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Isle of Shadows

(Seven Wonders #3)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  681 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Revised and updated from the original, Christy-award finalist Shadow of Colossus.

As a courtesan, Tessa of Delos enjoyed unparalleled luxury and influence. But even in the grand palaces of Rhodes, she felt herself a prisoner.

On the island of Rhodes, 227 BC, Tessa of Delos has served for ten years as a hetaira—a high-priced Greek courtesan—to a wealthy politician. In that ti
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Thomas Nelson (first published August 1st 2008)
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Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
For the past several weeks of reading, the 1800s have been my jam. I was all things 19th Century. So I decided to switch things up, and as Blackstreet once said, go back… wayyy back, back into time. Nah baby, nah baby… My bad. I digress.

So why not head into the B.C. days? And if you’re a fan of ancient historical fiction, Tracy L. Higley is a fantastic go-to author. So when Isle of Shadow was on a kindle deal, I hit 1-Click right quick.

As always, Higley ties in mystery, suspense, history and rom
Jun 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I started reading this book with the hope that it would shed some light on a little known part of the ancient world (the island of Rhodes). I love historical fiction and thought this was the same. Little did I know that the author had a religious "agenda" in mind. The main character is Tessa, a hetaera, but the author portrays her as little more than a whore. Tessa's mother sold her (as a child) to a woman who runs a training school that produces educated and cultured female companions. Perhaps ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book, Isle of Shadows, is an updated, reworked version of Shadow of Colossus. I loved reading "Shadow" and enjoyed reading the updated version.

This is a book from Tracy Higley's Seven Wonders series. It is set in Rhodes in 227 BC.

The main character is Tessa of Delos. She is a hetaerae, a highly regarded courtesan. A slave, a kept woman, she was purchased at a young age by an abusive master. She is ashamed of her lifestyle.

Tessa is a brave and strong woman. I felt pain for her, for her 10 ye
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
"Tell us something, Tessa. Tell us the most important thing you have learned as a hetaera."

"Soon, very soon, you will start to feel that there is something cold like a stone in your heart. Let that cold part of you grow, let it spread to all of you, until you are nothing more than a breathing piece of bronze."

** I won this book in a GoodReads giveaway.**

The story evolves around Tessa, the hetaera (or sex slave) who was famous on the island of Rhodes, for her beauty and intellect. Throughout the
jennifer joy
Feb 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kept waiting for the plot to start. It never really did. I felt like the author kept telling me how to feel and think about her characters. I pretty much knew the end of the book at the end of the first chapter. There was only one great character and "twist" which came at the end and wasn't really enough to carry the book. I probably won't read anything else by this author.
Isle of Shadows is book one of the Seven Wonders series by T.L Higley. Set in the heart of Rhodes in 227 B.C. This story takes us to the base of Colossus and into life of a hetaera. *In ancient Greece, hetaerae were courtesans—highly educated, sophisticated companions. (See "Notes" for more information on the hetaera of Ancient Greece)

In this story we meet Tessa, a beautiful and well known hetaera. Tessa was sold to Servia as a hetaera ten years ago and has been in bondage ever since. Tessa desi
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Colossus of Rhodes has always held an air of mystery for me, but I’ve never taken the time to learn more about it. Author Tracy L. Higley took a great deal of time to research the history and culture behind this Greek statue of the god Helios, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The result is Isle of Shadows, a novel of political intrigue, romance, and suspense set in the last days before the earthquake that destroyed the famous statue.

Ever since her mother gave her up to be train
Erin Al-Mehairi
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you love historical Christian fiction, then Isle of Shadows, by Tracy L. Higley, is another book to definitely add to your collection and read over a couple of chilly nights, sitting by the fire or enjoying a cup of tea. I know that I am busy adding all Higley's books to my shelves and I was very excited to read Isle of Shadows, her newest release after Garden of Madness that I also read this year (and loved).

Actually released previously in 2008 as Shadow of Colossus, Higley edited and revise
Trupti Dorge
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, review-copy
Tessa has been a hetaeira, a mistress, for more than 10 years, a captive with one of the island’s most powerful politician Glaucus. All she wants is freedom. Fate gives her a chance when her master dies accidentally leaving Tessa with 2 choices. Either be hanged to death if charged with his murder or pass on to her next master who could be more if not equally brutal as her previous master. She chooses none of these.

She decides to free herself from all the bondages by running away from the island
Elly Green
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a series. According to the author, she has gathered all the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to write about. I don't know, really, what to identify or categorize this novel as... in so far as a genre.

It is a mystery. People die and a lunatic is on the loose trying to rile up trouble so that he can rise above it all and become the greatest of tyrants.

It is a romance. Two unlikely people, both running from secrets which will threaten their very lives, fall in love.

It is
Kristine Morgan
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Isle of Shadows by Tracy Higley. I really enjoyed this book, as I have never read anything about Rhodes before. Tracy has skillfully woven Romance and intrigue together in an exciting historical novel. This books takes place in the 8 days preceeding the 226 BC earthquake that destroyed the statue of the Greek god that stood for 56 years in the harbor.
This book is the story of Tessa, the most valuable Hetaera on the island of Rhodes...her services are sold to the highest b
I have read one other book by this author. It was also in this same series (the Seven Wonders series). I didn't care for that one....and the verdict is now solid because I didn't care for this one either.

When it comes down to it, there are 2 things that make her books tedious for me. The first one is the way the characters are always running around like chickens who know a fox is near by. They are always in a constant state of panic. They all dance to the beat of the same drum. And it starts on
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shadow of a Colussus takes us into the life of Tessa, a courtesan and slave on the Island of Rhodes in the year 227 BC, the week before an earthquake that topples the Colossus. It is a story of political intrigue and the story of how a women who had taught herself to be as unfeeling as a statue learns to trust and love. The author adds a lot of historical detail--we learn about the interior of homes, the public baths and the aquaduct system and the religous practices of the people. My only criti ...more
Jessica Andersen
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Isle of Shadows is a historical romance, and I do mean historical. We go all the way back to ancient Greece, the Isle of Rhodes to be exact. Tessa is a consort and lives in the shadow of the ancient wonder, The Colossus of Rhodes. She is owned by an influential senator, and is the most respected consort in Rhodes. But she is still not free.

The book was good, the story moved along well and kept me reading to the end. I wasn't necessarily happy with the religious overtones that crept into the sto
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Higley does such a great job of taking us back to ancient Greece. My heart was instantly filled with sorrow for the young Tessa who was sold at a young age into slavery to live the life of a hetaera. When an accident claims the life of her abusive owner she is faced with a hard choice. I loved how the story unfolded with a mixture of adventure, betrayal, love, hatred, mystery, suspense, and above all faith. God brings people into her life in the most unexpected way. He also brings the mighty Col ...more
Though I am fan of historical fiction, I generally do not read books set before the 18th century, except for biblical fiction. So Tracy Higley is really my "portal to the ancient world" like the tag line in her blog

Random thoughts:
1) Having enjoyed her "What's Fact & What's Fiction?" for So Shines the Night, I looked into her blog for more info on Isle of Shadows for more info and delighted to see lot of info. Her interactive reading section, her travel pictures to
Nigel Bentley
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
More twists and turns, but a thorough view of first century life on Rhodes : and especially interesting in her meetings with the Christian group on the Island
Jackie Williams
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Listened to this as an audio book. Her writing draws you into the era and gives you a taste of biblical times with a captivating story
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy historical fiction and this one was interesting, set in ancient Greece. It was, perhaps, a little predictable but still an enjoyable read.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review by Kara Grant
Minor Spoilers

Revised and updated from the original, Christy-award finalist Shadow of Colossus.

My Review
This is my first time reading Tracy Higley and from the moment I saw its cover I was eager to experience Tessa’s journey. Tessa has lived as the most prominent and popular hetaera (a courtesan or professional female companion) in the island of Rhodes for 10 years and is finally starting to have thoughts of freedom. Attention no longer brings pleasure or disgust to her so sh
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, review
I just finished reading this book, and I haven’t decided exactly what I think of it. Overall, I guess I would say that I enjoyed it. I find that I enjoy historical fiction, especially well-written and well-researched historical fiction. So, let me tell you the things that I liked about it first before I tell you the things that I didn’t like.

I really liked the look into the society of ancient Greece. I find that part of history fascinatingly similar and different from our culture today, and Ms.
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reason for Reading: I had been wanting to read it anyway. The Ancient Greece and Seven Wonders angle appealed to me.

Summary: Set in 227 BC on the Greek island of Rhodes, Tesa was sold into bondage by her mother ten years ago and has been a courtesan ever since. She holds quite a high position in society as the hetaera of a wealthy politician, but still she must meet his every need in the privacy of his home. When her patrician is accidentally killed Tesa comes up with a plan to finally escape th
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In May 2009 I read my first book by T.L. Higley, called "Shadow of Colossus." Three and a half years later, "Isle of Shadows" is the revised and updated version under a new publisher. I have really loved each of Tracy's Seven Wonders novels, and I was very excited to have the opportunity to go back to the island of Rhodes and 227 BC.

Tessa of Delos is a hetaera, a political consort to one of the most powerful men on the island. She's a possession, with a heart which wants to be stone in order to
Christie Hagerman
Tessa is a natural heroine, brave in the face of danger, yet vulnerable to the suffering she must endure. Facing odds that spell disaster, she makes choices that, one at a time, bring her closer to her goal of freedom. Along the way, she realizes that spiritual freedom and the freedom to love are even more important than being loosed from the men who have paid for her services.

This is historical fiction at its best. With strong themes of atonement, grace, and forgiveness, historical figures meet
Julie G
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Bit of a warning, in case you didn't know: Isle of Shadows is the revised and updated re-release of the 2008 Christy-award finalist Shadow of Colossus.

With that said, this is another fascinating journey to one of the Seven Wonders. It is set in 227 BC on the isle of Rhodes, ancient home to the Colossus - a giant statue of the god Helios. Beginning seven days before the Great Quake, this is a story filled with intrigue, political ambition, loss, and deception.

In Helios' shadow, Tessa has given up
Kate (The Shelf Life)
Tracy L. Higley once again brings her readers back into the past with her fantastic writing style! Isle of Shadows (formerly titled Shadow of Colossus), sweeps us back to ancient Greece to the Isle of Rhodes, where secrets, spies, and conspiracy run rampant.

Isle of Shadows focuses on Tessa, a hetera to the most influential politician on the other words, she is a slave. Paid for her services as a companion. However, the system back then is interesting. Wives and daughters didn't have
Julie Graves
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, christian
Tessa's life is not her own. She has been trained as a hetaera(a courtesan) and is now owned by Glaucus, a man that has made her life miserable for the past 10 years. But Tessa's life is about to be changed. When Glaucus is found dead Tessa allows her heart to hope for a brief moment that she will be free. Putting off the inevitable, Tessa persuades a young slave and Simeon, Glaucus's head servant to help her dispose of Glaucus's body. She also convinces them to keep Glaucus's death a secret unt ...more
Tessa was a good character. Her heart was hard, because of the life she's lived, but you see her start to thaw, exploring whether or not she can love someone and what that might do to her tightly held control. Nikos, our male protagonist, is likeable and brave, and seems like a good fit for Tessa. Still, there was very little about either of these characters that made them particularly special. Like your average human being, they had strengths and weaknesses, and those manifested in the novel, b ...more
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year is 227 B.C. The place is Rhodes, a Greek island.

For ten years, Tessa of Delos has been in Glaucus’s ownership as his hetaera (an owned woman). Tessa had given up all hope. It seemed like she would never experience freedom again. It looked like the only way Tessa would gain her freedom was to take her own life. The Gods had another plan; they were looking down on her that day. Glaucus befalls a terrible fate, which will ultimately change things for Tessa forever. The next couple of days
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 28, 2014 05:59AM  
Shadow of Colossus vs Isle of Shadows 1 3 May 12, 2014 04:59PM  
Overall opinions 1 10 Nov 27, 2008 06:26PM  
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  • He Who Lifts the Skies (Genesis, #2)
  • In the Shadow of Lions: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Chronicles of the Scribe #1)
  • The Call of Zulina (Grace in Africa, #1)
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  • Circle of Honor (Scottish Crown Series, #1)
  • The Gladiator
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  • Sarai (Wives of the Patriarchs, # 1)
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  • Grave Consequences (Grand Tour, #2)
  • Healer of Carthage (The Carthage Chronicles, #1)
  • In the Shadow of the Sun King (Darkness to Light, #1)
  • The Messenger
  • Songbird Under a German Moon
  • Red Siren (Charles Towne Belles, #1)
From her earliest childhood, there was nothing Tracy loved better than stepping into another world between the pages of a book. From dragons and knights, to the wonders of Narnia, that passion has never abated, and to Tracy, opening any novel is like stepping again through the wardrobe, into the thrilling unknown. With every book she writes, she wants to open a door like that, and invite readers t ...more

Other books in the series

Seven Wonders (7 books)
  • City of the Dead (Seven Wonders, #1)
  • Garden of Madness (Seven Wonders, #2)
  • Guardian of the Flame (Seven Wonders, #4)
  • So Shines the Night (Seven Wonders #5)
  • Pompeii: City on Fire (Seven Wonders, #6)
  • Petra: City of Stone (Seven Wonders, #7)