Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

The Secret Sign by Gladys Malvern

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It's Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero, and Stephanus is living the rags-to-riches dream. A former slave, he is now a sought-after actor, performing in the well-to-do homes of Rome's gentry and even the court of the Emperor himself. Everything is perfect – he has money, fame, friends, and a palatial home. Everything, that is, except the one thing he truly desires: the beautiful Valeria, daughter of one of Rome's famed Senators. Stephanus is deeply in love with Valeria, though she seems to hate him. But Valeria has a secret of her own – one that could shatter her father's reputation, but more importantly, be enough to condemn her to death. Drama unfolds as Stephanus negotiates a careful balance between the plush life to which he is accustomed, and making a decision that will change his life – and Valeria's – forever.

“Gladys Malvern's The Secret Sign is a luxuriously woven first rate tale of a Roman actor and his love for the daughter of a high ranking Roman senator. It is also the story of Nero's heinous crimes against the Christians and of the latter's indomitable valor. Stephanus the actor is admired by the high courts of Rome for his satires in support of any popular sympathy. His cruel though unwitting rendition of Christianity inflicts a deep wound in Valeria, who is secretly devoted to the budding cult, a wound healed only by Stephanus' heroic attempt to save her life during the burning of Rome. When Nero blames the Christians for this disaster, the entire sect is arrested and tortured. How Stephanus employs his talent as an actor to save his beloved, how they accomplish their hazardous escape, dramatically climax an engrossing tale with the accent on visual stimuli.”  Kirkus Review