[[caption-width-right:250:Hadassah, with [[{{Foreshadowing}} an ominous backdrop]].]]

Trilogy of Christian HistoricalFiction novels published in the 1990s by Francine Rivers. They are set mostly in Rome during the first Jewish-Roman War, circa A.D. 70.

The first two novels are ''A Voice in the Wind'' and ''An Echo in the Darkness''. They form a cohesive story arc following the story of Hadassah, a young Judeo-Christian girl who is sold into slavery, and Marcus Valerian, a wealthy Roman aristocrat determined to get the most out of life. They slowly fall in love but are torn by their wildly different social classes and worldviews, since Hadassah is a steadfast, selfless Christian and Marcus is dedicated to the Roman philosophies of hedonism and paganism. The third novel, ''As Sure as the Dawn'', focuses on Atretes, the high chief of a Germanic tribe who is captured and forced to be a gladiator, and is more like a spin-off than a direct continuation of the first two novels. The primary link between the first two novels and the third is Julia Valerian, Marcus’ hedonistic younger sister who, in her pursuit of control over her own life, strikes up an affair with Atretes.

Complex character arcs, historical and Biblical exposition, action, and intrigue all wind up to form a beautifully-crafted fictional testament to how LoveRedeems.

Each installment’s official page on the author’s website can be found [[http://francinerivers.com/books/voice-wind here]], [[http://francinerivers.com/books/echo-darkness here]], and [[http://francinerivers.com/books/sure-dawn here]].

!! These novels contain examples of the following tropes:

* AllGaysArePedophiles: All major gay characters are presented as one side or the other of this. It’s worth noting that in this case it’s at least somewhat TruthInTelevision, since this was almost the only form of legal/socially acceptable homosexuality for men in ancient Rome.
* AllGaysArePromiscuous: Mostly played straight (but then, who in ancient Rome ''isn’t''?). Averted with Prometheus, but mostly because he [[{{Gayngst}} doesn’t want to be gay]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: This is defintiely true of Julia, who finds her lovers’ worldliness glamorous and doesn’t seem to realize the consequences of taking lovers who flaunt the rules and don’t shy away from underhanded (or worse) ways of dealing with any unpleasantness.
* AllTakeAndNoGive: Julia tends towards this in many of her relationships, though it’s most prominent (and destructive) in [[spoiler:her affair with Atretes]].
* AltumVidetur: There’s a [[ShownTheirWork glossary]] in the back.
* AncientRome: In all its glory. And decadence, and corruption…
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Marcus to Hadassah, [[StarCrossedLovers more than once]]. Also [[HopelessSuitor Alexander]] to Hadassah, and Julia to Atretes.
* ArrangedMarriage: Julia’s first, to an older man who is kindly enough but has absolutely nothing in common with her.
* AttemptedRape / NearRapeExperience / DudeShesLikeInAComa / BeautifulDreamer: Yes, there really is one incident which combines all four of these tropes: midway through the first book, [[spoiler: Hadassah passes out in Marcus’ arms. As he sits beside her sleeping form, he begins to be overwhelmed by his feelings for her and comes within an inch of raping her, only shaken out of it when she begins to wake up and panics]].
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Rizpah after she is accidentally killed]] in book three, via DivineIntervention, thus paving the way for [[spoiler:Atretes’]] conversion.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Marcus towards Julia [[spoiler:at least until she betrays Hadassah at the end of the first book]].
* BigBrotherWorship: In Julia’s eyes, Marcus is the embodiment of all things wise, worldly, and wonderful.
* BlueBlood: Lots; among the main characters are Marcus, Julia, and their parents.
* ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt: Hadassah struggles with this throughout the first book in regards to Marcus.
* TheCasanova: Marcus, who is apparently quite excellent at seducing his family’s female servants with a mere glance.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Arria to Marcus, when she suspects he might be falling for Hadassah.
* CodeName: [[spoiler:Hadassah]] goes by the name Rapha (Hebrew for “healer”) in book two [[spoiler:because she is supposed to be dead]]. Also a MeaningfulName because [[spoiler:Hadassah]] is working as a physician’s assistant, and quickly gains a reputation for her “[[HealingHands healing touch]]”, which she attributes to the power of God.
* TheCorrupter: Unintentionally, Marcus plays this role in [[spoiler:Julia’s]] life, with some (less accidental) help from Octavia, Gaius, and especially Calabah.
* CuriosityCausesConversion: In a roundabout way, Marcus’ confusion and curiosity about Hadassah’s IncorruptiblePurePureness led to his eventual conversion to Christianity.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: Julia’s older brother strongly objects to her second marriage to a man who is known to be a rake and deeply in debt, and whom he suspects ([[spoiler:rightly]]) to be violent and abusive. Her third marriage, which is more cohabitation for convenience than anything, appalls her whole family, since the man is known to be a boor and keeps on a [[AllGaysArePedophiles catamite]].
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The entire Roman upper crust, pretty much.
* DestructiveRomance: [[spoiler:Julia]] goes through at least two of these: the first man she falls in love with turns out to be brutally abusive; the second gives her [[spoiler:a baby she really doesn't want and the STD that eventually kills her, before abandoning her]] and leaving her [[BreakTheCutie totally disillusioned]]. The various affairs she had in between certainly didn’t help her slide towards total cynicism [[spoiler:or excruciating death by syphilis]].
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Julia, in Marcus’ arms at the end of book two]]. It’s a synonymous TearJerker and, given the context, a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.
* TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed: [[spoiler:Julia]] in the second book acquires a wasting, [[spoiler:eventually fatal]] disease that is mentioned to be the result of her careless promiscuity in the first book, but it is never diagnosed with a name.
* DivorceRequiresDeath: [[spoiler:Julia]] murders her second husband in order to escape his abuse. She also escapes her loveless, un-divorceable first husband when he dies in an accident.
* TheDogBitesBack: Averted with Hadassah, who never seizes any of her opportunities to take revenge on Julia despite the latter’s often horrible treatment of her.
* DomesticAbuse: Julia’s second husband attacks her with a bullwhip at one point, among other things.
* DoubleStandard: Atretes makes no secret of the fact that he’s [[ReallyGetsAround slept around plenty]], he comments to Rizaph that if he’d known when he met her that she once spent the night with a man she was not married to in order to get money for food, he would have killed her for immorality. When he is reunited with his tribe, they attempt to kill Rizpah simply for having (monogamously) had [[RomancingTheWidow more than one husband]] in her lifetime, something for which they would never consider condemning a man.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Julia has this on Atretes.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Those who get one, anyways.
* FishOutOfWater: Both Hadassah and Atretes in Rome; Hadassah is a [[TheIngenue small-town Jewish girl]] completely unaccustomed to the violence and decadence; Atretes is a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy comparatively primitive tribesman]] who flounders in all the political and social machinations (and originally doesn’t even speak the language). To a lesser degree, Julia earlier on is a WideEyedIdealist out of her depth dealing with Calabah, Gaius, and their friends, who are very canny and manipulative.
* {{Gayngst}}: Prometheus suffers a scene of this.
* GladiatorGames
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted. When [[spoiler:Julia gets pregnant with Atretes’ child]], she immediately determines to have an abortion despite that her family would be horrified and that Hadassah begs her to do otherwise.
* GratuitousGerman: In the third book, though it doesn’t resemble modern German much since this is less than a century A.D.
* HairTriggerTemper: Atretes can and will get angry about anything. ''Anything.''
* HappilyMarried: Phoebe and Decemius. It’s implied that Marcus and Hadassah eventually end up this way with BabiesEverAfter.
* HealingHands: Hadassah gains a reputation for having these in book two; she attributes the miraculousness of her touch to her faith and God’s power.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Emperor Vespasian, John the Apostle.
* HeManWomanHater: Atretes, who on a good day thinks women are the scum of the earth and on a bad one, well... yikes.
* HeroicBSOD: After her husband dies, Phoebe spends book two completely paralyzed and unable to communicate save by way of a code she worked out with her servant.
** After [[spoiler:he thinks Hadassah to be dead at the end of book one, Marcus]] spends book two so emotionally and spiritually conflicted that he is unable to run the family business like he’s supposed to.
* HopelessSuitor: Alexander never has a chance with Hadassah; even when he [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove confesses his love]], she mistakes it for [[LoveYouAndEverybody platonic affirmation]].
** {{Genderflipped}} with Tabitha, who falls in love with Marcus and hopes he’ll propose to her. Marcus is too busy pining for Hadassah to give her any attention.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Julia, in regards to her (many) choices for sexual partners.
* OldManMarryingAChild: [[spoiler:Julia’s]] stolid first husband—to her extreme dismay, and Marcus'.
* IOweYouMyLife: Rashid pledges undying loyalty to Hadassah after she rescues him when his former master leaves him to die.
* IllGirl: [[spoiler:Julia Valerian]] in the second book is dying of an [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed ambiguous]] sexually transmitted disease. Some characters see her as someone to be helped and pitied; others view her as just getting what she had coming.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Hadassah.
* InterclassRomance: Marcus and Hadassah; Julia and Atretes.
* ItsPersonal: Julia, at the end of book one, sends [[spoiler:Hadassah to the lions because she feels like Hadassah “betrayed” Marcus by refusing to marry him. Marcus does not take the same view]].
* LadykillerInLove: Marcus when he falls for Hadassah.
* LoveHungry: Julia.
* LoveMartyr: Hadassah behaves this way in a platonic manner towards Julia.
* LoveRedeems: The major theme of the series.
* LoveYouAndEverybody: Alexander tries to convince [[spoiler:Hadassah]] to leave Rome with him, declaring passionate love for her; she responds by admitting she loves him too, and then crushes him by listing all the things she loves about him—in a [[JustFriends completely platonic]] manner.
--> '''Alexander:''' What would you say if I told you I love you? Because I do! [[spoiler:Hadassah]], I love you! Doesn't that make a difference?
--> '''[[spoiler:Hadassah]]:''' I love you too, Alexander…I'll always love you for your kindness to me, for your compassion to countless others, for your hunger to know truth…
--> '''Alexander:''' I wasn't speaking of brotherly love.
* MadeASlave: Hadassah and Atretes, each kidnapped from their respective homeland at the beginning of the series. Hadassah is made a lady’s maid for Julia Valerian; Atretes is fettered to the gladiatorial arena.
* NeverBareheaded / PleaseKeepYourHatOn: Hadassah invokes this trope as of the beginning of book two, wearing a veil at all times [[spoiler:to hide her maimed face]] Alexander says it doesn’t bother her personally that much, but other people tend to react with visible discomfort and horror if she ever lifts her veil.
* PalsWithJesus: Played straight, and played with for RuleOfDrama / TruthInTelevision. Aside from John the Apostle, who is this trope in the most literal way possible, most of the Christians in the book hear directly from God at least once in the novels. The title of the first book (“A Voice in the Wind”) is a reference to the voice of God as described in [[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20kings%2019:9-14&version=NIV 1 Kings 19]], and represents Hadassah’s struggle with hearing God clearly in her slavery.
* PapaWolf: Rashid, while not literally her father, acts in this capacity for Hadassah when Marcus rediscovers her identity.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Marcus misguidedly thinks this is the best way to deal with [[spoiler:Julia after she sends Hadassah to the lions]].
* PeacefulInDeath: [[spoiler: Julia,]] in dramatic contrast with [[BreakTheCutie her life]].
** Also [[spoiler:Hadassah after facing the lions in the arena, though she turns out not to be ''quite'' dead]]. The lead-in to this has shades of GoOutWithASmile.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Atretes, the fiercely patriotic Germanic tribesman who seems to think almost every problem is best solved with yelling and a sword, which makes him something of a FishOutOfWater in the social and political intrigue of Rome.
* PsychoLesbian: Calabah, though the “psycho” is subtle early on.
* ResurrectedRomance: [[spoiler:After living through a bookful of angst to discover that Hadassah actually survived the arena, Marcus promptly throws out another AnguishedDeclarationOfLove and asks for a RelationshipUpgrade.]]
* RichesToRags: Julia’s sybaritic, impulsive lifestyle in the first books leaves her completely penniless in the second, unable to keep on any servants or even [[spoiler:hire a doctor to treat the STD she picked up]].
* ScarsAreForever: [[spoiler: Hadassah is brutally disfigured after being mauled by lions in the arena]] at the end of the first book. This is a periodic source of angst throughout the second.
* SecretRelationship: [[spoiler:Julia and Atretes]]
* SerialSpouse: [[spoiler:Julia, despite her young age]], who goes through ''three'' husbands and multiple lovers in the first book.
* SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny: Prometheus in book two, regarding his homosexual urges.
* SexlessMarriage: [[spoiler:Julia’s third husband]], who is [[IncompatibleOrientation gay]], marries her by common law for societal convenience.
* ShowSomeLeg: Julia is forced to do some heavy-duty flirting with one of her husband’s business partners to make him more receptive to giving them leniency on a debt.
%% * SpiritedYoungLady: Julia, with emphasis on the “spirited”.
%% * StarCrossedLovers: Hadassah and Marcus.
* STDImmunity: Played straight with Marcus, Calabah, and many other promiscuous characters; averted with [[spoiler:Julia, who dies quite young of one]].
%% * SwordAndSandal
* ATasteOfTheLash: [[spoiler: Julia’s]] abusive husband attempts to beat her, but it is actually [[spoiler:Hadassah]] who takes the punishment when she throws herself over her mistress’ body. This is what leads to the AttemptedRape, etc., scene described above.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Marcus severs all his ties to his BigBrotherInstinct and disowns his sister completely after [[spoiler:Julia sends Hadassah to the arena]] at the end of the first book.
* TilMurderDoUsPart: [[spoiler:Julia poisons her abusive second husband and impassionately watches him die.]]
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Heaps of it between Marcus and Hadassah, and some between other pairings too, though not really the kind you [[AccidentalInnuendo get excited]] about.
* WhyCantIHateYou: Julia feels this towards Rapha.
* WideEyedIdealist: Julia, very early on—unlike those around her, she is sexually uninitiated and unaccustomed to violence (she imagines the arena will be glamorous, and is sickened at her first attendance of the games), and has no concept of the complexities of business and politics. She grows out of this rather quickly as she tries to [[BigBrotherWorship follow in her idol’s footsteps]]–though she never quite gains the social adeptness of her more worldly friends.
* WidowWoman: [[spoiler:Phoebe]] becomes one in book two. [[spoiler:Julia]] becomes one on two different occasions in book one, though she didn’t waste any tears on either one. Rizpah is one [[spoiler:until she marries Atretes in book three.]]
* WretchedHive: the Roman Empire in general is portrayed as this, with special mention given to [[ViceCity Ephesus]].