Tuesday, February 12, 2013

{Review} Fires of Alexandria by Thomas K. Carpenter

ISBN #: 978-1463653705
Page Count: 388
Copyright: July 7, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

The greatest mystery of the ancient world remains the identity of who set fire to the Great Library in Alexandria. One hundred years later, Heron of Alexandria - the city's most renown inventor and creator of Temple miracles - receives coin from a mysterious patron to investigate the crime. Desperate to be free of the debts incurred by her twin brother, she accepts and sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the Roman Empire and change the course of history forever.

Mandy's Review:

Heron, whose real name is Ada, has assumed the identity of her twin brother. He had been killed due to the enormous amount of debt he owed to one of the tax collectors. Heron is often commissioned by the Temples to create "miracles" that dupe the audiences yet causes them to revere the wonderment of the priests. She has always been the brains behind the inventions, but she cannot conduct business as herself due to society considering women as lowly, ignorant humans not meant for more than spreading their legs.

Heron's "miracles" often fall short of their intended performance and have caused the rumors of her being cursed by the gods to flit about the city. It becomes so bad that none of the temples wish to give him (her) any more business.

Along come Agog ...

Agog is a Northman, all of whom are considered barbaric and ignorant. Agog, however, is well-spoken and intellectual ... not to mention he has plenty of coin to finance many new inventions in Heron's workshop. Despite her immediate distrust of Agog, Heron's need of his coins does not allow her to turn his jobs away. Over time, the two grow companionable and start to forge a tentative trust of each other.

Agog seeks revenge against the Roman Empire and becomes eager for Heron to finish the jobs given to him. Heron wishes the Roman society to change, but is leery about what Agog will do once the inventions have been completed. Will their bond withstand the necessary duplicitiousness that is often involved in battle? Or will they fight on opposite sides?

Fires of Alexandria is a well-written, thought-out, engaging story that will keep you flipping the pages as you wonder what will happen next. To be honest, when I first received the book for review I didn't think I would enjoy it. I'm glad to see that I was wrong. If you enjoy period fiction based in some actual facts, then I'd recommend you read Fires of Alexandria.

*An ecopy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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