About the Book
Valentine defies the emperor and becomes a hero . . . and the most wanted man in the empire. Compelled by his faith, he has nothing to lose, until a chance encounter with the daughter of a Roman jailor changes everything.
Rome, AD 270. In the wake of the emperor’s marriage ban, rumors swirl that there is one man brave enough to perform wedding ceremonies in secret. A public notarius and leader of an underground church, Valentine believes the emperor’s edict unjust and risks his own life for the sake of his convictions. But as his fame grows, so do fears for his safety.
Iris, the daughter of a Roman jailor, believes regaining her sight will ease the mounting troubles at home. Her last hope rests in searching out Valentine and his church, but the danger of associating with people labeled a threat to the empire is great. Still, as Iris’s new friends lead her to faith in God, Iris is drawn to Valentine and they both begin to hope for a future together beyond the treacherous empire.
But when a past debt and a staggering betrayal collide, Valentine, Iris, and everyone they love must fight for their lives . . . and wrestle with trusting a God who can restore sight yet does not always keep His followers from peril.
In My Opinion
I’ve never given much thought to St. Valentine beyond the holiday on February 14, but after reading Of Love and Treason by Jamie Ogle, I will never look at Valentine’s Day the same.
This debut novel is set in Rome in 269 AD starts by introducing readers to Iris, a women who was blinded after an accident during her childhood and makes her way in the world as best she can. Enter Valentine (whose friends call him Val or Valens) who promises to pray to his Christian God for Iris.
Ogle does a wonderful job of sweeping the reader into the lives of Valentine, Iris, and Titus (Iris’s childhood friend) as they navigate life in Rome and the decree that no one may get married.
This book has many elements that remind me of the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers—miracles, the faith of the believers, love, and high stakes. If you enjoy stories with a strong heroine, a hero who sees beyond her limitations, pieces of true history, and romance, then you do not want to miss Of Love and Treason.
*I purchased the audio book and was not required to write a review.