And Echo in the Darkness

by Francine Rivers
Series: The Mark of the Lion #2
430 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Jenny

A good but mature story of God’s redemptive work in people’s lives.


A continuation of the stories begun in Rivers’ book A Voice in the Wind, this book chronicles the growing turmoil in the lives of Marcus and his estranged sister Julia, mauled and disfigured Hadassah, and the people they touch. Little by little, whirling through the darkness, the characters begin to realize that the only joy and peace they ever found was in the young Jewish slave girl and the one she calls her God, and little by little they begin to search for the echo of the divine voice they heard.


Hadassah is a very upright and God-fearing girl. Evil repulses her, good as it is defined by God delights her. The others continue in their lives of sin, many of those sins of horrible natures to behold. But the author keeps the line clear between good and evil throughout the story.

Spiritual Content

This book is heavily centered around God’s redemptive work in man, so it is very spiritual. Also, there are many references to the pagan Roman gods as the characters seek after them for fulfillment and peace.

Editor's Note: This book deals with direct revelation from God, which is a tricky subject to deal with outside the canon of the Bible.


One of the characters is a doctor who performs surgery on the people pulled out of the arena. Marcus is beaten and robbed on the road, left for dead. Rivers has a way of making her writing vivid without making it stomach-turning.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine is drunk, and there are instances of drunkenness. Drugs are also used as medicines.

Sexual Content

Many of the characters, worldly wealthy Romans, are known for their affairs. One of the characters was formerly a homosexual. Two female characters are in love with each other. None of this, however, is described in detail.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Julia is inflicted with and dying of a venereal disease.


This is a very potent, no-holds-barred story of a group of sinners groping in the dark after God. While it is a mature story, it is beautiful to see the characters come to God, to see their darkness turn to light. Each one comes differently, and even after they are saved they still struggle, as we all do. The characters are realistic and possess depth, each unique. While the book is certainly not Shakespeare, the writing is easy to follow without being trite.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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