball's tight writing style and natural storytelling talent. Her careful attention to detail and painstaking research is evident in the story's authentic feel. Jonathan is a perfect hero, and I can't wait to read more about him in the next book in this series. This book is a truly phenomenal debut and I highly recommen I had the pleasure of reading Chasing the Lion before its release. I am a huge fan of historicals, but had not read many from this time period. I was totally blown away by Nancy Kimball's tight writing style and natural storytelling talent. Her careful attention to detail and painstaking research is evident in the story's authentic feel. Jonathan is a perfect hero, and I can't wait to read more about him in the next book in this series. This book is a truly phenomenal debut and I highly recommend it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karls

    I can't say enough about this book. From the first moment to the last I was captivated by the journey Jonathan was set on. His struggles with man and with God, his ultimate surrender, and the results that came from each. Nancy has taken this man and painted a stunning picture of how God will pursue, never giving up, and always remaining faithful in His love for us. We may never understand. We may shake our fist at Him because of our lack of understanding. But He is patient, loving, and will buil I can't say enough about this book. From the first moment to the last I was captivated by the journey Jonathan was set on. His struggles with man and with God, his ultimate surrender, and the results that came from each. Nancy has taken this man and painted a stunning picture of how God will pursue, never giving up, and always remaining faithful in His love for us. We may never understand. We may shake our fist at Him because of our lack of understanding. But He is patient, loving, and will build in us the person He has fashioned us to be.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Reeda Booke

    I won't go into a lengthy review as there are plenty of them here, but I did want to at least say that I LOVED this book! A wonderfully told tale of the sacrifice, courage, love and the amazing power of forgiveness and redemption. That it was an historical fiction book set in ancient Rome, one of my favorites, made it all the better. That it included the important message of God and His love for us, made it the best! It was very difficult to put down. Highly, highly recommended! I am hoping for a I won't go into a lengthy review as there are plenty of them here, but I did want to at least say that I LOVED this book! A wonderfully told tale of the sacrifice, courage, love and the amazing power of forgiveness and redemption. That it was an historical fiction book set in ancient Rome, one of my favorites, made it all the better. That it included the important message of God and His love for us, made it the best! It was very difficult to put down. Highly, highly recommended! I am hoping for a follow up book to continue this amazing story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monk

    One of the best books I've read in a long time, maybe ever. I'd be comfortable putting it in the top ten. No review I could write would do this story justice. All I can say is, Nancy, keep writing. And be fast about it. I want to read more. ;) Really, this is amazing. Can't wait for the audio book. One of the best books I've read in a long time, maybe ever. I'd be comfortable putting it in the top ten. No review I could write would do this story justice. All I can say is, Nancy, keep writing. And be fast about it. I want to read more. ;) Really, this is amazing. Can't wait for the audio book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clari Dees

    Great read! The story hooked me from the first page to the last. If you ever enjoyed Francine River's Mark of the Lion series or the movies The Robe, Quo Vadis, or Ben Hur, I think you'll really enjoy this title. Great read! The story hooked me from the first page to the last. If you ever enjoyed Francine River's Mark of the Lion series or the movies The Robe, Quo Vadis, or Ben Hur, I think you'll really enjoy this title.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claire Banschbach

    Great storyline and characters. I just didn't really care for the way some content was presented. There was nothing explicit, but I just felt like most of it didn't really add to the story at all. If you like historical fiction and stories of redemption, then check this book out. Great storyline and characters. I just didn't really care for the way some content was presented. There was nothing explicit, but I just felt like most of it didn't really add to the story at all. If you like historical fiction and stories of redemption, then check this book out.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Nancy Kimball gives us Rome—living, pulsing, breathing. I wanted to live in this world...despite the dangers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Andrada

    I so loved this book! I've never read a book by this author, and this was her debut novel. You wouldn't know it by how well written it was! It was just so good! In the pages of this book the love of Christ and the trials of this world that try to lead us away from him were brought to light. It was a good love story, and it was a good redemption story, both of which I love! I love to read about Roman empire times! This book didn't disappoint how she showed the gladiators of the time, and portrayed I so loved this book! I've never read a book by this author, and this was her debut novel. You wouldn't know it by how well written it was! It was just so good! In the pages of this book the love of Christ and the trials of this world that try to lead us away from him were brought to light. It was a good love story, and it was a good redemption story, both of which I love! I love to read about Roman empire times! This book didn't disappoint how she showed the gladiators of the time, and portrayed how there lives were in and out of the arena. Also how she portrayed slave life in Roam. It was really good, I'd recommend it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Allen Gault

    Great book Loved this book. Could not put it down. Wonderfully written. Great read. Characters were real and it depicted the history of that era perfectly.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Maki

    This excellent novel swept me up in the fervor and fire of Ancient Rome. Highly recommended!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Gaudette

    This was a phenomenal read! Can't recommend it enough. This was a phenomenal read! Can't recommend it enough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-8 Nancy Kimball’s debut novel Chasing the Lion pulses with raw emotion. It possesses beautiful juxtapositions of injustice with forgiveness, barbarism with kindness, and sorrow with p In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-8 Nancy Kimball’s debut novel Chasing the Lion pulses with raw emotion. It possesses beautiful juxtapositions of injustice with forgiveness, barbarism with kindness, and sorrow with peace. It drew me in from the start! It is in my nature to root for the underdog. I believe this is why I felt an instant connection with Jonathan. Briefly, his story held similarities with the biblical character Joseph, but it quickly took on a shape all it’s own. After all of the injustices Jonathan endures, I was relieved when Nessa entered his life. Nessa is to Chasing the Lion as Hadassah is to A Voice in the Wind (one of my all time favorite novels). I loved Nessa’s gentle way, quiet spirit, and indomitable faith. She is always shining the light of Truth into the dark world of the gladiator ludus with her words and deeds. Through Nessa and Jonathan, Kimball’s writing ultimately gives glory to God. I believe men and women alike will connect with Jonathan and what drives him. Women will be touched by Nessa’s tender heart and gentle demeanor; poignantly displayed in her relationship with Jonathan. As a historical fiction novel, all aspects of gladiator life are showcased. In my opinion, these violent details spur the reader’s cry for justice and our desire to see the characters come to faith in Christ. Nessa and Jonathan left an indelible impression on me and I eagerly await Nancy Kimball’s next book! A note on narration: Joseph Narducci earned a coveted spot as a 2015 Audie Award Finalist for his performance of this audiobook. An extended sample can be heard by visiting the author’s website. It was fortunate for me that audible allows listeners to adjust their listening speed. I felt that despite Narducci’s rich tone and pleasant intonation, his pace was a little slow. The ability to change the narrator’s pace enticed me to listen to the book a second time. I received this audiobook from the author for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hamilton

    I admit I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about a story set in the time of the Roman empire about a gladiator. I feared it would be too gory, and the romance angle didn't interest me either. I was so wrong! The first chapter drew me in and held my attention all the way through to the end. Jonathan's story parallels the Biblical Joseph story in many ways, but it goes way beyond that. It's brutal, but not gory. Romantic, but not sappy. Who wouldn't sympathize with a twelve-year-old boy whose mother i I admit I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about a story set in the time of the Roman empire about a gladiator. I feared it would be too gory, and the romance angle didn't interest me either. I was so wrong! The first chapter drew me in and held my attention all the way through to the end. Jonathan's story parallels the Biblical Joseph story in many ways, but it goes way beyond that. It's brutal, but not gory. Romantic, but not sappy. Who wouldn't sympathize with a twelve-year-old boy whose mother is dying and who meets for the first time his biological father, a nobleman who not only accepts him as his own son, but loves Jonathan in the way the boy had always dreamed of. But a jealous older brother intervenes, and Jonathan ends up being bought as a slave by a woman who clearly plans to seduce this sixteen-year-old. When Jonathan refuses, she orders him beaten to death, but the guards spare his life (barely), and he is sold to a lanista who trains gladiators. No wonder then, that Jonathan turns away from the God of his mother. He sees no evidence of God at work in his life, protecting him, shielding him. It is the witness of the Hebrew slave who nurses him back to health time after time that draws him back to faith. I would have liked to see a little more of his thought processes on this journey. But the events that bring him to that point are climactic enough to make it believable. I think most readers who enjoy historical fiction set in Bible times would find this book entertaining and enthralling. And those of you who don't think you'd like it, I recommend you try a sample. You just might change your mind. The book is well-written and the quote at the end is one I'm printing and putting on my mirror to read daily.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Johnson

    Author Nancy Kimball's debut novel, Chasing the Lion, is stunning. Stunning in the character development and the depth of story world she created with her words. And stunning in how it grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go, from first page to dreaded last. (Dreaded because it had to end.) Chasing the Lion traces the life--and faith--of Jonathan Tarquinius, from his boyhood days on the streets of Rome to his manhood fulfilled inside the blood-soaked arena. The character development of male lead Author Nancy Kimball's debut novel, Chasing the Lion, is stunning. Stunning in the character development and the depth of story world she created with her words. And stunning in how it grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go, from first page to dreaded last. (Dreaded because it had to end.) Chasing the Lion traces the life--and faith--of Jonathan Tarquinius, from his boyhood days on the streets of Rome to his manhood fulfilled inside the blood-soaked arena. The character development of male lead Jonathan is beautifully done. He's strong, imperfect, angry, honorable, and honest -- an unforgettable character because the author shows his pain and his struggles and the reader feels them deeply. Without giving too much of this marvelous story away, I'll say my eyes never left the page each time I opened the book, and it was difficult to close the book when real life (or sleep) called. Jonathan, Nessa, Quintus, Clovis, Caius, Torren and the colorful cast of gladiator characters filled each scene in this coming-of-age and coming-of-faith epic historical. The story is taut and exciting and the spiritual thread strong and tight throughout. There's a particular scene near the middle of the story where my heart was literally racing in my chest. Here I am, reclined in my cozy reading chair, and during the scene I about jumped out of it! Chasing the Lion is a vivid, thrilling look at life in ancient Rome, from the desperate life of the poorest citizen, to the slaves forced to fight as gladiators, to the wealthy, powerful senators cutting political deals. It's part Gladiator, part Redeeming Love, and reminiscent of the Mark of the Lion series. I highly recommend this powerful story, and look forward to reading more of Nancy Kimball's stories.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cathe Swanson

    I listened to the audio version of this book. It is a fascinating story, and the reader is one of the best I have ever heard. He gives depth and identity to each character and is good with male and female voices. The Christianity in this story can never be a secondary theme. This book was set in 35AD, when Christianity was serious business. There were still living witnesses of His work. It is an urgent undercurrent to any story set in Rome at that time. This book dealt frankly with the situation, I listened to the audio version of this book. It is a fascinating story, and the reader is one of the best I have ever heard. He gives depth and identity to each character and is good with male and female voices. The Christianity in this story can never be a secondary theme. This book was set in 35AD, when Christianity was serious business. There were still living witnesses of His work. It is an urgent undercurrent to any story set in Rome at that time. This book dealt frankly with the situation, neither too shallow or too dramatic. The romance was developed gradually and naturally. Again, faith played a pivotal role in relationships. The scene in which the heroine begged Jonathan to repent would seem silly in a modern novel, but it's very appropriate for the time and setting of this book. Their beliefs were intense. The violence and gore was overwhelming at times, but it was appropriate to the book, as were the mentions of orgies and minor descriptions of sexual behaviors. It was a rough period of history! The plot moved along steadily, with good pacing from one crisis to another. The dialogue was natural. This was a long audiobook - 15 hours! - but definitely worth listening to.

  27. 5 out of 5

    One-Click

    Audiobook Narration - Joseph Narducci - Kick Ass! Well, this quickly zipped to my favorite list. First, this story is pretty violent. It is based in and around Rome and in the time period of the gladiators and while the author fades out of a lot of the gruesome scenes, you get to experience the aftermath. And honestly at one point when they are explaining what they did to animals in the arena, I almost turned it off because I couldn't stand it. This is also a book about spirituality and questionin Audiobook Narration - Joseph Narducci - Kick Ass! Well, this quickly zipped to my favorite list. First, this story is pretty violent. It is based in and around Rome and in the time period of the gladiators and while the author fades out of a lot of the gruesome scenes, you get to experience the aftermath. And honestly at one point when they are explaining what they did to animals in the arena, I almost turned it off because I couldn't stand it. This is also a book about spirituality and questioning ones faith. Jonathan is put through the ringer this entire book and is constantly put in a position to question his faith and choose between forgiveness and vengeance. But he is such a good man and I just fell in love with his character. And along with all the violence and death, there is also a really sweet romance. Really well written with characters you will love and characters you will hate! I cheered, cussed, cried and smiled! Heartbreaking, heartwarming, Great Read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I nearly passed this book by completely because of the H.O.R.R.I.D cover. Come on, that ugly guy looks like a total weenie. I was embarrassed to have anyone catch a glimpse of the cover as I read it. Nonetheless, the story within was pretty outstanding (it was only ever so slightly cheesy in a few places). There was adventure, suspense, and romance. Jonathan is one of my all-time favorite male protagonists. His character was well-developed and he was heroic and admirable, yet not without faults. I nearly passed this book by completely because of the H.O.R.R.I.D cover. Come on, that ugly guy looks like a total weenie. I was embarrassed to have anyone catch a glimpse of the cover as I read it. Nonetheless, the story within was pretty outstanding (it was only ever so slightly cheesy in a few places). There was adventure, suspense, and romance. Jonathan is one of my all-time favorite male protagonists. His character was well-developed and he was heroic and admirable, yet not without faults. Even his life as a gladiator was realistic. He always had the will to win but was never the biggest or strongest. It was a great story of redemption and the love story between Jonathan and Nessa was beautiful. Jonathan's unlikely friendship with Torren was another compelling feature. There were some unexpected twists and turns and a fully satisfying ending.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    The story of Jonathan Tarquinius is epic. Born the illegitimate son of a Roman senator, he's sold into slavery and is deposited half-dead at a ludis where he's nursed back to health by Nessa, a Jewish slave who shares the faith of Jonathan's mother. Jonathan rises to fame as a gladiator. But all he desires is freedom for Nessa. This book is proof that indie books can be every bit as good as ones from large houses. Every page. Every word is carefully chiseled. So well-written. And the audio versi The story of Jonathan Tarquinius is epic. Born the illegitimate son of a Roman senator, he's sold into slavery and is deposited half-dead at a ludis where he's nursed back to health by Nessa, a Jewish slave who shares the faith of Jonathan's mother. Jonathan rises to fame as a gladiator. But all he desires is freedom for Nessa. This book is proof that indie books can be every bit as good as ones from large houses. Every page. Every word is carefully chiseled. So well-written. And the audio version adds a second dimension of experiencing the characters. If you liked Be Hur or Flames of Rome, you will love Chasing the Lion. Great historical fiction from first century Rome.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Godfrees

    I love this book. It's an epic gladiator story that is fantastically well written. I love the author's use of comparisons to paint a picture in your mind. While the book is great, the audiobook adds even more. The narrator's voice for the main character, Jonathan, adds much to the story and paces the book so you have no choice but to savor the story. When you're reading, you find yourself wanting to rush ahead because you're dying to know what happens. That's both good and bad. Good, because the I love this book. It's an epic gladiator story that is fantastically well written. I love the author's use of comparisons to paint a picture in your mind. While the book is great, the audiobook adds even more. The narrator's voice for the main character, Jonathan, adds much to the story and paces the book so you have no choice but to savor the story. When you're reading, you find yourself wanting to rush ahead because you're dying to know what happens. That's both good and bad. Good, because the story is a page burner. Bad, because you really should read every word. Looking forward to the sequel. Disclaimer: The author gifted me the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.