The Mystery of Julia Episcopa by Diane Cummings, John I. Rigoli
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Series: The Vatican Chronicles #1
Published by Self Published / Indie on 20 June 2018
Length: 9 hours 30 minutes
Source: Author, Submitted
In ancient Rome, a woman flees for her life. Her enemies are those she once called "brother". Hidden beneath her blue cloak are secrets men will kill for - forgeries that prove the newly self-appointed bishops are not followers of the way, but pretenders who have seized power and will stop at nothing to shape this new religion to their own ends. Now, Julia - a woman who had once walked with Mary Magdalene and taught alongside Paul must preserve the legacy of the apostles in the face of terrifying danger.
Two thousand years later, classical archaeologists Valentina Vella and Erika Simone are tasked with advising the newly-elected pope on the historical legacy of women in the early Christian period. The women stumble across an ancient parchment buried deep in the Vatican archives, a document that has clearly been altered. They find themselves on the trail of a woman who may have been the first woman bishop in the Catholic faith. To reveal Julia's legacy will put them in the crosshairs of a venomous Vatican battle for power and supremacy; to stay silent would make them complicit in an ancient heresy and would betray the teachings Julia sacrificed her life to defend.
The Mystery of Julia Episcopa weaves seamlessly between modern-day Rome and the politics of the Catholic church and the times and life of a first-century Roman noblewoman who rose to be a dominant force in the early Christian movement.
"Three women connected by two intertwined stories of treacherous political intrigues, ancient cover-ups, and savage vengeance."
©2018 John Rigoli (P)2018 John Rigoli
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Author, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Julia Episcopa is a mysterious woman whom many will continue to silence centuries past her death. She holds the secret that demonstrates proof of the true teachings of Paul, Magdalene, Peter and other apostles that greedy, ambitious men have manipulated enabling them to take control and change religion to suit their own needs and desires.
Julia is a strong female lead character who is wise beyond her years. Raising two girls, tolerating a husband who places his own ambitions ahead of her and their family, she discovers friendship and later truth in the teachings of Paul and Peter. Saving a scribe from certain death, she helps to protect the writings until she is murdered for her belief and ability to destroy a male-dominated role in the church. Two women in the 21st Century discover a new bishop and realize it is a woman! They move to expose Julia’s secrets and her very existence much to the horror of the Vatican and men who share the same ambitions to “keep women in their place” even today. From the discovery to the reveal, John Rigoli and Diane Cummings keep the listeners spellbound. There is more action in this mystery than in a James Bond movie!
Each character is well-developed, well-rounded and believable. The dialogue is steady and realistic. The shift between the two time periods – Julia’s and present day is smooth and effortless to follow.
Cassandra Campbell performed the audiobook splendidly! Her performance was strong, she projected the emotions in such a way that the reader felt the passion, anger, fear or compassion Julia was experiencing. I could listen to Ms. Campbell for hours! Her voice is hypnotic!
This was an unexpectedly moving mystery. I hope to hear more of the Vatican Chronicles! I cannot recommend this audiobook enough – truly an awesome listen. Not a dull moment!
There were no issues with the production or quality of the audiobook, Verity Audio did an amazing job.
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