Set on the Greek island of Rhodes, Shadow of Colossus is the story of Tessa, a slave since childhood. Tessa is hetaera to Glaucus, a powerful politician. In the opening scene of the book, she is planning to kill herself, convinced that suicide is the only way that she can ever be free.
Then Glaucus meets an accidental death--but the circumstances make it appear that Tessa murdered him. If charged with the crime, it is almost certain that she will be executed. But quick-thinking, clever Tessa isn't about to let it go at that, and she sets in motion a dangerous plan to hide Glaucus' death and use it to escape to the island of Crete.
This book doesn't 'open with a bang' by any means. In fact, the first few pages were a little slow getting started. However, once you do get into it (which doesn't take long--by Chapter 2 I was completely immersed) it is absolutely riveting. I sometimes have trouble letting go of my Analytical Writer side and letting myself become completely engrossed in a book as a reader and nothing more. That was not a problem with this book. After years in slavery, Tessa has let herself become impervious to emotions in order to avoid pain and sorrow. Then she meets Nikos, who encourages her to let herself feel, because feeling is what makes you alive. This causes a huge struggle for Tessa, and I the reader could feel every part of that struggle.
Another great aspect of the book is that the romance that develops between Tessa and Nikos actually feels natural, unlike so many books in which the main male character and the leading lady seem to fall in love simply because the writer wanted to include some romance in the story and there was no one else around for them to fall in love with.
And as if all that weren't enough, T.L. Higley transports you completely to ancient Greece with her fabulous descriptions and writing style that presents Rhodes to you as easily as if it was right outside your front door. Reading this, I felt like if I were suddenly transported to ancient Rhodes, I would know my way around (and know which creepy characters to avoid).
Read this book, you guys! If nothing else, use it as a textbook on how to take your readers on a thrilling journey they will not soon forget!