An Echo in the Darkness is the second book in Francine River's MARK OF THE LION series. The first book was about Hadassah, a young Christian slave in the Valerian household. This book is about Marcus Valerian, the son. The end of the first book has a most undesired ending, and leaves one feeling terribly sad. This book brings hope and forgiveness, both for Marcus and his family, and for you, the reader. :)
Marcus and his sister, Julia, are Roman through and through. They have lived the Roman lifestyle to the fullest, but it is catching up with them. They had always been fairly close, until Julia crosses the line and hurts Marcus beyond repair. For that she loses her brother to hatred. He declares he no longer has a sister.
Now Julia is suffering from an unknown disease, and has been deserted by all her friends. Every distress, every problem, every ruined relationship she sees as no fault of her own--she is undeserving of these trials. Finally, she is facing death, with no one to help her but the strange, loving woman in veils who loyally stays by her side.
Marcus is hurt by the loss of someone dear to him, and sets off to Judea to find this God and demand answers of him. He embarks on a long, trying journey, hoping to find answers, but finding much more. His Roman pride is finally broken, and he finds all that he has been looking for, both consciously and subconsciously. But then he is asked to do something--the one thing that he cannot do.
I enjoyed this book, though not quite as well as the first one. I can't say what makes me think such, only that I do. This book does have, however, a much happier ending. If not for the third character (who isn't mentioned much in this book--he slowly seems to disappear), this could be the end of the series.