Return To Exile (The Carthage Chronicles, Book 2) by Lynne Gentry ~ Historical Fiction Review

Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry

A book was provided for this revies.

The Carthage Chronicles, Book 2
Lynne Gentry
Historical Fiction


Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl help alleviate the pain, but at night, when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.

Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He's lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian's true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save. 

Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spellbinding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in the electric continuation of the Carthage Chronicles.

My Thoughts

I don't like time-travel storylines, really I don't. But last year I read Healer of Carthage and was completely drawn into the story. When Return to Exile came out I knew I had to read it just to find out what happened next.

For the first few chapters I was enthralled. Lisbeth is in Dallas during the current year. She is now a practicing epidemiologist and finds herself in the midst of a very serious outbreak. She's busy with her work and raising her daughter but she continues to think about those she left behind in Carthage.

Cyprian, Lisbeth's husband, is still in the past living in exile. He eventually makes his way back to Carthage only to find the city devastated by a plague. His mother-in-law Magdalena and Lisbeth's friend Ruth have set up a makeshift hospital to care for the sick and dying in his home. Members of the church have come alongside to help them. 

The angst and tension between the two different worlds is great. I found myself quickly flipping pages just to see where the story was going. Eventually the characters are reunited in Carthage. That's when my interest hit a snag. I hate to say it but I just don't like Cyprian. In the first book I did, but now, not so much! To cut him a little slack I will say that there were some other people that added to my discontent with him, but ultimately it was him.

Don't get me wrong, the writing is still superb. Lynne is masterful at giving detailed descriptions of the events without boring you to death. The funny part is that at some point I even forgot that I was reading a dreaded time travel book. The storyline just kept me riveted and I found myself believing the plausibility of the tale.

This book is part of a three part series. There was a cliff-hanger ending with the first and there is another cliff-hanger ending with this second book. Will I be reading the third book when it comes out? You bet!

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Lynne Gentry

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