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Between Two Worlds

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Enid hates the Romans who enslaved her. Broken-hearted over the life she lost in Britain, she vows to bury her name and her past where the Redcrests can never reach it. As years of servitude pass, bitter resignation replaces her longing to return home.

Then an unlikely friendship with a fellow outcast raises Enid out of her isolation, bringing both hope for the future and questions about the confusing God of the Christiani. Yet memories of her childhood haunt her, urging her to cling to her old identity, while the barriers of Roman society remain in the way of her deepest dreams. The peace she thought she made with the past is crumbling.

But time is running out for Enid and those she loves. Danger threatens the household she serves as persecution stalks her few friends. She must decide if risking it all for the one she loves is worth giving up the world she knows.

Even if it is a choice between life and death.

294 pages

First published April 27, 2021

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About the author

Cheyenne van Langevelde

4 books94 followers
Cheyenne van Langevelde is a young author and musician whose greatest passion is weaving tales through story and song. When not struggling to attempt the most metaphorical prose, she enjoys composing and recording soundtrack pieces for books, practicing calligraphy and Irish dance, and studying the Welsh language. She occasionally emerges into the real world to restock her chocolate supply, of which she hoards like a dragon would his gold. 

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5 stars
43 (59%)
4 stars
18 (25%)
3 stars
6 (8%)
2 stars
2 (2%)
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3 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Cheyenne Langevelde.
Author 4 books94 followers
December 30, 2022
I'm biased, I wrote this.

This story went from being a "fun idea" to becoming a story I poured much of my soul into, and as such, it's very dear to me.

But I also understand full well that this book isn't for everyone. Some of you may love it, some of you may hate it. All the same, I hope that if you read it, you enjoy it, its characters, and the story it presents. <3

Best wishes et pax vobiscum,
~ The Author
Profile Image for Erin Phillips.
Author 10 books96 followers
August 31, 2022
Between Two Worlds is an excellent and educational dive in ancient Rome, exploring its culture, relationship with foreigners (slaves from Britain), and early Christianity, including persecution of the early church.

This is without a doubt a well research book, and written with Old English language that reminded me of classic folklore. It truly reminded me a lot of a Newberry book, set in a distinct time period with an air of education about said time. Reading it, I am convinced this would be great reading material for Christian middle and high schoolers studying Ancient Rome! My mom (who homeschooled us) would have planned a whole study around this book, pairing it with ancient classics like Homer's Odyssey (mentioned in BTW) and a feast mimicing the foods depicted.

I also appreciated how Scripture (the letters of Paul) are woven into the story, and we get to journey alongside a non-believer's experience of Christian persecution and evangelism.

While I didn’t connect emotionally to the characters and almost gave the book only 4 stars--I think it may have been the Old English dialogue style--I think my personal disconnect doesn't discount the merit of this book because I KNOW that pre-teen Erin would have gobbled this book up!

In a lot of ways, it felt like an upper MG/lower YA appropriate substitute for A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers, softening some of the harshness and immortality of Roman culture in a way that is digestable for students, still presenting them with the realities of persecution without being graphic in the slightest.

I would love to see a study guide or lesson plan made to accompany this book because I think it would a great recommended read for Christian schools and Christian homeschoolers alike! If you are a homeschooling mom or teacher looking for a resource to bring the world of Ancient Rome alive, I highly suggest picking up this book!
Profile Image for C. K. Heartwing.
43 reviews2 followers
May 22, 2022
What do you do when you’re caught between two worlds?

This book follows the story of Enid, given in a thoughtful, introspective first person. Enid is the daughter of the chieftain of the Iceni people in Britain during the time of Roman occupation. One day she’s stolen from her homeland and sold into slavery in Rome. Four years go by, and her heart becomes bitter, but things begin to change when she meets a fellow outcast by the name of Lucius.

This story was absolutely phenomenal. Enid’s pain and anger over everything that happened to her was so tangible, and as a reader, your heart breaks for her. Like the character Agrippina, you long for her to not let her bitterness win. And with the appearance of Lucius’ character, a man who understands Enid’s pain over being torn between two worlds, there also comes an inkling of hope. And from there, she encounters Christians with a hope and resilience beyond what she can understand in the face of the persecution of Rome.

It was so wonderful to see Enid’s transformation over the course of the story from bitterness to learning to care again and then finally moving to faith. This story is moving and powerful. And that ending! It was not at all what I was expecting, but it was everything deep down I had hoped for the characters and more.

This book will make you cry and tug at the deep places within you, but then like a spring breeze, it will wash over you with hope, piece you back together, and leave you smiling with a deep sense of joy. Definitely give this one a read!

Content: Some hints at the consummation of marriage for two different pairs of newly-weds but nothing explicit or graphic at all. It’s handled in a very tasteful way. Some violence, including the deaths of Christians in violent ways in the Colosseum, but again, nothing graphic.
Profile Image for Nathaniel.
Author 20 books108 followers
July 12, 2022
So many thoughts, no idea how to share them.
I’ll start this off by saying that the characters are what drew me in. It took me a bit of reading to get used to the writing (mostly the way they speak) but the writing was beautiful. Cheyenne is VERY talented.
The plot moves at a very pleasant pace. I didn’t feel rushed, but I was also never bored. The ending was a little bittersweet. I want more of these characters. I also know that some of them got an unconventional happy ending.
This is one of the best historical fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. It’s going to stick with me.

Cheyenne…thank you for this story. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.
Profile Image for Deborah O'Carroll.
462 reviews94 followers
April 27, 2021
I loved this book! Inspiring historical fiction with lovely writing and two characters who wrapped themselves around my heart. (Lucius and Enid forever!) The historical detail is well done and feels vivid and alive. (A couple of grittier details for historical accuracy, so just that small warning.) I loved the deeper themes as well. Stunning. Historical fiction fans, and those interested in ancient Rome, early Christian history, or Celtic twists, check this one out!

(Disclaimer: I was a copyeditor for this, but as an unbiased reader I definitely would have enjoyed it too. ;) Lovely.)
Profile Image for Alissa J. Zavalianos.
Author 6 books126 followers
July 12, 2022
I am blown away by this story! Cheyenne is a fantastic storyteller and her ability to weave historical accuracies into a completely fictional tale amazes me. I think writing historical fiction is such a specific skill set, and I admire that immensely.

This story. I loved Enid (Marcella) and was pleased that Aurelia wasn’t an awful slave master. I enjoyed the romance and found myself close to tears whenever Christiani (Christianity) was introduced. Julia’s faith inspires me.

All this to say, I was so satisfied with this novel. It’s probably one of my new favorite historial fiction books.

Well done, Cheyenne! Keep writing! You’ve got such a gift!
Profile Image for Allison Tebo.
Author 17 books320 followers
October 22, 2021
Cheyenne van Langevelde asks a “what if” of history and plays out this string of possibility in a touching picture of God weaves our stories together.

When a young Celtic woman is caught by slavers and sold to a Roman family, she finds herself consumed with anger as she slips further away into depression over her seemingly hopeless situation. But, slowly, Enid’s bitterness and coldness begin to crumble in face of a love like nothing she’s ever known as she hears the whispers of a man named Jesus.

Well researched and with an eye for detail, this novel is full of characters who will inspire readers in their search for God, and in their courage as they cling to Him in the face of prosecution.

A poignant tale of forgiveness and healing. BETWEEN TWO WORLDS is perfect for fans of G.A. Henty and Rosemary Sutcliff.

Mature Content Note:
Profile Image for Morgan Giesbrecht.
Author 1 book45 followers
December 21, 2022
This book absolutely blew me away!

I rarely read historical fiction from this era—mainly because there isn’t a lot of it—but I thoroughly enjoyed this tale.

The writing style was stunning—poignant, beautiful, and hauntingly lyrical. I deeply related to Enid, and my heart broke again and again for her. And the sweet romance!! Agh, it was just so precious!

I love how Cheyenne dealt with hard topics, including slavery and the perils of the early church, and yet everything was still handled tactfully in a way that is acceptable for teens.

Maybe it’s the homeschooler in me, but I loved history & literature studies in school, and reading this book made me wish I could have studied it back in high school! It definitely offers plenty of food for thought and discussion.

In short, I am properly in love with Cheyenne’s writing & am already eager to reread this tale!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
Profile Image for Abigail Kopp.
33 reviews3 followers
July 3, 2022
The book was beautiful in it’s way of delving you into ancient Rome and Britain. I teared up on the climactic section due to the rawness and reality of the events of martyrdom.
If you like Christian Historical Romance, this is for you. At first, Enid saw Lucius because he looked like someone she knew, but they had a bond and connection due to their heritage and their care for each other was amazing.
The book was too short in my opinion. The reason I chose 4 instead of five stars was because of the dialogue. It was in old English (think King James Version) yet the internal narrative wasn’t. When we read books, we automatically assume that the dialogue is not 100% accurate to the time period. Also when they were exchanging dialogue in Celtic or whatever, I had to wait till I read the glossary until I knew what they were saying.
But as a historical fan, I was able to recognize some fashion words from my Historical Costume class in college. I had been hoping for some Koine Greek, but maybe I’m biased since I am taking it in college, haha.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and it was a solid debut. Can’t wait for more!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lilly.
50 reviews2 followers
March 7, 2023
Wow! Another great book by this author!
First of all her writing style is amazing and has me completely immersed in the story from the start! It being divided into several parts paced it just right.
The characters were so well written. Oh my gracious!! I relate so much to Enid. Her character feels so much like me in soo many ways. Passionate and firm in all she believed yet slow to express it and many other things. Her character arc was wonderful. Lucius, oh my heart went out for that man. Julia was an absolute dear. And her end… I literally cried. Most of the of the other characters felt very distant or abstract. But I found it completely fitting since Enid as Marcella never allowed herself to dwell on the lives of others because of the discontent it caused her.
The setting went between Britannia and Rome. The author did an amazing job of bringing alive what the life of a slave and the general cultures of the day looked like. The way society operated. And the beliefs and practices of the peoples of that day. It went into detail with some things but not too graphic.
Themes that were prominent in this story were learning to forgive and love what you thought unforgivable and unlovable. Being brave enough to hope and reach out and cling to faith when all seems lost. And learning to love life in a place you know isn’t your true home.
The one thing in the whole book that I found myself questioning was the fact that when Enid was baptized it wasn’t immersive baptism.
The book as a whole was wonderful!
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 1 book24 followers
May 3, 2022
Between Two Worlds is the story of a captured young woman who is forced into slavery in ancient Rome. Torn from her family and home, she closes herself off from the world as she struggles under her bondage. But a new friend might hold the key that brings hope.
I really enjoyed this book. It was clearly well-researched, I appreciate the historical details included about Celtic and Roman life. My favourite aspect of the story was the settings, which Cheyanne's descriptions really brought to life. The green forests of Enid's homeland and the grand structures of Rome.
The characters were interesting and lively. Julia and Aurelia both really stood out to me, and if there are any future books about them, I'd love to read them too! Throughout this book we get to watch Enid's character growth as she adjusts from her old life to her new. I liked how we get to view her inner thoughts as she interacts with others. Lucius was also a great character who underwent a lot of changes throughout the story!
It took me a little while to figure out how everything fit together at the beginning. Some of the names are similar, which is historically accurate, but at times I got characters confused.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for readers interest in ancient Christian history. Thank-you Cheyenne for sending me an advanced reader's copy in exchange for a review!
Profile Image for Katja Labonté.
2,274 reviews128 followers
December 22, 2022
4.5 stars (5/10 hearts). I have always loved books straddling ancient Britain + Rome, and I’ve had my eye on this book for a long while. From the beginning I was pleasantly surprised with how different it was. There are a lot of tropes in the genre, and this book neatly avoided many of them—starting with the narration voice, which was pretty well done in an “old” style. Occasionally a modern word jostled me, but overall it was unusually good.

The characters were a second batch of uniqueness. Enid wasn’t the fiery warrior nor the shy slave. She was passionate and closed in, and her emotions were a real rollercoaster that made a lot of sense. Her arc was well done and I appreciated how it highlighted the dangers of bitterness and the value of love. Lucius was very sweet—far sweeter than the Roman heroes usually are!—and his mixed Roman-Briton heritage made him quite interesting. I loved Justus from the beginning and was so sad he never made another appearance! He and his wife had such a interesting story. Julia was not the stereotypical Roman matriarch nor Aurelia the stereotypical young Roman woman. I appreciated how kind and sensible Julia was, and as for Aurelia, she was surprisingly sweet, while Rufus was rather an amusing character and Aurelia’s family, though pretty much unknown, were interesting side characters. Agrippina was a great mother figure, and Telyn was pretty cute.

The plot was also unusual. The beginning (which reminded me strongly of Rosemary Sutcliff for some reason?) was Britain in the verge of a Roman attack, and showcased Enid’s early life well. Her capture and subsequent slavery sounded highly realistic, although rather painful, for this book was very blunt. The author was very open about the horrors of slavery, the terror of war, and the mistreatment of the Britons—in particular, Boadicea and her daughters. This was not a bad thing, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so graphic. Back to the plot, though, I deeply enjoyed the first half of the book, with all Enid’s emotional turmoil and the deep messages. I was a little less of a fan of the latter portion of the book, which left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but I think upon reread, knowing what happens, I will enjoy the book more. The martyr element wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t too cliché (although I was confused why A & R were so apparently into Christianity without being Christians) and it was nice to see Enid in a household in which she was in no danger—which is unusual for these types of books. Lucian’s plot twist was also a surprise that added a lot to the plot, and the messages of trusting God, fleeing bitterness, and choosing love were well done.

Overall, it was a very unique early Christian/Roman Britain book and I look forwards to more by this author.

Content: (click to view)

*quotes to come*

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*
Profile Image for Katelyn Buxton.
Author 13 books80 followers
December 8, 2021
This was an extremely well-researched piece of historical fiction about a period that many people are familiar with, but presented from an angle that was new to me. The prose was beautifully written; however, I failed to ever emotionally connect with the characters and the romance didn’t grab me because it seemed to be more about physical attraction than anything. That said, if you’re looking for a historical fiction set in Rome during the persecution of the early church, this book fits the bill.
Profile Image for Katie Marie.
227 reviews
December 3, 2022
Between Two Worlds is a gripping tale of a young girl kidnapped from her homeland and enslaved to the Romans. I greatly enjoyed following her story and loved the historical aspects of it, including the depiction of Christianity in its beginning stages. Really interesting (and at times hard and sad) to read about.

Enid went through many hardships and I felt and rooted for her! Lucius was so sweet and caring, I loved them together. All of the characters were well written, and I especially loved Julia!

My reason for 4 stars is namely the pacing was really slow for the majority of the book, as it was very character-based and so not a lot happened for most of it. The writing style was very descriptive and poetic, which I know many love, but I’ve just personally never liked so it dragged it down some for me too.

All in all though Between Two Worlds was a lovely story rich with history and heart! If you like that then you’ll love this debut by Cheyenne van Langevelde! I look forward to reading her other works.
February 7, 2023
Between Two Worlds by Cheyenne van Langevelde was an engaging read.

I felt that Cheyenne captured Ancient Rome and the beginnings of Christianity (after Jesus Christ's ascension back to Heaven) in a realistic way from what history tells us of the time period while also keeping the story feeling exciting.

Enid was a well-written MC and I found her easy to connect with on her journey of dealing going from being a princess to being thrust into slavery.
The whole cast of characters are believable; I also appreciated the allegories and deeper meanings woven into the story.

Cheyenne has a writing style that is very poetic and that shone in this book, making even small details stand out.

I would highly recommend this book!

***Thank you to the Author for the complimentary copy of the book. All opinions and views expressed are my own.***
Profile Image for Renae | Redhair_and_Books.
47 reviews4 followers
October 18, 2022
I’m super late on this review, but better late than never!

This book was a unique read for me, as it’s not every day I get to read something set in the 1st century AD, with a strong and fiery (red-headed!) female main character! The closest comparison I have is the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Enid’s story combined a lot of the experiences of Hadassah and Atretes from that series, but with her own personal flavor as a Briton woman stolen from her homeland. Her journey was full of pain and heartache, but with an ever-present undertone of hope that in the end won out.

"I know what it is like never to belong, never to have someone who can understand."

It was also unique in its use of language! Rarely do authors these days attempt to weave Old English into their writing, but Van Langevelde did so with grace on her first attempt! It was really fun to stumble upon native words and see “thee” all over the page, especially as a lover of Renaissance Faires who uses “thee” all the time!

That being said, the use of many parts of the old language is so abnormal and antiquated that it often interrupted the flow of my reading, making me pause and “say” things in a way to which my brain is unaccustomed. Not sure I’d count that as a criticism necessarily, but it did make me take more time reading than I otherwise might have.

"And for once I dared to think of home."

The story was good, despite being a bit slow at times, and had a great arc, taking the character from happiness to despair to happiness again. Van Langevelde wove in some really sweet side characters, like Julia, Lucius, and even Aurelia. However, Enid herself was not a super likable character for me. I often found myself feeling frustrated with her for her stubbornness in choosing hatred and pride over grace and forgiveness. As with any good character arc, she came around eventually, but she held onto her bitterness for longer than I liked, and was honestly mean to some people who were genuinely kind to her.

Overall, this is a debut novel Van Langevelde should be proud of, and I hope to read more of her work in the future. Her attention to historical detail, the level of care she puts into her work, and the way she gently weaves faith into her stories make her an author to key an eye on for sure!
Profile Image for Cheyenne.
31 reviews
January 6, 2023
Enid, a young girl from Britain, is enslaved by Romans and begins a new life in Rome. Bitterness fills her as the years pass and hope dwindles away. Determined to leave her old name and life behind, she strikes up a friendship with an outcast like herself, which challenges her determination. Her heart is not as closed off as she thought, and she finds herself caught between two identities. Everything she has is threatened as danger lurks and she must decide whether to follow her heart or remain with all she has known the past few years.

This is the debut novel of Cheyenne van Langevelde and will entice anyone who enjoys ancient Roman history. While most of the characters are purely fictional, some are based off real people in history. The plot flows well and the chapter endings make it a difficult read to put down.

While the author did a wonderful job setting the scene and has a lot of potential as a writer, a few minor things in the writing and development could have been ironed out and strengthened. I highly enjoyed this read. I look forward to reading Cheyenne van Langevelde’s next book Dílseachd - A Stolen Crown, releasing in September 2022!
Profile Image for S.D. Howard.
Author 3 books85 followers
August 30, 2021
Between Two Worlds is what I call a Bingeworthy Book.

I had seen snippets of this book on occasion when Chey would reach out and ask me for an opinion on certain passages, I had the honor of doing the voiceover for her trailer. But in one sense, I didn't know the full story.

Seeing as I finally had the time, I dove into it and found myself reading 114pgs on the first day. I couldn't stop myself and was loth to pause even for a moment because I was wrapped up in the story. Few books do this for me nowadays.

It was sophisticated, but not overdone. Elegant, yet not gaudy. The classical feel of the language used (thee, thou, thy, etc.) flowed much better than I expected it to. It never dragged down the conversations and I never felt confused as to what anyone was talking about. For reference, it only comes up in dialogue.

The pacing was beautifully done, and it pulled me from chapter to chapter. The flow was good. The characters were interesting, and even the scene breaks didn't bother me! (A pet peeve of mine in books).

I enjoyed all the characters, especially Enid, though I do wish we got to see more of Lucious.

The things I felt were lacking are only because I loved the story and wanted more of it haha The daily interactions with the slaves, Honoria, and others I missed because I know there is so much more there.

There were also a couple of times early on when Enid described something, and I was confused because there was no way she would know what it was at that moment. My guess as to why that was came later in the book and I proved correct in my guess, but I won't spoil it.

This reminds me of Stephen R. Lawhead's books and how I continually return to them every few years, along with Legend of the Emerald Rose. Between Two Worlds is the kind of book I will re-read again and again for years to come, without doubt.

I highly recommend if you love Ancient Rome or Celtic history, and you're a fan of Historical Fiction, this should be your next read.
Profile Image for Robin Degan.
31 reviews
April 5, 2022
This book is an excellent debut novel! It is a brilliant work of historical fiction and also a beautifully written homage to the Christian faith. It was made evident within the reading that they author did extensive research to ensure the work was historically accurate, which is sometimes lacking in many works of historical fiction, so the authors effort in that regard was much appreciated. The story itself was absolutely wonderful, as it dealt with loss, heartbreak (not just of the romantic sort), despair, hopelessness, hate, but also love, redemption, forgiveness and peace. When I say this was a well-rounded story full of emotion and real character development, I say so most assuredly. If you have ever had trying times in your life, and haven't we all, then this story of hope and redemption is certainly for you.
Profile Image for Aria Maher.
Author 4 books54 followers
December 26, 2022
I am ashamed to say that I not only preordered this book and have had it since it released, but I also know the author personally and love her to bits, and I STILL did not actually finish reading it until now 🤦‍♀️ Yes, it took me over a year to finish this book. That is my fault, not the book’s.

Historical fiction is not generally my preferred genre (except if it’s well done Victorian era fiction), but I did enjoy the historical setting and how it was incorporated into the story. I used to be pretty into Ancient Rome as a kid (did anyone else read Detectives in Togas???), and I took two years of college level Latin, so based on that rather limited knowledge, I think that the historical setting was well researched and presented with accuracy. I enjoyed the scenes set in the Forum and the Roman baths and such, and wish there had been more similar scenes set around the city! The story is at its best when the characters are interacting with unique historical elements of their setting, and sometimes I did feel like a lot of time was being spent inside the same few rooms of one house or another.

The dialogue never felt like it had been taken out of a contemporary novel, which can be a big pitfall in historical fiction, and neither did it come off as too stilted or awkward in most places. The old fashioned style of speaking does take some getting used to, but that may also be because I don’t read a ton of historical fiction. My one critique would be that in some places, the dialogue about Christianity sounds a bit more modern, which doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the writing. It can be hard to naturally incorporate faith into fictional narratives, and for the most part this is done pretty well, but there are a few places where it does sound more contemporary.

I did really like the inclusion of both Latin and Celtic terms and phrases, and I also appreciated that they usually weren’t translated within the text, which means you have to try and interpret from context (or maybe not if you took Latin like I did!) I feel that this added another layer of realism and immersion within the historical setting, and I think it’s a great choice.

I liked Enid a lot, and I definitely found myself relating with her internal struggle. It can be difficult to write internal struggles well, especially when the character in question has little agency (as Enid does during her time as a Roman slave), but I think that for the most part this is done quite well, especially as the book progresses. In the beginning it is a bit more tedious, but as Enid begins to change and grow and engage with her situation, the story itself also becomes more engaging.

Overall, Between Two Worlds is an excellent debut novel. I enjoyed it very much, and I think that people who love historical fiction will love it even more! I’m very excited to read Cheyenne’s next book, which is historical fantasy, so a bit more up my alley. Here’s hoping that doesn’t take me another year and a half 😅
Profile Image for M.M. Bylo.
Author 2 books3 followers
December 29, 2022
Between Two Worlds is a novel that balances both historical perspective and a coming of age story
very well.

Cheyenne’s descriptions of the ancient Roman world we are dropped into are easy to understand and effortless. I felt like I was there. I loved learning about Roman history, especially of the early Christians.

The book itself is more character-driven rather than plot driven, and the dialogue is written in Old English. At times, the pacing felt slow, but even then I was intrigued by the Romans’ way of life that it didn’t detract too much from me enjoying the book.

I found the main character Enid almost too melancholy at times (she had every right to be this way, of course) but still found myself cheering her on through her mental and spiritual growth. Themes of identity and desiring a place to belong held firm through the novel—something we can all relate to.

This novel also contains sweet, innocent romance and non-explicit violence so it’s a suitable read for upper middle grade and younger YA.

Overall, a beautifully written tale of hope, courage, and faith. I can’t wait to read more of Cheyenne’s work.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
5 reviews2 followers
July 16, 2021
Loved this book! Enid is a likable main character, who was once a free Celtic girl, but has been enslaved by Romans. You can't help, but feel for her as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her family, freedom, and everything she knows. Luckily, she meets someone (no spoilers!) who understands what she is experiencing, and helps her to see the world in a different light. This is the first time I've read about this time period, but Cheyenne's writing makes the world of Ancient Rome come to life, and I feel like I can picture it perfectly. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.
Profile Image for Verity Buchanan.
Author 5 books45 followers
January 4, 2022
Ah, this book.

My fondness for Between Two Worlds is entwined in so many memories. It is filtered through a longterm love for Celtic history and culture, and the complex era of Roman Britain in particular. It is embedded in the autumn of 2018, NaNoWriMo camaraderie and late-night word sprints and my own stories flying under my pen. It is bound up in the beloved passions and convictions I share with the author.

I make no claims to be unbiased. I am as biased as it is possible for a well-intentioned fiction reader to be. I know the vision Cheyenne van Langevelde had for her book, and I watched her achieve that vision, and my rating will always be colored by that joy.

But in nothing, I hope, will this review be found untrue.

Between Two Worlds, I always find the need to stress, is an introspective book. It is deeply centered around the reflections and feelings of a single character, and this is enhanced by the first-person narration, as well as the framing device which presents Enid's story as being relayed at some later date. The latter allows Enid to ponder and pass judgment on her own past decisions, enhancing our own perspective in a wistful way reminiscent of the grave mythic tone present in The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien, however, is hardly the dominant inspiration in Between Two Worlds. Perhaps even more direct in her presentation of humble, fragile humanity is my beloved favorite historical fiction genius, Rosemary Sutcliff, and van Langevelde shares with me a passion for this author's handling of Roman Britain. Her influence echoes through the chapters we spend under Britain's rainy skies and cold springs (few though those chapters are) and lingers in the young Enid's fierce passion for her heritage.

Enid's introspection is not always perfectly enjoyable to me. There are thoughts I personally wish had been phrased more gracefully, or lines I figure could have been cut. Yet so much of this is subjective, and so much interrelated to the narrative style, I'd have to read again and carefully to tell where preference leaves off and deficit in the prose begins. So as one can see, I've declined to cut any stars from my glowy firework-y review.

There are other small things that make me happy in this book. The little epigraphs from the sad song that gave Between Two Worlds its title. The archaic pronouns — something that I freely admit will irk other readers, because they are neither necessary nor grounded in actual practice of the time, and still I love them because they come as naturally to the story as breathing; they are a part of its unique, introspective, bittersweet whole. Aurelia — Aurelia has always made me happy. Enid's breathtaking conclusion of peace and lasting joy.

But most of all, I think I love this book for the homage it pays to the cultures and authors I love so well. For that, I will always love it. Opening Between Two Worlds is like breathing in the raw familiarity of the wind.
Profile Image for Cydnie Trenholm.
Author 1 book10 followers
June 5, 2022
Between Two Worlds is super intriguing to read from both a historical perspective and a character development perspective. While it took me a little bit to get into the rhythm of van Langevelde's style (relaxed pacing accompanied by formal-sounding dialogue and exposition), I eventually found myself lost in the Roman culture and in Enid's mind. While I wouldn't label this story as a page-turner, it left me with a wholly satisfied feeling.
Profile Image for once_darkness.
23 reviews1 follower
November 17, 2021
I really enjoyed reading Between Two Worlds! I loved the premise of this story when I heard about it and it lived up to all the promise while still delivering some surprises. Enid was an interesting but effective choice to witness the introduction of Christianity and its persecution in the Roman empire and it made for a fascinating backdrop to her personal struggles. I loved Enid’s arc. Her struggles felt realistic for all the hurt and pain she had endured after her life was stolen from her, but I love the growth that comes from the ashes. I also really loved Aurelia — she had some surprising depth to her that you aren’t led to expect from your first moments of meeting her. Julia was a complete dear and I loved her quiet kind of bravery and faith.

The settings (ancient Rome and Celtic Britain) were very vivid, making each scene feel immersive. The whole story felt well researched while not distracting from the plot. Getting to learn about daily life at that time was a fascinating part of the book for me, since that's not something I know too much about. Overall a really enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Jillian Sevilla-Sales.
56 reviews6 followers
December 30, 2022
If you enjoyed Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers, and I say this as a compliment, this is like the baby version of it. The difference is, the main character is not a follower of Christ.
Of course, I love the story!
It tells the early days of Christians (very funny that some Romans thought that they are cannibals because of the way they remember Jesus' death 😅).

The only thing that made it hard for me to read it is because of the old english style conversation. But after reading more chapters, I got the hang of it.

This book is great for Biblical Fiction readers and will definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for K.V. Wilson.
Author 6 books53 followers
July 19, 2021
What a polished, well-researched novel—especially for a debut. The characters and their interactions felt so real. (My favourite was Julia.) The plot and subplots were excellently done, weaving together seamlessly. The research the author incorporated—Latin and Welsh languages, Roman terminology, etc—all fit well with the story and didn't seem at all overdone. I hope this author keeps releasing more books because her passion shows in her writing and it's a pleasure to read.
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 14 books47 followers
December 18, 2021

I loved the historical depth and obvious attention to detail that the author put into this story. The characters felt alive and the tension and suspense kept me turning the pages. I loved the main character’s realistic struggles with faith and being torn between her past and present state, as well the vivid depictions of Christian martyrs in Ancient Rome. Enid was a stubborn, complex character who neither fully submitted to slavery nor totally fought against her status. This story wrenched my heart and warmed it at the same time.
Profile Image for Hailey Huntington.
Author 3 books17 followers
January 4, 2022
Between Two Worlds was a nice read. I do just want to say that this isn't my typical genre. If you're a historical fiction fan, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did.

The story follows Enid, or Marcella (her Roman name), and her struggles and journey as she works through the hurt and bitterness of being stolen away from her homeland in Britain to be a slave in Rome.

The glimpses into life in ancient Britain and Rome were neat. I feel like the relationship between the Celtics and Romans is often overlooked in history books.

The plot felt a little slow to me personally, but I'm used to fantasy books with fast-paced, external plots. Between Two Worlds has an internal plot, which is a little slower since personal growth and change naturally takes time. But don't worry--there are still external plot elements that keep the story moving.

If I had to pick on something that disrupted the story for me, it would be when Enid and Aurelia visited people. It honestly felt like they went to someone's house, were there for 5-10 minutes max, and then left. I don't know if short social visits were the norm back then, but it felt a little strange to me.

Overall, it was a nice historical fiction novel.

Cautions: non-descriptive nudity in reference to slave markets and the Roman baths; light romance; several kisses; brief, non-descriptive moderate/heavy violence (in reference to how Christians were killed at the Coliseum); one swear word, used with its original meaning

*I received an e-book from the author. All thoughts are entirely my own.*
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